Written by Delia Saastamoinen
Today was a drive day. Nothing totally exciting happened, but nothing particularly horrible happened either. The only thing that could be considered bad was that we left on Friday the 13th (it’s such good luck). We stayed at this house that was part of a church. It was literally my dream house. It was glorious. There was a kitchen but no stove (weird, right?) so we cooked outside. Cody had just had his braces on and those who have had braces know how painful it can be so he had spaghettios. It was Lauren’s birthday so we made her skip around the bus (she walked) and then continued to sing Happy Birthday to her at all opportunities (at least seven times). Elliot & Crew made a snow fort as well.
Day Two was another drive day since Day One was just a layover. We drove through Connecticut where I came up with the “great” pun of “Connect-the-dots-icut.” We stayed in (oh my word!) another church. This one was an actual church, not a house on church property. We went to the National Constitution Center and watched a “multi-media presentation” (which was not a boring slideshow, mind you. There was a speaker and animations and all sorts of cool stuff) and then played a game called “Stump/Impress Brian” because Brian had made it his goal to tell us as many fun history facts as he could, so we walked around the constitution center and found facts to stump/impress him. After that we walked to the Liberty Bell, which was crowded and full of unintentional (yet inevitable) photobombs. After the Liberty Bell, we walked (some more) to Jim’s where we got famous Philly cheesesteaks. They were delicious and we somehow ended up with a few extras, so some extra hungry people got at least another half.
Day Three was when we went to Camden, NJ and met up with the Urban Trekkers. Before we met up with them we went to a recreation center and most of us swam and then we had showers (!!!!). After getting all clean and presentable, we met up with them and then followed their car through the city (not in a creepy way, they were showing us around). They led us to their workshop where they make boats which was also a museum. They showed us the boats they’ve been working on and the boats they’ve finished. Then Mark made us dinner and the cook crew that would have had that night jumped in to help. We hung out with the other Urban Trekkers while we waited for dinner. We talked and told jokes and it was really enjoyable. Dinner was chicken and rice, pasta salad, and corn. It was absolutely delicious and a great end to the day.
Day Four was… interesting. I don’t want to say it was the best day ever or it was really fun, but it was interesting. We drove to our newest location, which was a church in Virginia, though we are to spend our days mostly in Washington D.C.. We visited the Holocaust Museum where we were each given a little booklet about a person’s life. Each of us got a different person and not everyone survived. There were four floors and you start at the top and work your way down. There were pictures and maps and news clippings and videos and all sorts of things to give you information. It was a fascinating, yet depressing, experience.
Day Five was the next day in D.C. and it was hopefully a full day. On the itinerary we were scheduled to go to Arlington National Cemetery and then, I believe (I don’t have the schedule in front of me), a few museums. It was a snow day for the town we were in, so, because nobody was coming in for church activities, we hung out for a bit until after lunchtime. We played games and talked with each other. Then, we headed out to go to Arlington and such. Well, we get there to find Arlington closed. We decided to try for the Air and Space Museum. Guess what? That was closed as well. We decided that, instead of the nighttime walkthrough we had planned, we would go to the monuments now. It was a bit crowded and slippery, but it was a powerful experience to see all these amazing creations dedicated to an event or person. We get back to the church and re-set up our sleeping arrangements we had taken down for the day (just in case anyone decided to come to church) and then we had a circle. We had a great dinner of grilled cheese (my cook crew) and then we had a circle. Now we have circles a lot, but we don’t normally have them after dinner. Emily explained that she had offered to help out in return for them letting us stay there because they ran a pretty tight schedule and it must have been a bit delaying to have 18 or so people staying there. She said that we were going to clean out some gunk stuck in the sink, which was making it smell really bad. We all believed it. Then they open up the kitchen to reveal an ice cream bar. But the surprises didn’t stop there. After the ice cream, we all got out our sleeping bags and watched Guardians Of The Galaxy. All in all, it was a fabulous day.
On day six we took a tour of the Capitol Building, which was really interesting (but still tiring… we were standing up for two hours straight). Then we walked to the Air and Space Museum and ate at an insanely expensive McDonalds before splitting into groups and exploring the museum. It was out of this world and I’m kind of upset that we flew through it. It sounds very uneventful when you write it out, but I didn’t include every little detail.
On Day Seven we drove back to our first stop for another layover. We had packed everything we needed for the next two days in our backpacks so we had max efficiency. We dropped off our sleeping stuff and then went to another rec center for more swimming and showers. We had pizza. It was glorious.
On Day Eight we drove to Boston where we just hung out, really. Like… that’s it.
On Day Nine we met up with Misty Start who joined us on our walk of the Freedom Trail with Jeremiah Poope (yes that’s his real name). We walked from building to building and took shortcuts through allies (“This is the only time in your life it will be okay to follow a strange man who gave you candy down a dark alley” –J.P) and he gave us all lollipops. After the walk we went to Quincy Market and had lunch and walked around.