FC: 8th grade Washington D.C. Trip October 16-21, 2011 by Thomas Langenkamp
1: Table of Contents 1. Table of Contents 2. Sunday Journal 3. Gettysburg, PA 4. Monday Journal 5. Gettysburg, PA continued 6. Ford's Theatre, FDR, and Jefferson Memorials 7. Tuesday Journal 8,. Vietnam and Korean Memorials 9. Lincoln Memorial 10. Arlington Cemetery 11. Arlington Cemetery continued 12. Air and Space Museum 13. Natural History Museum 14. American History Museum / Kennedy Center 15. Iwo Jima Memorial 16. Wednesday Journal 17. World War II Memorial 18. White House 19. Holocaust Museum 20. Game Show Mania 21. Thursday Journal 22. Capitol Building 23. Mt. Vernon 24. Mt. Vernon Continued 25. Pentagon 9-11 Memorial 26. Air Force Memorial 27. Friday Journal | Photos by Thomas Langenkamp and Denise Petersen
2: Sunday Journal | I was excited, a little worried, and prepared to see D.C. with its towering white buildings and historical sites. I wanted to see the Smithsonian the most. I was also excited for the tasty meals we were going to get. I remember being really worried that I wouldn't remember my feelings before the trip and I would have a hard time writing my Sunday Journal. I also feared getting lost or forgetting something. I was looking forward to seeing the Smithsonian, Gettysburg and watching my friend lay the wreath on the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. I had prepared for the trip by doing many Washington D.C. related projects and by packing some snacks. I had spent most of my Sunday going to Mass, playing, and packing, before heading off to Washington D.C. My mom drove me to the tour buses at 7:46 PM. My mom took a photo of my friends and me, then we waited a couple of minutes to board the bus. We boarded the bus and drove off. We were on our way to our nation's capital, Washington D.C. ! | Bobby, Wyatt, Dan, and me waiting to board the bus at Coldwater Stadium. | Wyatt and me on the bus to Gettysburg and Washington D.C.
3: Monday Photos at Gettysburg | Me, Wyatt, and Bobby in front of General Pickett's where we ate breakfast | Cannon at Gettysburg battlefield | A scenic view that includes a historic farm house that was burned down during the Battle of Gettysburg | A Stone Watchtower on Little Round Top at Gettysburg battlefield
4: Calvin's father, of Calvin and Hobbes said, "Sometimes the anticipation of something is better than having it." The bus ride to Washington D.C. built up my anticipation, which made it enjoyable for me. I don't mean to imply that I was disappointed, because I was not. My friends and I boarded the buses for the long ride to Washington D.C. We watched the movie Night at the Museum. After the movie, the voice on the bus speakers announced that it was lights out and time to try to sleep. I hated sleeping on the bus because I could not find a comfortable position. Then, I discovered I had left my drinks at home, but luckily, Wyatt gave me one of his. Later in the night, it started to rain softly and I wondered if we would have to trudge through the mud at Gettysburg. Luckily, we didn't have any mud. In the morning, we had breakfast at General Pickett's and then we toured around Gettysburg battlefield. Breakfast was OK. I kept trying to get Wyatt to smile for a picture, but he would not. I only got him to smile once for a picture. We were assigned a good tour guide who used his hands to describe the battle. Gettysburg battlefield was a large area and I got a few scenic pictures from the top of a watchtower. There were some really cool rock formations at Devil's Den. There was a different small stone watchtower on top of Little Round Top. There were also many stones scattered around with dead soldiers names on them. Next, we left Little Round Top and went to the Gettysburg Visitor's Center. I had a pleasant time looking at gifts in the souvenir shop. Next, we watched a movie about the Gettysburg battle. After that, we went up an escalator and saw the Cyclorama, a circular painting of the battle. It was really cool. Some parts of the painting looked real enough to touch. Then, my friends and I had a long bus ride to Washington D.C, lunch, the Jefferson Memorial, and Ford's Theatre. Lunch was a buffet and half of my meal was dessert! When we arrived at the Jefferson Memorial, I was surprised at how big it really was. I looked outside the memorial and was sad that the cherry blossoms were not in bloom. Ford's Theatre was very fancy with comfy, red cushioned chairs. Unfortunately, I could not see where Lincoln was shot from where I was sitting. Later on, I did walk over there for a look. We then had some time for souvenir shopping and I bought my dad a shot glass and myself a glass rectangular prism with a few pictures of D.C. monuments inside. We then rode to the FDR memorial, the mall, and our hotel. The falling water made the FDR Memorial look awesome. I wanted to take more pictures, but my camera died. At the mall, I got a meal at McDonalds but my friends all wanted me to get Chinese. Once we arrived at Four Points Hotel, we all unpacked and I took a shower. I was glad I had a bed instead of a bus to sleep in that night. | Monday Journal
5: Devil's Den as seen from Little Round Top | Battle of Gettysburg Cyclorama | When I visited the Cyclorama, I thought the wheelbarrow you see in the picture was painted on. Later, I learned it was real. The Cyclorama was amazing in the way it went all the way around the room I've never seen that before.
