Nicole Presley: We all need to take a break from work every once and a while. During the week of June 26-July 3, I took a vacation to Washington D.C.
My boyfriend, Brandon, and I had never been there. We spent the week sightseeing, visiting various museums, attending a Cubs game and taking a tour of the Capitol.
During my vacation my boyfriend established that to truly take a vacation I need to leave my work phone at the hotel. No checking emails, not worrying about my publication’s social media pages or website and only responding to the necessary text messages and phone calls I missed throughout the day.
I think the only reason he even allowed me to take my work phone on the trip was so I wasn’t anxious throughout the day.
Everything will be covered while you’re away, he reasoned. You need to hold off on work while you’re away from Pella.
We arrived in D.C. on Sunday around noon, and checked our list of things we wanted to see and things we might squeeze in if we have the time. After spending an entire week on D.C., I feel like we only saw a fraction of what it had to offer.
We took touristy photos in front of monuments and important buildings, we visited a plethora of museums, took many tours and usually spent the evening taste testing a new brewery.
Some of my favorites included touring the Smithsonian National Museum of American History, the Library of Congress and the Capitol. The Library of Congress’s gift shop is where I purchased my new favorite coffee mug with a quote from Thomas Jefferson, “I cannot live without books.”
On a tour of the Capitol, we learned there were tunnels underneath the House, the Senate and the Library of Congress, allowing Congressmen, Senators and their staff members to easily walk from building to building.
At the end of our tour in the Capitol, we had the opportunity to watch proceedings on both the House and Senate floor. This also happened to be the day that U.S. Senator Mitch McConnell delayed the vote on the Republican’s proposed healthcare bill.
We saw the lines for both the House or Senate, and noticed the line to get into the House was moving a little faster. Only a select number of people are allowed to visit the House or Senate floor at a time to watch the proceedings.
There was also no time limit on how long you are able to stay in the House or Senate.
By the time we waited in line and saw what was going on in the House (which wasn’t much), we thought about standing in line for the Senate just to see any of the excitement from the healthcare bill. Just as we walked out, I received an update on my phone from the Associated Press saying the vote was delayed.
We decided we’d skip visiting the Senate. Both the House and Senate floors are supposed to look like mirror images of each other. If the excitement is over, we don’t need to wait in line to see another identical room. We moved onto our next activity for the day.
While visiting the White House, I thought of some of my college friends posting photos on social media from Washington D.C. prior to about 2014 when incidences of people jumping the White House fence began.
My friends were able to take photos right up next to the fence that surrounded the White House. That was not the case while we were there. There were two barricades, one stationed in front of the fence and one across the street, and police security stationed in between those two barricades.
A mother was walking in front of us who told her younger daughter, “I remember when I was little. You used to be able walk right up to the fence.”
By the end of the trip, Brandon and I were used to walking through security. By the time we left for our flight home, we knew the drill. Before entering the security line we already had our one travel bag opened and ready to check, and everything in our pockets were in our hands ready to drop in the security bin.
It feels like we spent the entire week running through everything, but it was still relaxing to just to get away for a little while.
Source: Journal Express