Hey everybody! I hope you all are having a safe and wonderful summer! I am in the middle of the busiest part of the summer for me, but I am loving every minute of it! I wanted to share with you my experiences last week as I was on staff at Student Leadership University 201 in Washington DC.
SLU is a program for high school students that helps them prepare as our next generation of leaders through a Christian worldview. I went through all three years of the program when I was in high school, and it was my favorite part of every summer! To come back as an intern and get to be part of putting it on is such an honor, and something I will always cherish. This year was my second time getting to come back as staff and be a part of 201, and it was even more fun this time around! I came down a day early with two of my other friends from the staff, Marissa and Rachel, and we had a ton of fun exploring the city! Here is a little insight on what we got into!
Friday – July 8th
I spent the previous night at my grandparent’s house so I could be closer to the airport, but Friday morning I got ready to start my SLU journey! I had a two hour flight or so to DC, and made it right as Rachel was arriving. As we hadn’t seen each other in a year, it was so good to see her! We had a great time catching up in the airport while chowing down of the DC staple, Ben’s Chili Bowl, and waiting for Marissa to land! As soon as we all reunited, we dropped our bags off at our hotel and headed for our first stop, the Fox News station! My parents were actually friends in college with Shannon Bream, and she offered if they were ever in DC to give a tour of the station! Even though they weren’t with us, she was kind enough to meet with us and give us a tour anyway! After running all the way there from Union Station in the rain (and cracking up all the way while all trying to huddle under Rachel’s sweater), we made it to the station!
It was so amazing to be there and see how much it takes to get every minute of television up and running! We got to meet the makeup squad, the people who work all of the sound and special effects, the producers of the shows, and even some of the TV personalities such as Bret Baier and Greta Van Susteren! It was so surreal to be there and see the behind the scenes view of a channel that your family has been watching for years! Mrs. Shannon was so sweet and it was so gracious of her to let us spend time at the station! It is a time we will never forget!
From there we decided to go to Georgetown University and walk around the campus! Unfortunately we weren’t very specific I guess when getting in our Uber, because we ended up at the law school only a mile or two away! Haha we decided to get out either way and walk around the campus. Even though it wasn’t where we were planning on going, it was still cool to get out and see it.
After walking around the campus for a little while, we actually went to Georgetown and the University. It felt a little Hogwarts-esque as we saw the old castles where classes took place. We walked into the cathedral where chapel services are held, and it was beautiful in there! If there weren’t people who were in there praying, we would have been tempted to ring the bell since we saw the big rope that controls it!
We went inside one of their expansive libraries to rest our feet and recharge (figuratively and literally), but not before taking a catnap in the grass!
We decided to walk around and explore the town a bit more and eat dinner in a local spot that we wandered across. The town houses and adorable neighborhoods were such fun to walk through! We had a blast taking pictures of all the interesting sights, and making funny faces with each other!
We found a delicious little deli called Wisey’s for dinner, where we had panini’s with chips and fruit! Stand alone restaurants really are better than chain restaurants sometimes! We decided that we wanted to turn in for the night so we didn’t tire ourselves out too early in the week, but we couldn’t call it quits without some dessert! We had scoped out the town beforehand and narrowed down some choices, but we decided to eat at Captain Cookie and the Milk Man. Besides having the most adorable name ever, the ice cream was delicious. I decided on an ice cream sandwich with cookies and cream situated between chocolate chip and nutella flavored cookies. Let me repeat…nutella. Flavored. Cookies. It started out hard and became soft as the ice cream melted into it, and was utterly divine. If you are in the area, I would highly recommend this cute stop!
After that we headed home via CVS, where we met our new best friend…yikes.
Saturday – July 9th
We started out the day by heading to the Capitol Hill Flea Market, an event held on Saturdays where you can find food, jewelry, art, music, and anything you desire! It was so much fun to jump into the market and meet some of the locals of the city! The main reason we decided to venture into the market that morning was for the food. We had heard rumors about these blueberry-buckwheat pancakes that were to die for, and we had to see for ourselves! After exploring the market for a bit, and buying some fresh fruit to hold us over, we made it to the pancakes! It was inside a building where fresh flowers and other foods were being sold, and we could see the long line before we even got close. I can say it was certainly worth the wait! We decided to get one order of the pancakes, one omelet, and some roasted potatoes for the three of us to split. Let me just tell you, that was one of the best breakfasts I’ve ever had, and I will definitely make my way back to that market next time I’m in the city!
After doing a bit more shopping and exploring, we headed off to the Newseum! It is such an interesting place full of artifacts from important news reports, the newspapers from around the world that day, and historical documents. My three favorite things I got to see were part of the Berlin wall, a news tower that was destroyed during 9/11, and the newspaper from July 6th, 1776 that announced to the colonies that we had declared our independence.
After exploring the museum a bit, we headed to the top floor where they have a gorgeous view of the capitol! We of course had to have a little photo shoot before heading off to lunch!
From there the rest of the day went by pretty quickly! We knew we didn’t have much time before our first staff meeting, so we had a quick lunch at an adorable restaurant named Busboys & Poets. It is a restaurant inside a bookstore! For my fellow bookworms, this was paradise. After ordering our lunches we of course explored the store, and while none of us bought anything, it was a unique and fun experience I won’t soon forget!
After we ate we headed back to the hotel and got to meet the rest of the staff! I can’t tell you how excited I was to see my friends again, and to meet the new staff members. It is such a blessing that though most of us only get to see each other once a year, we can always come back to right where we left off! We had a blast that night going over logistics, getting to know one another a little better, sharing our testimonies, eating some really yummy cookies from Panera, and getting together supplies for the upcoming week!
I hope you enjoyed a little peek into the first few days of my trip to DC! It was a blast getting to reminisce, and thank you for coming on this journey with me!