The Other Side of the United States - My Family Travels

Coming from Idaho and never traveling farther east than Utah, I could just feel in my bones, this was going to be a whole new experience. There were five of us all together and we were headed to see Washington DC for the first time in our lives. This would be a journey to the other side of the United States we would never forget.

We were all going for the same reason, National History Day. My partner and I were going to perform a play about the legacy of Mr. Rogers. The other two girls had made a poster about Philo T. Farnsworth. We knew it was going to be hard to succeed in the national competition against about one hundred students from each category.

Upon arriving at the airport, we checked our entired luggage in, and headed to the security check. Of course I had to be wearing a hair clip, which happened to be made of metal, trying to get through a metal decector. After about three tries, taking off something new each time, I finally figured out it was the hair thing.

When we made it to the terminal there were a lot of people waiting for the flight. Our first flight was to Salt Lake City, Utah. I saw my math teacher, Mr. Nuxoll, and a few other teachers waiting for the same plane. Now I don’t know if it is jsut me, but seeing a teacher anywhere outside of school is usually wierd, but having him fly on the same plane as you makes it really strange.

There was nothing too exciting about the airports after this, besides leaving the Washington DC’s Dulles airport. After waiting an hour in the rain and humidity, that no one was use to, the shuttle driver finally decided to leave. Our chaperone gave him the address to the hotel, and the GPS showed him where to go, but he still couldn’t figure out where to take us. My partner watched his GPS and saw it say “turn left” as we turned right.

The next day was filled with figuring out the University of Maryland Shuttle system and studying for the ACT. The ACT was on Saturday at a school in Maryland. I’ll never forget the reaction from the teacher reading the licenses for the ACT. It was “Maryland, DC, IDAHO? Boy you girls came a long way!”

For the next few days we were practicing for our competition. The only excitement in our competition really was with the button trading. I got a button from every state by telling them “You don’t have Idaho until you have a potato!”

I loved the Washington Monument and the Arlington Cemetery, but the museums in DC just weren’t as exciting. The only museum I’ll never forget is the National Archives. The line for the Rotunda is huge and it takes an average person about twenty minutes to get through. So I decided to take a bite of a granola bar while waiting in line. The security guard immediately caught me and sent me to the gift shop to wait for the rest of my group.

When we got home everything was different. In Idaho, there are hardly any people and houses or farmland are everywhere. It was almost a culture shock to come back to what seemed like nothing after ten days of huge buildings and thousands of people. I never really realized how different each state was until I came home and suddenly noticed new things that hadn’t really seemed important before. 

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