By Callie Shehan
On October 28th King University conducted their 20th annual Experience DC Trip for all freshmen. The trip, which began in 2000, gives the students opportunities to experience Washington DC like never before. Unfortunately, the pandemic also halted the trip for the first-year class of 2020, and this year both classes of 2020 and 2021 were invited to join in on the fun.
As an incoming freshman, I jumped to the chance to experience DC for myself.
My friends and I left around noon and traveled by bus to Washington D.C., only to arrive around 8:30 pm. We stayed at Hyatt Regency Washington on Capitol Hill that, provided a grand view of Capitol Hill itself upon arrival. Students were roomed together based on if they were on a team, dormmates, or for commuters, if they lived closed to one another. Many students spent their first night in D.C, exploring the city by getting a bite to eat, checking out Chinatown, and doing other fun stuff.
For Friday and Saturday, we were issued tracks and my track for Friday was originally going to be Memories of War but unfortunately, due to the extremely rainy weather, a few groups, including my own, went to the Smithsonian. We all went to the Museum of Natural History, (yes, the one from The Night of The Museum) and I was told that to see everything inside the museum, you would need to spend about five to six hours there. I spent about three and a half hours inside the museum looking at almost all the exhibits, and overall, I had a great time touring the museum.
For Saturday, I followed the Arlington National Cemetery track where thousands of service members are buried, including some presidents. I’m so thankful that this time we didn’t get rained out because it was beautiful. We went and saw the graves of John F. Kenndy and his family, witnessed the changing of the guard at The Tomb of The Unknown Soldier, and I got to visit the gravesite of my Great-Uncle. Arlington was a very somber place to visit, and I spent half my time crying because it was such an eye-opening experience. Being there and seeing miles of nothing but gravestones really made me feel respect for all the those buried there. I’m very grateful to have gotten to experience all of these things in Washington D.C. I think it’s important for freshmen to go on this trip because it’s something new to try, you can make new friends and see just how much the city is different from Bristol.
The 2022 Experience DC Trip will be held September 22nd through the 24th. More information will be provided closer to the next trip.