I have put this off for far too long. And I currently (gasp!) have no hw to do, and I already practiced and am bored out of my mind so here we go!
|As we were pulling out.|
|Michael is Grumpy Cat|
|Thanks Heather :P|
I have to say, this entire trip was organized brilliantly. Only one mishap happened and even that was dealt with efficiently and quickly. They thought of EVERYTHING. All the people who worked behind the scenes for us really deserve a hand (and probably a long nap).
A million more hours on the bus where everyone basically went nuts. First off, this bus was filled with a lot of people I knew. Most of it was Deon's choir Chorale and then a few of us Ladies, and then one or two new people from other choirs that we swiftly made friends with. Loud laughter over memes, videos, whoever had last farted, (it happens. deal), etc happened. We hit DC around 8pm and got stuck on the Beltway for a reallllly long time. I did not miss that mess. For this dear readers, is my neck of the woods. I am from Pennsylvania and D.C. is about 2 and a half hours from my house. The last time I was there was the summer before freshman year visiting my aunt. I did the Smithsonian, the monument, and all that with my friend Frank at the time, but it was a whole other experience doing it with Deon and all my friends. We hit our hotel around 9 and the usual hysteria resulted with unloading and finding our rooms. There were four people to a room. My chosen roomie was my awesome friend Heather and then we got paired up with Sara and Ashley who proved to be really hysterical awesome roommates for four days! We got pretty lucky. :)
|Ashley and I|
|Sara and I|
|By the White House.|
|We took way too many pics.|
|My buddy Abe.|
The sun was starting to set, but Deon really wanted to see the Vietnam memorial so we raced to that. It was also my first time seeing it because Frank and I spent most of our time at the Smithsonian when I was last there. The Vietnam memorial was particularly moving for Deon and I. He was trying to find a relative that he thought fought in it, but the names aren't on there in alphabetical order which we thought was strange. Deon concluded that if they had been put in a specific order, it would have made it less personal. So many people were there leaving candles and flowers. We walked through silently. I felt such compassion for all of these people who were here mourning lost loved ones. It shocked me how many names there were. You know that many men and women go to war, but you never can imagine how many in your mind until you see all the names of those who were killed. It definitely made me somber and I thanked God for protecting not only myself, but so many people I love and our nation. After our loonngg day, we went back to the hotel and rehearsed for an hour or so and then got dinner and went to bed.
|Michael and Deon|
|The area which has been closed off since 9/11|
|Ladies of Lee|
|Millie and I with the Conns.|
|I love this pic!|
After the sound check, we got about 3 more hours to explore DC some more. Nick, Deon and I went to get lunch and then were planning to go to the Holocaust Museum and the Archives, but our very rude and slow waitress kept us at the restaurant longer than planned, so we only had time to get some gelato. The boys had never had any of this either, so that was a fun. :) The final thing we did before we got on the bus was get as close as we could to the capital and look at it while the sun set. Besides when we sang, that moment was my favorite from the trip. It looked so beautiful and peaceful and I just remember thinking how happy I was and what a beautiful life I live. We stared at it in silence for a while lost in our own thoughts. Then Deon turned and said to me: "You know, I really like D.C. I wanna come back this summer with you when we have more time and explore the Smithsonian just the two of us." I'm glad it won him over! I'm def an East Coast girl at heart.
Then our one and only mishap of the trip happened. Our group was about 230 people total and we had all met at our designated spot to get on our buses, count off, and then go to the hotel for an early dinner and bedtime. Well, it was rush hour, people were arriving in town for the Inauguration, and our buses couldn't even get off the highway to us. They ended up telling the buses to go back to the hotel and all 230 of us made our way to the Metro. I've ridden the Subway, but never the Metro before and I was a little nervous. I'm also pretty claustrophobic and crowds make me really stressed out. Dr. Green bought tickets in 20 bulk and handed them all out to us and we got in groups and took different metros to Silver Springs where our hotel was. It was pretty exciting!! Even though we were worried people would get left behind or lost, no one did and we all ended back at the hotel in one piece. We had a group dinner, final words, and went to bed.
|Yup folks I was on ABC. A few times in fact. Thanks to Ethan for this shot!|
At 4am my alarm woke me up. I quickly dressed in all the thermal clothing I could put on my body, and headed to the bus with my bags. The day had finally come!! I conked out on the bus because I felt like I had gotten no sleep. When we got to the Holding room, we all warmed up, had breakfast, and took last minute pics and prayed together. Then we filed into our lines to walk across the street to the capital. As we walked, so many people cheered for us and said "Go LeeU!" It's amazing how this whole experience has put our small school on the map particularly for the East Coast. I didn't know about Lee at all where I lived though it's well known in the South. I just happened to find it by accident (though let's be real, God wanted me to find it). We got in our places and we saw people starting to file in to their seats below us. It was slightly windy, but nowhere as cold as we expected it to be which was a huge blessing. The children's choir sang first, then it was us!! We sang for 16 minutes which was more than any of the other performers that day. We managed to get through almost all of the 9 songs we had learned. The crowd was so far from us we weren't sure we would hear them clapping, but after our first song "This Land" we were all taken aback by how loud the cheers were! They liked us!!! I tried to drink in every moment while I sang. It's an opportunity I know I will probably never have again and that day will go down as one of the best days of my life. I thank God I got to do what I love most to witness and serve my nation and president, and to top it all off, do it with all the people I love most. Simply incredible!
|Me and my boo Andrew|
It was the most fun trip of my life and I still can't believe it happened. If you didn't catch us singing here is the full 16 minutes of it!! You will def see me a few times if you look.
And some more pics:
|My view from my seat of the crowd.|
|Deon in his section which was on the opposite end of me.|
|President Obama addressing the nation. If you look on the right side there is Michelle and the girls. :)|
|Lee had us decked out!|
|John Mayer and Katy Perry (photo credit: Susan LaBarr)|
|Us warming up.|
|The upper balcony is us, the faculty, and the Brooklyn Tabernacle Choir who were so wonderful!|