Monday, March 26, 2012

Washington DC--pinch me!

The second part of my weekend journey was to Washington DC to visit my aunts Esther and Sabrina and their amazing families. My dad and I got back from the Broadway show pretty late (after sampling one of the hot dogs at a hot dog stands…I thought it was nasty, but at least we know what they taste like) and so we got about 3 hours of sleep before we had to wake up, get out of the hotel, and get our booties to the bus stop in NY. Our hotel was in Newark, NJ, which is only about a 30 minute shuttle ride from NYC, or a 1 ½ hour journey through the metro/train/air rails. It was about a $30 difference for each of us so we decided to take it the hard way. We’re warriors!

When we finally got into NYC, we were once again surprised to encounter so many kind individuals who were more than happy to help us get to where we needed to go. I don’t care what they say about New York people…they are really nice!

After a 4 hour bus ride of trying to sleep but not really succeeding, we finally arrived in Bethesda. My aunt Esther and her family picked us up there and we went straight to the Smithsonian. I didn’t realize there were so many museums in “The Smithsonian.” There are like, 10 different buildings all surrounding this huge park. The park provided for some good views of monuments, although there were so many people that it was difficult to catch everything into a picture.

My dad has a theory that you can only experience the true taste of a city when you try the food from hole-in-the-wall joints or hot dog stands. The real citizens of the city who are trying to make a buck to live to the next day—that’s what is real; none of that chain restaurant veneer. Nasty? Slightly unsanitary? Maybe. Authentic? Definitely! Here is a video of my dad experiencing the “true taste of Washington DC.”

Since we only had about 3 hours, we spent our time in the Air and Space Museum, the Museum of Natural History, and the Holocaust Museum. As we entered each building, there were different modes of security. The Holocaust Museum, however, had the most intense security out of all of them. If you had a bottle of water in your purse, they made you drink out of it in front of them. 

Esther's little girls

One really cool thing about the Holocaust Museum is that they gave you individual passport IDs of someone who lived during the Holocaust and you got to follow their story throughout your venture. What a good way to keep people involved!

We weren’t supposed to take pictures of what we saw, and maybe that was a good thing. Seeing the videos and reading the stories…that was really hard. I was in a funk for a good while afterwards. It’s amazing what a corrupted leader can do to destroy the world. To be honest, I usually get bored with museums after the first hour. But I could have stayed in there all day if they hadn’t closed—exhaustion and all. I’m going to Germany on part of my European tour with the Wind Symphony in a few weeks. Re-connecting with the history of the country will be good for my experience there I think.

It was so good to catch up with my amazing aunts. They have both been my dear friends all my life, but especially through my early college years when I really needed it. Love you Esther and Sabrina! I’m upset that I didn’t get any pictures with them though. I think it might have been because I was intimidated by Esther’s mad photography skills. Check out her website  to see what I mean. She’s amazing!

This has definitely been a trip that I'll remember forever. Thank you Dad for coming with me!

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