Wonderful Washington DC Trip!
The Sixth Form’s trip to Washington DC during the February half term can be summarised in just four words: cold and entirely unforgettable.
Our highly anticipated trip to Washington DC began on the early Sunday morning of 15 February. Despite our lengthy flight of eight hours, from Heathrow Terminal 5 to Washington Dulles, we were all filled with excitement, energy and anticipation.
One thing we quickly realised once we exited the airport was just how cold it was in Washington. Although we had had many warnings from Mrs Smart, we underestimated these warnings! Despite our lack of sleep, we were all eager to leave our hotel, Fairfield Inn and Suites, and go to the Hard Rock Café where we had our first evening. For some, eating American- sized portions was a new experience and a bit of a shock while for others it was a reminder that a meal for one person could be split between two people and neither person would be left hungry!
Our first full day in the American capital was met with great excitement as it was Presidents’ Day which is a federal holiday. After the fantastic experience of an American breakfast, we set out on a leisurely walk to the Capitol Building. We were taken on a tour and given a detailed history about the great men and women who had been in the building and made history.
Following the tour, we went on to the Library of Congress which was a truly magnificent place. From the architecture to the sheer volume of books, we were lost for words. That evening we had our meal at Union Station.
To complete a busy and exciting day, the weather was kind to us and it began to snow. The following day, we woke up to see that six inches of snow had settled and that Washington and London had more in common than we had once thought, they are both unable to function with snow on the ground. We took this day to walk through the city, past the White House, seeing the Washington Monument and the World War Two, Korea, Vietnam and Lincoln Memorials. The beauty of all that was around was further emphasised by the bright sky and fresh snow. However, the most breathtaking part of the entire trip may have been the walk around the Arlington Cemetery and the Changing of the Guard. While in Washington we also visited many museums, including the National Air and Space Museum, the Newseum and the National Archives.
This is where we learnt a great deal about American history and politics and were even fortunate enough to see the American Constitution and the Bill of Rights. However the most anticipated part of our trip was our visit to the White House. Although it was an early start to the day, we were all eager to go the East Wing. Despite no cameras being allowed, the experience was enjoyable as we entered great rooms where historic events had taken place. Some girls even caught sight of the First Dogs, Bo and Sunny!
Our time in Washington DC concluded with a walking tour of the historic area of Georgetown where, most famously, the Kennedys lived prior to moving into the White House. We had all been looking forward to Georgetown as it was our only shopping opportunity.
This was the same day that the temperature was -25 degrees Celsius. We all had high hopes for our trip to Washington DC and they were met with the help of our fantastic teachers Mrs Smart, Mrs Spicer and Mr Allen and their unwavering enthusiasm.
Written by Nefertiti O’hene (Year 12)