6: A bronze statue of Franklin Delano Roosevelt | The house across the street from Ford's theater where Abraham Lincoln died | A booth inside Ford's Theatre where Lincoln was shot | A bronze statue of Eleanor Roosevelt | Thomas Jefferson's writing from the Declaration of Independence | A Bronze Statue of Thomas Jefferson | The Jefferson Memorial across the Potomac River | Famous Quote by Franklin Delano Roosevelt
7: In the morning, my friends and I ate at Golden Corral which was better than General Pickett's. I really enjoyed their sausage patties. Next, we drove over to the Lincoln Memorial. I liked the pillars and the giant steps on the back, left, and right sides. When we got inside, I went over to the Second Inaugural Address and looked through it until I found what I was looking for. I had researched earlier and found the "f" in future was messed up; so when I went to the Lincoln Memorial, I looked for it. I found the mistake after a few minutes of searching. After the Lincoln Memorial, we walked over to the Vietnam Wall. I placed my Vietnam poem in front of one of the black, reflecting panels that had the name Thomas W. Roberts on it. We then headed for the Korean Memorial. It was not as interesting to me. Next, my friends and I went to Arlington Cemetery. We walked around and saw some famous graves. Our group leader told us we would not see the Arlington House, but we ended up having enough time to see it later. It had pictures in the rooms of what the rooms looked like in the 1800's. Then, we walked all the way to the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. We sat there and waited for the Changing of the Guard and Wreath Ceremony. It was really hot outside which made it unpleasant. After that, we left Arlington Cemetery. As we got on the bus, we received boxed lunches. They were compact and delicious. After a bit of driving, we arrived at the Smithsonian museums. We went inside the Air and Space Museum first. It was like the Air Force Museum in Dayton, so I wasn't too impressed, but it was still cool. We looked around a bit, then left for the Museum of Natural History. I loved the geology exhibit there. There were lots of cool rocks and I took photos of all of them until my camera died. Then we met with the other groups at the Museum of American History and we all drove off to the National Archives. When we entered the room with the Declaration of Independence, I was disappointed by the fact that almost all the papers in the room besides the Declaration were facsimiles. That means most of them were fake. Then, my friends and I went to the Kennedy Center and had dinner at Harriet's. The view on top of the Kennedy Center was spectacular. We spent so much time looking around and talking that we missed the Millennium stage performance. Dinner at Harriet's was good. It was connected to another restaurant called Harry's. I enjoyed their French fries, but didn't get any meat. Next, we viewed the White House and looked at the Iwo Jima Memorial. We took the subway there and got to go up a three story escalator! Dustin Seger said the third hand down holding the flag on the memorial was coming out of nowhere and was called the Hand of God. It was really dark by then and we rode the buses back to our hotel. | Tuesday Journal
8: Vietnam Veterans Memorial | Korean War Memorial | An engraving at the Vietnam wall of a soldier named Thomas W. Roberts. I liked this because it depicted most of my friends and me. Thomas for me, W. for Wyatt, and Roberts for Bobby. I felt bad Dan was not included | VIETNAM and KOREAN MEMORIALS
9: Me and Grant Kaiser at the Lincoln Memorial | Can you find the mistake? | The Lincoln Memorial as seen from the bus | Me, Bobby, Wyatt, and Dan below Lincoln's statue | Ohio Pillar at the Lincoln Memorial | LINCOLN MEMORIAL
10: My friend Bobby Klosterman participated in the wreath ceremony at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier seen to the left. He didn't get to lay the wreath down and was a bit disappointed, however, he knew it was still an honor to be in the ceremony. The ceremony was solemn and everyone was quiet. | Wreath Ceremony at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier | Arlington Cemetery | Arlington House in Arlington Cemetery | ARLINGTON CEMETERY
11: I was impressed there are Guards who walk 24/7 in all weather every day of the year at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. | A picture of a few graves in Arlington Cemetery. There are over 27 funerals every day at Arlington Cemetery! | Madison Rose, Amber Livingston, Kelly Jutte, and Bobby Klosterman lining up for the wreath ceremony
12: Apollo Lunar Lander | A cool aircraft | AIR and SPACE MUSEUM | The Wright Flyer | A Rocket??
