Thursday PM- We ended up leaving about 2 hours behind schedule. We got our room assignments (just a side note- MY ROOM-MATES WERE AWESOME!!!!) and our list of etiquette or whatever for the White House. It is at this point that I realize that I have no photo ID. Bro. Eric (that's Bro.Eric Foster, the Link youth pastor) tells me not to worry and that he will figure something out. So, we head to Wendy's for a "quick" dinner and we end up leaving the beautiful city of Canton at about 8:15 PM. So, here is what basicly happens during the trip. The first hour of the trip we played the song game (which ended abrubtly when nobody could think of another song with "manger" in it other than that classic Christmas tune) and concentration, which I am very bad at. The rest of the trip consisted of-
- I sit idly for a few minutes
- I call Mistie to declare that I'm bored.
- I call Deana for the same purpose as Mistie. (Plus, once I enter a new state)
- We stop to stretch legs.
- Repeat as needed to reach 7 hours
We got into the city of Rockville, Maryland at 3:17 AM. I know because I snapped a picture of my cell phone proclaiming the time. So, Bro. Eric goes in to check our group in to the Ramada Inn. NEVER GO THERE!!!!!!! Allow me to explain why with an excerpt from the documentary that was made from the trip, narrated by Tiffany-
"Ok, this is Bro. Eric going in to check us in to the hotel......he's talking to the innkeeper....oh no...he' flaling his arms...he's pacing...he's coming back to the van...he doesn't look too happy"
What Tiffany was filming was Bro. Eric being told that the Ramada Inn had given away our rooms. This caused a great uproar in the van including Sis.Brandi yelling "Tell them what happened last time there was no room in the Inn for God-filled people!" This lightened the mood a bit. The Ramada ended up paying for us to stay at the Doubletree Hotel overnight (a very nice hotel). We ended up going to bed at about 4:30 AM.
Friday- We had to get up at 7:30 and surprisingly I didn't feel all that tired. I had forgotten my brush so I had to fix my hair with a cheap comb from the hotel. So, we had to dress up because we were going to the White House. This meant that 14 girls had to wear high heels. This is important info for later. There were 25 of us on the trip, by the way. Anyway, to get to our tour of the Capitol Building on time we have to be there at 9:30 AM. The next dilemma. Our all-day Metro passes are not activated until 9:30. So we had to skip the Capitol building. This means that we have 1 1/2 hours to kill before we have to be at the White House. You would think that that would be easy. No. It isn't. We ended up at Federal Triangle Station at 10:55 AM, due to a bunch of dilemmas that I won't mention. Now, here was the fun part, and I really do mean that. Remember what I told you about the heels? Well, about 6 of those girls (me included) decided that somebody had to get there and give them our name so we wouldn't miss that tour too. So we took off our shoes and ran barefoot through the streets of DC. We must have looked hilarious but it was so fun and how many people can say that they have done that? We got there at 11:03 but they allowed us in anyway. Next comes the point of my ID. My dad had faxed my ID from school since I had forgotten mine. It was a little blurry so I wasn't sure if I would get through. I was in the middle of the line and once I got up there I handed my ID to the guard. She looked at me kind of funny then turned to the other guard and asked "Do you want to accept this?" They ended up letting me through. I think everyone else was more excited that I got in than I was, which was saying a lot. They said they were all on the other side of the gate praying. The White House was incredible! The green room and red room have fabric on the walls. It was just breathtaking. I can't even descibe it. And they wouldn't allow us to take cameras in. Well, after the tour we were all just goofing off in the plaza for a while. Then we headed to Union Station. I came to know and love this place very much. We ate lunch there everyday. And shopped. They had Starbucks, which was a wonderous sight for us with only 2-3 hours sleep. I had lunch at a place called Flamer's. It is a lot like Burger King and was delicous. We decided to go back to the Ramad briefly as they had promised to have our rooms ready. We got there at 3:30 and they still didn't have them ready. Did I mention you should never go there? It took about an hour but we finally got checked in. We did some sightseeing and then we went to the home of the Statens. They are the metro-missionaries to DC. They had rented the party room in their apartment building and there was pizza, cookies, and pop. Sidenote- Sis. Staten can make some mean oatmeal raisen cookies. They were so good. Before we ate we prayed over the food. This turned into a 20 minute prayer meeting. It was amazing. I was just in awe of how strong the power of God moved in that little room. After this we played Mafia and then went back to the hotel.DC is not however my favorite place to be at night. It was kind of scary walking even in a group. We got back to the hotel at about 10 and then Nicole, one of my roomates, decided that we should have a party in our room. Sarah, another roomate, decided to go to a different room so she could sleep. Shelley said she didn't care and all the girls ended up in our room and nails were done and a good time was had by all. Oh, yeah, and I was the youngest girl on the trip.
