Living it up in Washington, D.C.

My first experience with WordPress was a four-month blog I kept in early 2009 when I lived in Rockville, Maryland. I was interning at a non-profit organization through The Washington Center and I had agreed to keep a blog for my college newspaper (the ASU Herald at Arkansas State University in Jonesboro, Ark.).

I’ve always loved keeping travel journels, but this online version was 10-times better. It was way more organized, neat and easier to maintain then my previously written versions. Of course, I mainly contribute that to the fact that blogs are harder to lose than a physical journal.

I hated that I could not include these original blog entries when I first began this new travel blog — it just didn’t feel right. Today, I finally learned how to successfully export these blog posts (from my other—private—blog to this one). Hallelujah!

So, if you are one of the three subscribers (thank you by the way) I’m sorry if you get a whole lot of emails from this blog.

To see my first-ever blog post of the 2009 trip, click here. You can also view the overall 2009 experience of living, studying and interning in D.C. here.


Home Sweet Home

I am finally back home in Wynne, Ark., after four months in DC completing an internship. I checked out of my Rockville, MD, apartment at 9:30 a.m. yesterday, and had just enough time yesterday to buy a pink ‘Washington, DC’ hoodie at Union Station as we passed through DC to get to BWI Airport.

Out of five suitcases, four suitcases were mine and they were heavy and a pain to get to the airport. Luckily, none of the suitcases were overweight. Well-one weighed in at 56 pounds, so the check-in attendant asked me if I wanted to just take out 5 pounds in items so I could avoid the $90 overweight fee. I took out both a blanket and my winter coat and still weighed in at 51 pounds. The attendant kindly said she would overlook the extra pound and let me go on without paying the extra fee. Thank goodness!

Security was another issue for mom and I. Mom’s carry-on was searched because she had an item that looked like a “fishbowl.” Turns out, it was a plastic green flower that was in a little bowl of fake water that mom gave me during her last visit.

I stupidly said as she pulled it out, “oh, it’s fake!” The security guard was sarcastic answering me, however, she still had to call her superviser over to check that it was okay to allow to pass. It was fake water for crying out loud! The superviser gave her approval so we were soon back on our way!

Cindy was on a separate flight than mom, Elizabeth and I so she made it to Little Rock 30 minutes after the rest of us landed. It was fine with me, however, since it gave us enough time to put our luggage in the car and talk to my dad-who met us at the airport.

Dad and I watched Cindy’s plane land on the real time flight tracker and it was pretty cool to track Cindy’s progress on the digital map and guess which plane-hers or a Houston plane-was landing first based on their altitude. While standing there, man waiting for the Houston plane said the plane, scheduled to land at 5 p.m. that day, had been delayed due to a malfunction in the landing gear-it would not go up once they started to leave the runway! The plane had to turn around and passengers had to board another plane. However, to further complicate the flight-they had to wait for weather to clear. I’m glad I was not on that flight!

Once Cindy’s plane landed, we were quickly on our way and only stopped once to grab some food. We arrived home around 11:30 p.m. and I had a pleasant surprise once there!

I am the new and proud owner of a Toyota Corolla S car!!! I am so excited. I was too out of it to do more than look at the car and accuse everyone of lying to me (jokingly of course).

This morning, however, was a different story! I drove it to church and everywhere. I love it!

Taking in the sites one last time

Mom, Elizabeth and Cindy love Thai food.

We ate dinner at a Thai restaurant in Silver Spring, and they enjoyed the food despite their earlier misgivings. I was pretty excited! The meal was a welcome change to our day. After a late start, we visited the Smithsonian National Zoo and I was finally able to see Happy the Hippo and the baby gorilla. Afterwards, we set out to see the Hope Diamond at the Smithsonian Natural History Museum and stopped by the Smithsonian Castle. I must admit the jewelry at the Natural History Museum were my favorite items of the day (after the zoo of course!) and they were simply breathtaking!

We also visited the White House one last time since Cindy has never seen it. I do not think she was all that impressed-she kept saying she expected it to be bigger! 🙂 We tried to find the perfect hoodie for me after visiting the White House, but to no such luck.

Oh well, I always have tomorrow. I have to check out of my apartment at 9:30 a.m., and our flight is at 5:15 p.m. We are planning to take in a few more stops before we leave for the airport. However, I have so much luggage that we are going to be packed when we leave the apartment tomorrow! 😦

Well, I’m off to finish packing my luggage and cleaning the apartment!

A bubbly mess

My last roommate to go, Ever, made a mess in the kitchen tonight by putting Dawn dishsoap in the dishwasher. Cindy first noticed the bubbles flowing freely out of the dishwasher around 11:30. It is a huge mess, and it just had to happen on our LAST NIGHT here.

