Monday, November 21, 2016

Our Nation's Capital

We had a great trip to our nation's capital with a great group:

We arrived on Thursday and toured a really cool high school before settling into our hotel. After a brief break, we headed out to dinner and then took a tour of the monuments at night. FDR's memorial is so powerful, and we were all struck by how very much his words apply today. This depiction of his fireside chat was particularly powerful:
This was also my first visit to the MLK memorial:
And the Super Moon beside the Washington Monument was quite the view:
We ended our tour with Lincoln, which I always find to be such a powerful place.
Our guide was incredible, and this was such an interesting time to be in DC. In the aftermath of the election, there was something very compelling about watching government continue. Watching the city prepare for the smooth transition of power that has been our hallmark.

Friday morning, everyone scattered to various museums. It was one of my proudest moments when I watched them divide not but typical friends groups but by museum interests. They all ventured out in little groups and met back up in the afternoon for another great school tour.

I spent Friday morning touring the botanical gardens, which I had never seen before. The replicas of the monuments made from living materials were amazing:
They were also starting to decorate, and I loved the tiny Christmas tree beside the Washington Monument:
Friday night we went to see a play at the Kennedy Center, and then Saturday morning we hopped on the bus and toured Mt. Vernon on the way home. I took three terrible pictures, but Mt. Vernon was by far the highlight of my trip. Washington was such an interesting man, and to see how he designed his estate and the way he lived was fascinating. I learned so very much, and we ended our tour with a wreath laying ceremony at his grave. We performed the same ceremony that heads of states observe when they visit, and it concludes with someone reading Washington's Prayer for His Country:

"I now make it my earnest prayer that God would have you and the State over which you preside in His holy protection ... that He would most graciously be pleased to dispose us all to do justice, to love mercy, and to demean ourselves with that charity, humility, and pacific temper of mind which were the characteristics of the Divine Author of our blessed religion, without an humble imitation of whose example in these things, we can never hope to be a happy nation." -George Washington June 8, 1783

My student did a phenomenal job reading it, and I might have gotten teary.

I was home by dinner on Saturday night, and then we had our annual Thanksgiving for friends last night:
I continue to be so very thankful. Thankful for amazing students. Thankful for the ability to travel and the opportunity to learn. Thankful for good friends. Thankful to always come home to my family...

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