I'm in a New York (Philly, and D.C.) State of Mind | My Family Travels
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Last November, I left behind the Georgia peaches and headed to the Big Apple for the first time. Although I had recently moved and transferred high schools, my previous band director was gracious enough to let me tag along with the Bainbridge High School Marching Band on their expedition to Washington, D.C., New York City, and finally, the Dunkin’ Donuts Thanksgiving day Parade in Philadelphia. A reunion with my old friends, my first journey across the Mason-Dixon Line- I was stoked! It was certainly a week I’ll never forget.
  •   Sunday, November 20, 2011– Departure day! We had to arrive at the high school at 3:45 A.M, and didn’t get to D.C. until 1 A.M. It was one of those days that made me especially thankful for coffee.
  • Monday, November 21, 2011- It was a dreary day in D.C., but we had lots of fun. After strolling though the Smithsonian and many art museums, we took a ride on the carousel in the mall- we may be teenagers, but it was our favorite part of the day! We also visited the reflecting pool; isn’t it just beautiful?

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    Washington behind the scenes, folks…

We also found the perfect tree for leaf-fights. I promise we’re not as immature as we sound!

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Here are some more pictures of D.C.'s worst weather ever.
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  • Tuesday, November 22, 2011- NEW YORK! We went shopping at FAO Schwartz, ate legitimate New York pizza at Famiglia’s, and even got lost! No worries- we found our band director in a McDonald’s. As a high school theater geek, my favorite park of our stay in New York was seeing Phantom of the Opera on Broadway. Of course, I took a TON of pictures.

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Oh, and Justin Bieber was in town…

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  •  Wednesday, November 23, 2011- Before saying farewell to New York, we saw the Rockette’s Christmas Spectacular and ate a delicious lunch at Dallas BBQ. Instead of sight-seeing in Philly that afternoon, we sat in New Jersey traffic for a couple of hours. But I did pass the exit for my dream school, Princeton University, on the way to Philadelphia, so all was well! Once we finally arrived in Philly, we checked into a Sheraton hotel full of nothing but high school band students! It was a band geek’s dream come true.
  • Thursday, November 24, 2011- We woke up dark and early (not even the sun is crazy enough to wake up at 4 AM) to get to the Dunkin’ Donuts Thanksgiving Day Parade. It was a great parade, and I even ended up on television! Because I was not marching, I acted as unofficial photographer for the parade.

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After the parade ended, the chaperones and I managed to get lost, but no worries! Our alternate route to the bus gave me time to enjoy Philly in the fall.

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Exhausted and freezing, we boarded the buses and began the long journey home (after passing another dream school of mine, UPenn!). We ate Thanksgiving dinner in our D.C. hotel whose name I can’t recall, and maybe that’s a good thing- the meal wasn’t exactly like mom and dad’s at home.

  • Friday, November 25, 2011- Home sweet home! Well, sort of. After uncomfortably sleeping in bus aisles and barely-reclining chairs, we cheered at the sight of the Bainbridge High School parking lot (the only time anyone cheered upon entering a high school). The trip was over- well, almost. I still had a two-hour drive back to my house.

Visiting the Northeastern United States for the first time is a memory I will always cherish; it allowed me to visit unknown places, experience different cultures, and most important, see my old friends again. It was definitely worth the hours and hours of driving!

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