Mom and I did most of the cleaning though Ever helped here and there before she left to go out with her boyfriend and other interns from Mexico. I freaked out that she was leaving without helping clean up the mess-which could overstay us in the apartment and ruin the floors-and went to talk to our RA, Ann. I just wanted to make sure I would not be fined for anything she caused this close to check out and did not adequately clean up. She assured me, along with my younger sister Elizabeth, that I would not be fined for Ever’s messes. Thank goodness!!

To top it off, I fell off the bed while talking to Cindy, Mom and Elizabeth. One minute I was on the bed laughing and the next minute I was trying to catch myself on the glass doors leading to my small balcony. No such luck. I fell hard between the bed and the window.

We are still working on getting it cleaned (mainly mom) and I am also close to 90-percent packed. We are waking up early in the morning to clear out the rest.

Final Visit-Thursday

I picked my mom, younger sister Elizabeth and my best friend Cindy up at BWI airport this morning, and we began the first day of their visit right!! I made it to the airport just in time to meet them at the baggage area and we were quickly able to pick up their luggage and hop back on a metro bus to DC.

We started off the visit by going straight to eat since we were all starving, and ate at Red Lobster in Silver Spring! Tonight we completed a three-and-a-half bus tour of the DC monuments which was fantasic. Our tour guide was hilerous, however the only downfall was the heavy rain during our visit to the Lincoln, Vietnam and Korea memorials. We were still able to have some fun though. 🙂 See below: a picture of the group at the WWII Memorial.

Elizabeth, me, Cindy and Mom
Elizabeth, me, Cindy and Mom

After the tour, we decided to show Cindy Chinatown and stop at the McDonald’s there so Mom could get a burger. Ha, we got more than we bargained for after we met two cops who were more than friendly with us. They joked and scared Mom with scary stories about not eating the food-after we already ate the food-and pretended that they had a call to detain us. Mom actually stood up, put her hands on the wall and said “Frisk me!!” It was hilerous!!

It was after 1 a.m. when we finally got home from this, and we are all pretty worn out! However, there will be no sleeping in for us. We will be leaving bright and early for another day in DC!! First up: the zoo!

TWC Grad

I attended my graduation ceremony for The Washington Center today. It was okay, even though I was 30 minutes late-which infuriates me. I confused the National Housing Center with the Department of Interior and showed up 30 minutes early at the DOI just to find out that I was in the wrong place. Silly me.

On the bright side, I was able to talk to one of my best friends-Matt-for 15 minutes more. I did enjoy that especially since he admitted it was time for me to come back. 🙂 I do always love being told I’m missed!

Anyways, I was able to talk to my class’ final project partner one last time before he left as well as hang out with my first TWC friend-so the graduation ceremony was cool.

I have a job!

Once I get back May 16, I will be starting my new job two days later on Monday, May 18, at the Wynne Progress. Yes, I’m moving home.

I am actually excited about the prospect of moving home since I will get to be closer to my family for at least  a year before I move on. Elizabeth is wanting me home for her 21st birthday on Nov. 2, and I as well. I have also already told grandma and mom that I expect some home-cooked meals from time to time!

Never Too Late

I helped Cindy buy tickets to come visit me last night. She will flying to DC on Thursday with my mom and sister to pick me up and will fly home with all of us on Saturday. I cannot wait! 🙂

I am already planning what we are all going to do-I just hope the weather decides to be nice and sunny! Or at least not rainy!!

Yesterday, Sheila finally left after I met her fiance Al again and Al’s little brother. They were pretty cool, and it was hilerous watching Al’s brother trying to get these huge boxes out the door. He kept dropping something.

I have now moved into Sheila and Cay’s bedroom and I must say I love having my own room-even for a week! I have all my stuff here in the master bedroom just lined up to be packed. It is great! I must say Ever is loving it as well. She has more privacy with her boyfriend Oliver of Mexico, who is staying on here in DC with his internship assignment in a full-time position.

And so it ends…

The first of my roommates and fellow PHA interns left today. My roommate Caylah went home an extra day early after she found out another intern in the building was going her way, and my co-worker Monica finished up her internship as the advocacy and awareness intern as well. It was sad in both cases, well for me and not really them.

To finish up the internship, the interns-Monica, Patti and I-created our internship videos. I must say they are awesome to watch. We had video ourselves talking about what we did at PHA and why we recommend our internships. Along with our less-than-1 minute videos, we also created a nice 3 minute video of us talking and preparing for my internship video. We had no clue that the camera was recording and it caught us talking and preparing me to do the interview. It is actually pretty funny to watch.

Patti and I are the next to leave: I leave next Wednesday, May 13, and Patti will leave either the same day or Friday, May 15.

For the roommates, Sheila is leaving tomorrow at 9 p.m. after her fiance and his brother arrive to pick her up, and then it will be just Ever and I.

I cannot believe four months has already passed and the semester is over. It’s crazy!