I really do love travelling. I’m not as experienced as some of my friends who have been to Australia, China, and Italy for months at a time, but I do love visiting new places and meeting new people. Washington D.C. has been an amazing place to travel and I hope you’ve enjoyed the “Washington Special” on my blog this week as I’ve shared my adventures with you. Whether or not you’ve been to this beautiful city, I think every American should see the foundations of our country. I have so much more appreciation after seeing all the documents, pictures, and buildings with my own eyes. I feel so much more connected to the history that has brought me and the other 310 million Americans to where we stand today.
My mom and I started the day off visiting the National Holocaust Museum. While I’ve seen Schindler’s List and I’ve been to the Museum of Tolerance in Los Angeles, this museum was another reminder of how real and tragic the Holocaust really was. It is nearly unimaginable that such a man like Hitler could come to power so quickly, that so many people would fall prey to his power under the banner of propaganda, and that so many lives could be lost without a trace. What is even more heartbreaking is that genocide still happens today. It is not a memory, it is a current event. My mom and I pledged today that we would take a stand against hate, and I said that I would do that specifically through the use of my blog. So here I am making that pledge again: may we treat each other not only with an attitude of tolerance, but of acceptance.
We then traveled down the street to what I thought was the Mint, but it is actually the Federal Bureau of Printing and Engraving. This is where they print money, not coins—which is in fact the Mint. The Bureau makes a billion dollars on a daily basis and it was so interesting to see the money go through the elaborate machines to avoid counterfeiting. I wish I could say more, but hey, it’s top secret! Not really…but no photography allowed or the “federal government would take my camera” so I didn’t want to risk it.
The next part of the day was a favorite. I’m an avid animal lover, so you can imagine that I was especially excited when we made a trip to the zoo. Washington D.C.’s zoo is especially special because they have panda bears (yes, I know San Diego does as well). The pandas were precious (hence the excessive gift shop spending) and we had so much fun watching them eat and sleep. What a life. I also loved seeing the tigers, baby gorilla, and cheetahs. It was an impressive zoo but they gave their animals a little too much space—we couldn’t find a lot of the animals!
Lastly, we stopped at the National Cathedral. Wow; what a sight. It’s the largest cathedral in the nation, and we were lucky to stumble upon a service with a singing choir. Hearing those voices ring throughout was a beautiful sound that brought sheer peace. There was an overarching sense of contentment.
Also, we traveled by Metro today. I was proud of my mom and me for looking like semi-citizens rather than full-on tourists with fanny packs and tennis shoes by taking the Metro. We have one more day left in D.C. and I’m sad to go—we’ve had such a wonderful time!
I hope that you did, do, or will enjoy your spring break! Be sure to take a break!
The Sunny Girl, Lauren Cook