13: NATURAL HISTORY MUSEUM | Sapphires set in necklaces | A rainbow of minerals | Lion in the Hall of Mammals | Wyatt accepting caveman gift
14: AMERICAN HISTORY MUSEUM | KENNEDY CENTER | Top: Me staring at a model of a boat. Right: Civil war Uniform and weapons | Top: Hall of Nations Right: Clay Kennedy model
15: IWO JIMA MEMORIAL | The Marine Corps War Memorial, also called the Iwo Jima Memorial, is located outside the walls of Arlington Cemetery. Joe Rosenthal photographed the second raising of the U.S. flag by six marines on the fourth day of the battle of Iwo Jima on February 23, 1945.
16: Wednesday Journal At dawn, my friends and I went on the bus to eat at Golden Corral and look at the World War II Memorial. This time I knew what was good and what wasn't at the Golden Corral. As soon as we got to the World War II Memorial, we looked around. It was wet on the ground from the fountains and I had fun walking/sliding down the ramp. I also found the Ohio pillar. Next, we saw the outside of the White House. We weren't allowed to tour it on the inside. Most of our bus got group pictures there. I kept looking around to see if I could spot the snipers that were supposedly in the trees. I didn't see any. Near the White House we could see the church President Obama attends. I didn't even know the president went to church. The Bureau of Engraving was interesting. We looked around the entrance hallway for 15 minutes waiting for our turn to watch the video about the Bureau of Engraving. After the video, we took a tour. I saw the new 100 dollar bill: it was cool and looked more modern than the one right now. I also saw a 10,000 bill which I didn't even know existed. It was interesting that you were allowed to buy shreds of imperfect money at the gift shop. After the Bureau of Engraving, we got a boxed lunch and went to the Holocaust Museum. The boxed lunch was tasty and just as compact as the last one. The Holocaust Museum was very depressing. We were not allowed to take pictures. I appreciated Daniel's story which we saw at the very end. It was cool how they placed parts of his journal in replicas of the places where he wrote them. Then, my friends and I got on the buses and we all went to Game Show Mania. The food was OK and the game show music was really loud. Some of my friends played in the game show. Wyatt hit the buzzer at the wrong time once and had to get up in front of everyone and sing the Barney song. It was funny. I didn't dance too much. Finally, we left for the hotel to get a good night's sleep.
17: WORLD WAR II MEMORIAL | Panoramic view of the World War II Memorial | Ohio Pillar- This is just one of the fifty state pillars surrounding the World War II Memorial | Entrance to the World War II Memorial
18: The WHITE HOUSE | Left: Front of the White House Right: Me, Bobby Klosterman, Justin Hess, . Dan Seas, and Wyatt Petersen
19: The HOLOCAUST MUSEUM | Left: Obama's Church Right: Holocaust Museum ID Card We were not allowed to take pictures at both the Bureau of Engraving and the Holocaust Museum.
