I had the pleasure of going to Washington D.C. this summer with 35 other amazing history teachers from Jacksonville, Florida. This was made possible through the Teaching for American History Grant. THANK YOU! I took over 100 photos because we had a jam packed schedule of adventurous places to visit and I wanted to make sure I recorded as much evidence as possible. Click here to see the evidence of my glorious adventure.
When the trip came to an end and I was sitting on the bus for 11 hours I thought about the best parts of the trip. Sadly, I think I know more about the history of the United States rather than my own country. Our itinerary was as follows. Please note that there are too many “lessons learned” on this trip for me to post so I have chosen one that I thought would be most enlightening.
SUNDAY: JULY 31
6:30PM Depart Jacksonville, FL via chartered motor coach enroute to Charlottesville,VA.
MONDAY: AUGUST 1
7:30 AM Approximately, arrive Charlottesville,VA. Breakfast this morning at the University of Virginia. (This was an incredible breakfast and made me want to live at the Virginia University.) Afterwards you will tour Monticello (GORGEOUS!), the home of Thomas Jefferson. This afternoon you will tour the Universityof Virginia campus and time permitting stop by the visitor center. (Touring this campus only made me more excited than ever to start earning that Master’s degree.) Continue your trip toAlexandria,VA(dinner enroute) and check into your hotel. (I ran 3 mi. on the treadmill before I went to sleep. zzzzzz)
TUESDAY: AUGUST 2
7:00 AM This morning you will travel to Gettysburg,PA where you will visit the Civil War Museum. Lunch. This afternoon you will tour the Battlefield and go to the Visitor’s Center where you will view numerous artifacts from the battlefield and view the Cyclorama. (The Cyclorama is one of the coolest pieces of artwork I have ever seen in my life! Didn’t see anything like that in Europe.) Dinner, then return toWashington,D.C.and your hotel.
WEDNESDAY: AUGUST 3
7:00 AM Breakfast. This morning you will travel toPhiladelphia,PA where you will visit the Liberty Bell Pavilion, Franklin’s gravesite,Franklin Court, the Betsy Ross House, and U.S. Mint. This evening you will participate in a dinner program to include Independence Hall, with colonial period impersonators. (I ate a Philly cheesesteak in Philly! It was beyond yummy.)
THURSDAY: AUGUST 4
7:00 AM Breakfast. This morning you will visit the nation’s Capitol Building and walk through the tunnel to the Library of Congress. (The Library of Congress was one of the most incredible and beautiful places I have ever been to in my entire life.) That afternoon we were free to roam. I went to the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History where I had my most memorable experience of the trip. I had the opportunity to hold a couple live critters such as a grasshopper and a cock roach. At first I walked away and then a fellow teacher that was with me said we have to go back and do it so we can say we had the guts to do it. FYI: I am petrified of roaches! She was right. I not only held the grasshopper but also held a Madagascar hissing cock roach named Lily and lived to tell about it. This cock roach was not cute by any means but definitely taught me a little something.
FRIDAY: AUGUST 5
7:30 AM Approximately, arrive in Jacksonville,FL.
7:30 pm – I ran in Tour de Pain. Whew!
LESSON LEARNED: Lilly was a little precious but still scared me. It is weird to think I could gain any ounce of courage by holding a cock roach but holding her in my hands really gave me a tiny bit of strength knowing I faced that fear.
“We gain strength, and courage, and confidence by each experience in which we really stop to look fear in the face… we must do that which we think we cannot.”Eleanor Roosevelt
THANK YOU, LILY!