Thursday, June 18, 2015

Touring Washington D.C in One Day

Beep. Beep. Beep. My alarm clock was going off and both Justice and I jumped up to turn it off at the same time. This time I didn't miss it. Unlike yesterday, today I was the early bird and Justice slept in. 

Washington Monument
Everyone met in the lobby like planned after multiple trips back to our rooms. After a couple minutes, our taxi arrived to drop us off at the National Mall. 

Upon our arrival, we headed for a restaurant to dine at. Eventually, we ended up at Potbelly Sandwich Works. The food was amazing and perfect for a breakfast meal. 

Walking off the meal was a good idea. After a couple of blocks, we strolled into the long Holocaust Museum line. Due to time limitations, we waited in line for tickets at a later time so we could come back. To kill time, we walked around National Mall. The first magnificent historic site we came across was the World War II Memorial. With fountains and great stone pillars, the monument amazed me a lot. After walking another long stretch, we wound up at the Lincoln Memorial. The Lincoln Memorial was gigantic and splendid. The architecture was beautiful, along with the statue of President Lincoln himself. 
Cornell cohort posing in front of the World War II Memorial
The Lincoln Memorial was great, but we had to keep moving to stay on schedule. Due to the humid, hot weather. We stopped to get Popsicle and Italian ice. Thank you Chan-Law! 

Now with refreshments, we began our walk to Martin Luther King Memorial. MLK Memorial was just as beautiful as the Lincoln and WWII Memorial. The MLK Memorial consisted of quotes from Martin Luther King and an amazing statue of MLK himself. 

MLK statue
National Park was beautiful and after many pictures taken, we headed to Georgetown University. The first step onto campus made me gasp my breath and stare in amazement at the old style campus. Honestly, I felt like I was stepping into Hogwarts from Harry Potter. Before our tour of the campus, we stopped by at a coffee shop, Mugs, to eat a brief lunch. 

Our tour began at 12:30. Georgetown University was presented like the usual colleges. A quick introduction of Georgetown taught me that it was founded in 1789 and interesting enough, by John Carroll, the first catholic bishop. Currently, Georgetown consists of 13,500 students with 4 undergraduate schools. Like most colleges, many of their Freshman apply undeclared and by end of Sophomore year they declare a major. 

Georgetown is an amazing school, with students and faculty members knowing the extensive background behind their college. One building that caught my attention was the McDonough Business building, a brand new building with the latest technology. Beautiful on the outside and ten times more amazing inside. Thanks to Yijin, we got to tour the astonishing campus. 

Georgetown campus
The only downfall in my opinion for the school that deters me is the constant reinforcement of religion. Coming from a non-religion background, the talk about Catholicism around campus can be uncomfortable. Educational wise, I would totally consider attending Georgetown University. The great atmosphere and constant talk about the great staff, excites me more to learn more. 

Our last monumental site we visited was the one that excited me the most: The White House. Wow, I couldn't believe I was standing right there. Right in front of the White House. Due to the lack of time, we snapped multiple pictures and headed to the Holocaust Museum. The moment we walked into the museum, all the laughter and smiles dissipated and was replaced by gasps of astonishment. An hour of walking through the 3-story museum, taught me so much I never knew about the Holocaust. 
The front of the White House
The Holocaust Museum
Walking into the pouring rain in 80 degrees changed our mood in a good way. With smiles back on our faces, we called a taxi and headed back to the hotel in a rush to shower and get ready for the dinner with Georgetown alumni and students. I hit the shower first, followed by Justice. Everyone met downstairs in the lobby on time at 6:50 and we headed to the City Tavern Club. 

The City Tavern Club was beautiful. The decor was very different, making one feel like they are in the White House dining with first class citizens. Introductions were exchanged between alumni, ILCers, and Sean Redmond the president of City Tavern Club. After mingling with Connor Rohan, Kevin Sullivan, and Joe, we took our seats. I gladly took a seat with Sean to the left of me, Gabriela Perla to the right of me, and Bebe Albornoz in front of me. The dinner was amazing! I held conversations with each alumni sitting near me and Sean. Gabriela was great to talk to. We found out that both of us have a passion for musical instruments, she plays the piano, while I play the piano, clarinet, and saxophone. Bebe Albornoz was very chill to talk to, but she hates physical sports, while I love any physical activity. Both were very nice and funny, treating Shanti and I as long time friends. Connor, Sean, Julie, Thao, and I had another conversation. After telling Connor and Sean about our day and what we thought about Georgetown, Connor and Sean got into a fiery debate about Capitalism and Socialism. It was quite interesting listening to both sides, but I have to give my hats to Sean, as even though I believe in Socialism, he won the debate against Connor. All in all, both were amazing guys who have become so successful in their lifetimes. 

Group picture of Georgetown alumni, ILCers, and Sean
The dinner ended and we all headed up the stairs to take a group picture. Surprisingly, our night was not over there. Sean cordially gave us a tour of the building. By the end of the night, I realized I had just dined in a very historic building that was founded in 1796. The only part of the tour that made everyone jump out of our pants was when Sean brought us to the Inn keeper's room and said her spirit supposedly still haunts the tavern. Luckily, he has not met her and we left quick enough to not meet her either. 

Today was a long day, but tomorrow will be even more hectic and busier, with our train ride to Pennsylvania, lunch with UPenn alumni, a tour of  UPenn, and a plane ride to Cornell. Wish us luck!

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