If you remember last week's post, I updated you on my first-of-three-days training with WorldStrides. That means I've got two more days to tell you about!
This was our Day 2...
Friday began by meeting our 8th grade group bright & early at their hotel in Virginia and then taking a quick coach ride over to Arlington National Cemetery to see the guard change at the Tomb of the Unknowns. Our particular group was also scheduled to lay a wreath at the tomb following the guard changing ceremony - a fairly common occurrence. Heidi (aka Mama Bear) has a set of legs that are still not 100% following surgery of this past year, so I was tasked with leading the group during certain portions of our morning walk. Normally, I'd think nothing of walking through Arlington, but when you've got 40 people following you, circumstances change somewhat. Thankfully, I remembered the correct route to take from the Kennedy gravesite to the tomb, and all was well. After laying our wreath and leading the group back towards the entrance for a restroom break, we headed back into DC.
I got to present the WWII Memorial to the kids, and then join them as they took the elevator up to the top of the Washington Monument (something I'd never done during all my years in DC - thank you very much 8th graders of Lodi, Wisconsin for letting me tag-along). The vista from the top was impressive to say the least. The city was covered in white following our recent snowfall and at each viewing window there were pictures and diagrams to help you make sense of the landscape. After descending to ground level and scarfing down boxed lunches aboard the coach, it was time to make our appointment at the Capitol Building.
Again, I got to walk the kids up the hill and then paid close attention to Heidi as she went through all the logistics of getting the kids their tickets and lining them up properly for entrance. While the kids were on the tour, Heidi, Rob & I adjourned to the cafeteria to talk shop and the two of them answered all the questions I could conjure up. Once the kids were done with their tour we brought them over to the Library of Congress, Supreme Court and then back down to the front of the Capitol Building for a group picture near the Grant Statue.
At this point, the day's torrid pace truly began to impress me. It was barely three o'clock in the afternoon and we'd been moving since sunup on a continuous march of discovery through the city. These school groups really attack DC during their time here and walking 8 or 9 miles during a given day is a common occurrence.
The kids then had a few hours to roam around the Smithsonian museums (American & Natural History) before we departed for a buffet dinner. We would return to the city later in the evening for a trip to the souvenir shop followed by a night time journey around the Tidal Basin. I got to talk with the group about the Jefferson Memorial - a topic with which I'm somewhat familiar.
Tomorrow I'll wrap up with a Day 3 recap. Stay tuned.