Saturday- got up at 8. We had to meet in the lobby at 9 so we could be at Woodley Park/Adams Morgan at 10. When we got there there was a street vendor. I got gifts for the Blossoms ( my siblings) and my friend, Rachel. We passed out flyers for the service over 10 blocks. It was very fun. Woodley Park is a beautiful neighborhood. So after that was over, we headed to Union Station again. I followed my friends Maribridget (who was dubbed Marimidget on the trip and this led to a very funny set of impersonations by one of the guys on the trip. On the last day we ended up filming all of them and making it into "The life and times of Marimidget". The best part was that Maribridget laughed harder than the rest of us most of the time.) and Megan to this restaurant called Corner Bakery. I love Corner Bakery. They have the best soup on earth. I had Broccoli and Chedder and it was so creamy and delicious. After this we once again went sightseeing.We went by the Washington Monument and reflecting pool. And the Capitol Building and White House. Our feet were killing us. So almost all the girls decided that once we got to the WW2 Memorial, the fountain would be a good place for our feet. And it was. As we were regrouping we came to the realization that we were missing someone. We realized that it was Shelley's husband, Paul. She called him and apparently when we stopped at the WW2 Memorial he had kept walking not realizing that nobody was behind him until he got to the Lincoln Memorial. It was hilarious. So we had to wait about 10 minutes for him to get back. At this point I decided I should call Rachel and gloat.
Me:Hey what's up?
Rachel:Not much. Sitting in my room with my dog. You?
Me: Sitting on a bench and to the right I can see the Jefferson Memorial, to the left, the WW2 Memorial, and ahead I can see the Washington Moument
Rachel: I hate you.
Now, when you are passing out flyers, the 10 blocks goes fast, when you are running to church, not so much. We were an hour late but service was excellent anyway. We had probably 3 alter calls throughout the servive. Simply amazing. After service we met with the cousin of some of the people in the group and his fiancee, named Dan and Evelyn. Evelyn is from Maryland and comes to DC often so we let her decide where we ate. She suggested Chinatown. I was psyched! Chinatown is knock-off central and ever since Rachel came back with a knock-off Louis Vuitton and a Burberry I have wanted one. So we arrived in Chinatown and half of us went to Chipotle and half of us went to Ruby Tuesday's. My group never did see the logic in that. So, in Chipotle I got my usual and went and sat down. What happened next about made me cry and I will never forget it. A homeless man approached us and asked if we would buy him a cheeseburger from McDonald's because he hadn't eaten in 3 days. We weren't allowed. It was so sad. Here's my advice if you want to go to DC. Go to Chinatown in daylight. Because-
- The knock-off vendors are actually open then.
- At night it is one of the scariest places I have ever been.
Sirens were going off and it was incredibly congested. The restroom in Chipotle had been locked so we had to go across the street to Starbucks. Me, Nicole, and Sis.Brandi were heading over and I was terrified. I asked Nicole if I could stick with her and she said definately and to hold on to her bookbag so I didn't get lost in the crowd. Around this point she tells us "Try not to look like torists. These people can smell fear." I said "Nicole, I don't think natives hold on to bookbags." She said beside that point we could probably blend in. We went to cross the street and we had a Walk sign on the traffic signal. apparently those don't mean anything in DC. We almost got hit and were cussed at and had horns honked at us. It was not good times. We finally left with me hyperventilating and so scared I about wet myself. Not fun
Sunday-church day. Had to get up at 7:30, got dressed and actually made it to church on time. A lot of vistiors in the morning service. Our group took over the music and things like that.A very nice service. Great response and alter call. Afterwards, we headed to Union Station for lunch. Loaded Baked Potato soup today. Also delicious. At 3:30 we had to be at our next service in Friendship Heights, which is a city on the border of DC and Maryland. The church we went to was split between a Greek Orthodox church and the Apostolic Church was in the basement. We didn't know this fact so we sat down in the actual sanctuary. After about 10 minutes the Father comes out and asks what we are doing there. We explain that we are there for the service. He looks confused then says "Oh you are here for the worship?" "Yes." "Oh! That's in the basement we are getting ready to have a funeral here!" Ooops...my bad. Service was excellent again that night. A full house and amazing alter services. Fantastic. After service we had to decide where to go for our last evening in the city. It was too late to go downtown because we didn't want a repeat of Chinatown. So we decided to explore Friendship Heights. We went to the Cheesecake Factory for dinner and here is my last review for the post. Unless you are an expert mathemetician, do not got to the Cheesecake factory there. The waiter told us that he couldn't split our bill and when he finally did do it roughly, my meal which Shelley had figured out would cost $12.50 with tax and gratuity ended up costing me $16. It was ridiculous. But all in all the trip was fun and a great way to end out the trip.
Monday- Left at 8. Stopped for breakfast and lunch and got to Canton at about 4.
Well, I hope you enjoyed my summary of my trip. I really did have fun. This has taken me about an hour and a half to write and I still haven't told you about half of the fun stuff we did. I really had a blast.