Every February, 200 8th graders and their band of fearless chaperones fly off to Washington DC for the weekend. This year was one of the greatest.
For the first time ever, our entire group flew out from Indy on Friday afternoon. Usually we wake up in the middle of the night for super early flights so this was a major improvement in the sleep department. Because there are so many of us, we have to split into multiple planes. My group landed in Maryland, drove to Virginia and checked into our hotel just in time for a late dinner.
Ain't no party like a Pizza Party with 200 of your best friends.
Every day begins with a breakfast buffet at the hotel and unlimited coffee for the chaperones which we take full advantage of. Then we load up on the buses and head off to explore the DC area.
Our first stop Saturday morning was at the White House.
The view of the White House lawn, down the mall to the Washington Monument and the Capital.
The Red Room
State Dining Room
Penn Ave Entrance
African American History Smithsonian
Last year was our first time at this Museum and I only saw the top 2 floors. This year, Mrs. Hall and I got right in line downstairs to see the three lower levels. It was incredible-- I think being a museum designer/creator/curator in DC would be such a cool job.
Interactive Luncheonette Counter
The National Cathedral-- built entirely of Indiana Limestone, the final resting place of President Woodrow Wilson, Helen Keller and Anne Sullivan, 3 Rose Windows and a window featuring a moon rock.
Natural History Smithsonian and American History Smithsonian
Night Tour of the Jefferson Memorial, Korean War Memorial, Lincoln Memorial and Vietnam War Memorial
For the first time since I've been chaperoning this trip, we visited Ford's Theatre where President Lincoln was shot by John Wilkes Booth.
Derringer pistol that Booth used to shoot Lincoln from behind.
The view of the President's Box Seats in the Theatre which is still used today.
Museum and Peterson House (where Lincoln died) across the Street from Ford's.
Iconic Bus Drivers and Chaperones-- no question, they're why this trip is so great.
All group picture on the steps in front of the Capitol Building. These six students are our "runners" who will show up in the picture twice. We couldn't have asked for better weather.
Hodgin and I are always on the bus together and this year we got to be a team with Mrs. Hall-- best Bus Luke trio that has ever existed.
FDR and MLK Memorials
Washington Monument and WWII Memorial
Observation Desk of the Kennedy Center (we've only ever come here at night, but coming at sunset was incredibly beautiful)
Air Force Memorial-- the first time we've ever walked right up to it-- and the Pentagon Memorial
Dinner at Chevvy's Mexican Restaurant-- still our favorite meal of the entire trip
Monday- President's Day
From our hotel, we drove to Mt. Vernon (Washington's Home) in Virginia to tour the grounds.
Arlington National Cemetery
Four of our students participated in a Wreath Laying Ceremony at the Changing of the Guard at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier.
One of our student's found the final resting place of her Great Grandfather on the new niche wall on the exterior of Arlington.
Air and Space Smithsonian
Late Monday afternoon the majority of our group headed back to the airport in Baltimore to fly back home again. After four days of eating in food courts and airports, this Pie Five was the grand finale.
Once again, this trip was one of my favorite traditions. Of course going to all of these places is awesome, but I love getting to spend so much time with these kids outside of the classroom and getting to know them better.