Washington, D. C. - 2011

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Eighteen students and ten adults loaded all their gear on our charter bus at 6:30 AM at PVS this morning. Parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles, and interested neighbors came to the school to see us off. By lunchtime we were on the New Jersey Turnpike and we arrived at the National 4-H Center on 7100 Connecticut Avenue in Chevy Chase, MD., which is just outside of Washington, DC. We ordered pizzas and played and played some more. We will get up bright and early in the morning, stop off for a photo shoot at the White House and then off to the Smithsonian Museums, the National Holocaust Museum, the National Archives, and a night time walking tour of the monuments. We are very excited about going to 5-Guys for dinner.

Monday, April 11, 2011

After a fine breakfast at the 4-H Center, we departed for a quick White House photo shoot and were on our way to the Smithsonian Museums. The weather was very warm and sunny. Half of our group went to the Museum of Air and Space and the other half went to the Museum of American History. We hustled over to the Holocaust Museum because we had tickets for the Permanent Exhibit for 11:45 AM. We spent about two hours going through the top three floors of the exhibit. After lunch at the cafe, we went back to the Museum of Natural Science and then were grateful for the bus ride to the National Archives. After viewing the Constitution, Bill of Rights, and Declaration of Independence among other documents, we got back on to the bus and headed to 5-Guys for the best burgers and fries in DC! While most were ready for a foot massage, we traveled by bus to the World War II Memorial, then on to the Korean War Memorial, the Vietnam Memorial, and lastly the Lincoln Memorial. We arrived back at the 4-H Center at 9 PM and hobbled to our rooms for the night.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Well...we did everything on the itinerary...and so it is now 11:24 PM and we are going to sleep. It poured while we were at Arlington, but cleared for Mount Vernon...and the dinner theatre was great. The 11:15 Wreath Laying at the tomb of the unknown was in done "in honor of Piermont Village School"....a proud moment indeed. Here is the U-Tube link to a short video of the ceremony: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NXGnkTlNHOA I am going to try to upload a few representative pics before I fall into bed. We will be at breakfast at 6:45 so that we can have coffee with Senator Shaheen at the Hart Building at 8 AM. Until tomorrow...proud to be a panther!

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Leaving the 4-H Center at 7:15 AM we made our way to the Senate Hart Building Room 520 to coffee with Senator Jeanne Shaheen and her Aides. We learned that the Aides worked very hard. Senator Shaheen does in fact have a picture of at least one cow in her office. She was very warm and shook hands with each of us and had a professional photographer take our picture. From there we made our way to the Library of Congress where we had an exceptional tour. Danny shared the information he learned about the Library. The LOC is a "research library" not a lending library (nothing leaves the library but anyone 16 years of age with a library card can have access to the research collection). Of the 100 million items in the collection, there are of course many, many books, and some of the amazing items include lots of cartoons, the first Barbie Doll, really old Bibles, and violins, pianos, and sheet music. We took the underground tunnel over to the United States Capitol and had an awesome tour. After the Capitol tour, we went to the Ford Theatre and Museum. Everyone had a great time buying DC souvenirs. We ended our busy day with a trip to the National Zoo and trip to the unbelievably busy food court at Union Station for dinner. Back at the 4-H Center students were able to hang out with students from all over the country at the Rec. Room.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

After a leisurely start to the day, we had a tour at the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts. Kasey began our tour with information she learned about the center. Again, our tour guide was terrific and shared lots of neat stories about her experiences as a volunteer at the center. While in the largest theater, we were invited by the Vice President of Production, Mickey Berra, who took our group back stage to show them the capacity and capabilities of the second biggest stage in America. He spent a bunch of time with us and the students were very appreciative. After lunch at the Old Post Office Pavilion, a group of us took the elevator and stairs up the Post Office Tower to enjoy the historic bell tower and lovely views of DC. Back to the Smithsonian Museums in the afternoon. While waiting for our bus on the steps of the Museum of Natural Science, Etta shared her research on Mount Vernon and Emily shared her information about the Capital Building. Then we finished our day by visiting the Jefferson Memorial and the FDR Memorial. Tel and Noah covered these memorials and Christopher told us about the Washington Monument.