Two years ago, my family went to Virginia and Washington D.C. at the beginning of the summer. We traveled with our cousins and grandparents from San Jose and stayed with other cousins who live in Virginia.
It was like one big family reunion! For the first half of the trip we stayed with our cousins in Stafford, Virginia. We visited Williamsburg and a few other old colonial cities. We got to tour the Pentagon, where my Uncle works and we checked out ‘Ground Zero,’ the restaurant at the center of the Pentagon.
We visited Shenandoah National Park, catching site of a baby black bear and some of the world’s biggest caves. One thing we learned while in Virginia was to limit the amount of time you spend outdoors during the summer days. It reached 100% humidity at points and a warning was even issued stating not to exercise outdoors.
But that didn’t stop my dad, cousin, and me from waking up early and going to a couple National Forests to run every morning. Who knew you could drench yourself in sweat by just sitting on a bench for a few minutes?! During the second half of the trip we all packed up and stayed in a hotel in the middle of Washington D.C. The first morning I ran from monument to monument while taking a pre-tour of the city.
It was one of the best things I did on the whole trip. Watching the sun rise while walking up the steps of the Lincoln Memorial was truly spectacular. The first day we got to sit in on a session of Congress and tour the Capitol building.
‘Dang!’ I thought, ‘How much better can this get?’ Little did I know, this was just the beginning. The second day we were lucky enough to get our number drawn for a White House tour. The third day we took an elevator to the top of the Washington Monument and looked out over the entire city, getting a view few people get to experience.
‘Wow, what a trip!’ I thought again. But wait, there was more. The next day we got into the National Archives Building and got to get a close up look at the Constitution, Declaration of Independence, and other important historical documents.
Then, on the last day, we took a walk and saw the war memorials, FDR memorial, and Jefferson Memorial. Despite the more than two weeks we spent in Virginia and D.C., we didn’t have nearly enough time to see and do everything we wanted. All of the many sights and sounds that we experienced while on the vacation connected all that I learned in U.S. History at school. But most of all we had a lot of fun and enjoyed the time we had with our family.
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