Friday, May 13, 2011

Soaking wet, rainbows, and my favorite spot in D.C.

Remember that time I had been posting about this trip for nearly a week and still wasn't finished? Between a hectic week and Blogger being down and out yesterday, I'm behind. I don't think anybody but me even cares to read this, but I want to post it for posterity's sake. Plus, I kinda like looking at my pictures. A lot.

We awoke to pouring rain and chilly temps on May 4th. We only had one outdoor activity planned that day: Arlington Cemetery. Great. 100% outside, and the one place that I really wanted to take some cool pictures. We suited up in the warmest clothes we had (read: not warm at's practically summetime in Alabama, after all), threw on the ponchos, and hopped to it.

It. Was. Miserable.

The rain poured the entire time we were there. The temperature never climbed past 40. My nose was numb. My shoes and socks were squishy. We were soaked to the bone. I took out my camera only once, at the end to document the unpleasantness.

{Sasha's only smiling because she brought an umbrella. She didn't have to rely on a glorified trash bag to keep her "dry".}

Believe it or not, it was a fabulous experience. You see, that day, the president of Croatia was there to lay a wreath on the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. The roads in the cemetery were lined with dozens and dozens of soldiers, all standing at attention in the pouring rain. The guards at the Tomb did their job as if they never noticed the weather. One of the students remarked, "I guess if they can stand in this and not fuss, I can try harder, too." Worked wonders for my attitude as well.

We heard a real 21-gun salute. I've heard that's a once-in-a-lifetime experience for most people. It was such a poignant moment that we all stopped to listen. It made me proud to be an American.

After calling Bus Driver Will to crank up the heat, we boarded the bus and headed to lunch. Everyone was a bit more pleasant after drying out and filling up their bellies. Thankfully, the rain stopped during lunch...just in time to spend the rest of the day indoors.

Our next stop was the National Cathedral. None of my pictures here turned out well, which was a bummer. I've still got a lot to learn about photographing such a huge space. It's an absolutely breathtaking church, and I could've spent the whole afternoon exploring in there. No time for that, though, because we had a hot date at the Capitol building.

If I had to choose, I'd say the Capitol is my favorite spot in D.C. Not only is it beautiful, but just think about all that's happened there! Unreal. I took a ton of pictures with my way awesome zoom, so ready yourself.

{looking up into the Rotunda}

{serious close-up}

{George Washington with Liberty on the left and Victory on the right...or something like that.}

{Freedom...I think...and her trusty eagle stepping on the bad guys. She looks like a Penelope to me.}

While admiring the Rotunda, Nancy Pelosi and two men I'm assuming were bodyguards walked right past our group. I couldn't react fast enough to get my camera, but I did make a few observations. She's a very small lady, her suit was beautiful (and looked expensive), whatever perfume she was wearing smelled amazing, and she was most definitely not friendly. You see, some of our students were taking pictures and were in her path, and that made her very huffy. That was disappointing to see. I'll cut her some slack and assume she was having a bad day.

{The center door at the bottom is where the President emerges to be inaugurated.}

{Supreme Court building}

On our walk from the Jefferson Memorial to the FDR Memorial, the rain came again. Except this time, the sun stayed out. You know what that means...

{I just HATE that there were raindrops on the lens, but I had to snap that double rainbow quick!}

{The kids were so excited.}

I wish I could wrap every day up with a rainbow.


  1. Great pictures Julie! Looks like you made some great memories!

  2. Elizabeth, thanks for stopping by. I'm working to get better with my photography skills, but I manage to snap a few good ones every now and then.

    I hope you, David, and Owen have a lovely weekend!


  3. I have to agree with Lauren, your pictures are amazing! And what a treat at Arlington cemetary! When we were there is was COLD and no one was there...
    Again, a wonderful trip for your students!
    Hope your weekend is restfull...before you know it you will have a couple of months to rest up!

  4. Lauren, you are far too kind to me, friend. Thanks for stopping by...can't wait to catch up on your blog this weekend!


  5. Annesta, thanks a bunch for your kind words! I think everyone should go to Arlington at least once in their emotional and moving. I'm so glad the students got to experience it, even in the pouring rain :) Looking forward to summer...I bet you are, too! Enjoy your weekend!



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