Day 1, Saturday, June 16, 2012: My adventure in DC began with landing alone in a city with three huge suitcases and an overstuffed backpack. Let’s just say I was not the happiest camper upon arriving to my dorm at GW where I will be residing this summer. Three
bags, one person, crossing busy streets–let’s just say they fall over easily and people just stare. Even with the luggage mishaps that I encountered, I was in high spirits and ready to explore my surroundings with my co-fellow, Alaina Smith. That evening we explored DC, ate at an amazing pizza place, and walked all the way to the White House. We then proceeded to locate the Whole Foods by campus, but naturally got lost in the dark on the way home…we walked about a mile out of the way, when Whole Foods is literally 100 yards from our dorm but we did not know that.
Day two, Sunday, June 17, 2012: Alaina and I got up early, eager to explore our surroundings for more fun things to see and do. We began our journey by walking to our office for iCivics, then to the White House, around the White House to the Washington Monument, then down the National Mall towards the Smithsonian Castle (where we went and explored all of it, naturally), then onward to the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum, then a short (cough, cough) walk to the U.S. Botanical Gardens and the Capitol, around to the front of the Capitol and then onwards to the Supreme Court and Library of Congress. And then we turned around, walked back toward the National Mall (viewing the other side of the Capitol as we went), stopped and toured the entire National Museum of the American Indian, and then proceeded to Bed Bath and Beyond via the Metro. After all of this, we still were not finished with our touring. We ended the evening with a dinner at a wonderful Mediterranean cafe next to the University of George Washington and a trip to the local CVS for things that were not organic (everything here is…even soap).
Day 4, Tuesday, June 19, 2012: The second day of our fellowship was one that I will not easily forget. We were blessed with being invited to Justice Sandra Day O’Connor’s private chambers in the Supreme Court. We were allowed to sit and wait in her chambers, and then had a discussion with her prior to going on a private tour of the Supreme Court from one of the Court’s historians. It was truly a memory of a lifetime (disregarding the fact that I lost my iPhone 4, dorm key and dorm pass in a taxi cab…I later realized this in the afternoon, and had Alaina tracking it in the iCivics office while Karon and I chased my phone around DC using iCloud tracking…sadly, after $60 in cab fares, I have given up my search for my precious belongings).
The Court was absolutely amazing. My personal favorite was being allowed to walk down the side of the Court room to the front, where we were allowed to stand on the floor where all of the Justices’ family members sit, the attorney’s tables are located, and the nine Justices’ chairs are overlooking. It was absolutely fantastic. We were able to view the Court’s library, which was breathtakingly beautiful, the East and West Conference Rooms, and the Grand Hall. It was a remarkable day. We then finished up our day in the iCivics office.
Day 5, Wednesday, June 20, 2012: We ventured to the iCivics office for our third day. We finished up a few projects, narrowing our list of amazing things to do this summer only slightly. Alaina and I created a list of places that we would like to go on adventures to in DC, which has turned out to be a very lengthy list. I took a tour of DC after work trying to locate the local AT&T office to collect on my insurance for my phone, and heading to the GW office to purchase a new passkey and key (which, I must say, was astronomical [one guy told me $150 for a new key, which I promptly replied, “I will keep looking…” you could not pay me to pay that much for a KEY] and the passkey was an additional cost…haha, no). Besides the charade of locating an AT&T store and dealing with the GW office (all the while, still phone-less for the remainder of the week), I continue to fall more in love with this city and my fellowship at iCivics.