20: GAME SHOW MANIA | Wyatt and me | Bobby toasting | Wyatt singing the Barney song | Grant Kaiser, Justin Hess, Bobby Klosterman, and Dustin Seger playing in the game show
21: Thursday Journal After having breakfast at Golden Corral, we went to the Grant Memorial to get a group photo with all the students. I was in the third row at the end of the line. The K&K tour people had a camera I had never seen before. It took a picture as it moved across all of the students. Then, we all got up and went to the buses for a short drive to the Capitol building. The K&K tour people gave us a lot of time at the Capitol building. As soon as my friends and I passed the security line, we went in and explored while waiting for our guided tour to begin. We noticed a computer with a touch screen down the hallway that let you take either a quiz or a virtual tour of the building. I took a little bit of the quiz and it was OK. Then we went in another room that had lots of tiny replicas of the Capitol building and Washington D.C. The replicas went chronologically from when D.C. was founded to the present. Next, our group went into the line for the guided tour. Once our guide came, she gave us earphones so we could hear her better. She showed us the Rotunda, which was really cool, and Emancipation Hall, which had an awesome sound thing that let you hear your voice at both ends of the room. After the tour, we looked at some statues and things and somehow ended up in the Library of Congress. My friends and I were all wondering how we got there. Our chaperons said we had been underground and had walked all the way over there. After we left the Capitol and Library of Congress, my friends and I got on the bus and received boxed lunches which were good as usual. We reached Mt. Vernon after some driving. The first place we entered was the Mt. Vernon Educational Center. It had a neat little doll house replica of George Washington's house. The walls mechanically opened and closed so you could see the inside and outside. I got a map from the Visitors Center because Mt Vernon was a large area. We then saw the slave farm; I didn't even know Washington had slaves! We also saw a dock on the riverside, George Washington's grave, and a few houses. Then we went behind George Washington's house and looked around. It was fun. There was a scenic view and Bobby found a tiny trail leading through some bushes. After that, we waited in a long line to get into Washington's house. It was nice for an 1800's house. The dining room looked just like the one in the doll house model. Then we departed for dinner and the Pentagon 9-11 Memorial. I don't really remember dinner at Old Country Buffet, but I do remember the 9-11 Memorial. It was lit up by underwater lights beneath the benches which made them look cool. There were lots of benches with the names of the victims written on each one. We could not take pictures of the Pentagon. We were allowed to walk around and explore. Once we were finished looking around, we got on the buses. Our last stop was the Air Force Memorial. We looked around until another bus dropped some kids off and it got crowded. We got a group picture, a going home speech, and awards. Then we boarded the buses for the long ride home.
22: Capitol Building | Painting on the wall of the Capitol building | The Capitol is home to the Senate and the House of Representatives. It has a rotunda with a massive painting called the Apotheosis of Washington drawn by Constantino Brumidi. in 1865. (As seen below) | The Capitol Building | Apotheosis of Washington in the Capitol Rotunda | Statue of a state governor
23: Mt. Vernon | George Washington's house - Mt. Vernon | Doll house replica of Mt. Vernon | George Washington Doll house dining room. | George and Martha Washington at the Mt. Vernon Educational Center
24: Mt. Vernon Continued... | Horse drawn carriage | My friends and I at the Old Vault | A little kid's hay maze below the Slave section. My friends and I played in the hay maze and pretended to be horribly lost. It was fun. We spent 20 minutes there.
25: Pentagon 9-11 Memorial | Message at memorial entrance | 9-11 Memorial benches | Wyatt, me, Dan, and Bobby
26: AIR FORCE MEMORIAL | Honor Guard in bronze | Entrance to the memorial | The Air Force Memorial as seen from the Kennedy Center. . The memorial spires . represent smoke . trails of . planes.
27: Friday Journal | I sat with Bobby on the way home. I slept much better this time. I liked the Museum of Natural History geology exhibit the best. The thing I liked least was the Air and Space Museum because I had already been to the Air Force Museum in Dayton, Ohio. I would go back to see the cherry blossoms in bloom or the 4th of July fireworks. I did enjoy the trip and the time spent with my friends. We arrived at Coldwater Stadium at 5:30 and Mr. Klosterman took me home. I was glad to be back. My mom woke up and I showed her my souvenirs. I stayed up to show my siblings the gifts I bought them. I played on the computer and slept in the afternoon. | The Washington Monument as seen from the Lincoln Memorial. It was closed due to an earthquake on August 23, 2011. The reflecting pool was also undergoing renovation.