Thursday, June 30, 2011

Off to the East

It’s been a long day, but I’m now on the east coast with Alex, Julia, and Mr. Miranda. Our month long trip officially began at 3:15 this morning when the four of us along with Don, Ms. Kronenberg , and our parents gathered in front of El Cerrito High School to wait for our shuttle. Don was kind enough to lend out any items he had that we had forgotten or didn’t own, so I borrowed several different cables to use with my laptop during my stay.

When the shuttle arrived at school, we were all surprised because it wasn’t a shuttle. Perhaps due to a shortage of shuttles, some sort of mix-up, or out of sympathy for us having to wake up so early in the morning, the shuttle company provided us with a limousine to ride to the airport. The trip to the airport was fast and I was very excited that we were finally on our way.
Julia in the airport looking very enthusiastic for how early it was
In the airport, everything went smoothly, and I soon fell asleep and woke to find myself in O’Hare airport 20 minutes ahead of schedule. We quickly transferred onto our flight for Washington, D.C., and after a short taxi ride with great views of the Washington Monument, the Capitol, the Lincoln Memorial and more, we arrived at our hotel in Georgetown.
The Hotel's Lobby
After a bit of relaxing time, we took a stroll around Georgetown, and we walked by Vice President Joe Biden’s house. Because Vice President Biden was arriving home at that time, we were escorted back a ways down the sidewalk where we watched a large Secret Service escort and Vice President Biden’s car drive through the gates to his house. While I’ve been to Washington, D.C. before, I’ve always found it very exciting to actually see the people who are crafting, reviewing, and enforcing the laws that affect every U.S. citizen’s life.

After a quick stop back at our hotel, we took a taxi and visited the White House. I was particularly moved, although I don’t necessarily agree with their arguments, by the anti-nuclear power and weapons protesters who have continuously protested in front of the White House 24 hours a day since 1981. This form of protest is by far the most moving example of freedom of speech to me, that any citizen who has an issue with the government can openly protest in front of their highest government leaders without fear of any sort of retaliation.
A man protesting in front of the White House
After a few pictures in front of the White House, we walked a few hundred feet to a restaurant called The Lafayette. The service and the food were fantastic, and their steak was by far the best that I have ever had. I enjoyed talking with the others about the various topics that came up, which ranged from our favorite foods to green energy and politics. To top the evening off, I had a delicious piece of Nutella cake, which unfortunately disappeared long before I took a picture of it. After dinner, we took a cab back to our hotel where I’m blogging now, thankful for a smooth day of travelling, and looking forward to the fun and learning ahead.
An amazing meal to end a long day

1 comment:

  1. Brian,

    Just curious, when the police were "escorting" you further away from Vice President Biden's house did you mention that you were with the ILC? They might have invited you in to say hello and maybe even stay for supper.

    I always find it amusing how great minds work alike, Brian. You were served a great dessert and it disappeared before you could snap any photos and I was served some leftover pizza and it, too, disappeared before I could take and photos. I'll try harder next time.