Saturday, July 16, 2011


You might guess that after working all week that we would have the weekend off to be lazy. In fact, you would be guessing wrong because our weekend days turn out to be as if not more busy than the week days. Because we were both up late the night before, Alex and I tried to get some extra sleep so we woke up at 7. We got our stuff packed up and then headed down to the local store to grab a quick breakfast for the bus ride to Washington, D.C. The bus ride was pretty much business as usual, I enjoyed my breakfast, talked for a while, and then read my book. Occasionally I took the time to look out of the windows to enjoy the lush countryside. I enjoyed seeing how green everything was even though it’s summer because there is actually a sufficient amount of water here to grow grass during the summer unlike California. By the time the two hour ride was over, I was quite ready to get off the bus to stretch my legs for a bit.

We first got off the bus at Georgetown University. One of our Summer Discovery counselors Elliot who has worked at Georgetown programs before was kind enough to offer to give people a tour of the University. Although Alex, Julia, and I skipped it because we had toured Georgetown only two weeks ago, we heard good things about the tour later. In lieu of the tour, we took the option of walking to the town part of Georgetown where we ate lunch. We agreed on a modern-looking restaurant that specialized in crepes and burgers. The restaurant had a nice loft area upstairs that we sat in and waited for our food. The service was a little bit slow, but I really enjoyed the dish that I ate which was a chicken sandwich. After lunch we had a bit of time left before we had to return to the bus so we took a look at some of the local shops. In particular, being the hungry teenagers that we are, we were drawn to the house wares store that was giving out free popsicles. After realizing that none of us needed new ceramic alarm clocks or fancy sheets, we left the store and walked back to the University. Once again I was impressed by the beauty of the Georgetown campus while we waited underneath a large tree on the lawn for the busses to arrive.

The next leg of our trip took only about half an hour for us to drive to the National Mall. We were all excited to do a bit of sightseeing and to enjoy the Smithsonian Museums. The first thing we did was to stroll down towards the Capitol. I was with Alex, Julia, and several international students who had not seen the Capitol building yet, so it was a fun first-time experience for them and a pleasant repeat for us. After a bit of debate, we decided that we would all enjoy spending the remainder of our time at the Air and Space Museum. I visited here once on a school trip in 8th grade but since then I have become a lot more interested in airplanes and the technology behind them. I’ve always enjoyed planes, but recently I have toyed with the idea of making a career out of it. Watching events such as the Atlantis Space Shuttle completing its final mission and seeing the absolutely incredible images that are beamed to Earth by the Hubble and Spitzer space telescopes has made me want to get involved in these sorts of projects. I don’t yet know if I want to go for a degree in aeronautical or aerospace engineering or something like that yet, but simply getting exposure to my interests is very helpful in getting me to think about what I want to do in the future. For that reason as well as the fact that planes are just really cool, I enjoyed my time at the Air and Space Museum a lot. (I feel like I could make a silly simile here about how my hobbies are like a piece of film because the more time I am exposed to them the more developed my thoughts about what I want to do with my life become.)

Anyways, after I was pulled away from the countless airplanes in the museum, we hopped onto our bus that seemed very slow compared to say an SR-71 Blackbird. While the traffic prevented us from going Mach 5 all the way home, a combination of reading, watching a movie, talking, and dozing off made the return trip pass quickly. I really enjoyed the time we spent in D.C. today, and I’m looking forward to ice skating tomorrow. Until then, it’s time for some well deserved rest.

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