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PC2DC 2017

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591cf705986d6 At Mount Vernon.

At Mount Vernon.

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591cf705986d6 Waiting for our plane in Kansas City.

Waiting for our plane in Kansas City.

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591cf705986d6 Our first meal in Arlington and one of the few where we sat down at a table; this was the Montana Grill featuring bison meat.

Our first meal in Arlington and one of the few where we sat down at a table; this was the Montana Grill featuring bison meat.

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Twelve excited young people who have just been promoted from eighth grade to high school headed to our nation's capital at 4:30 a.m. on Wednesday, May 17th.  For many of them this was their first time flying and it was a very bumpy ride; not a problem for these intrepid travelers.  After getting settled in and walking to a local lunch spot, we headed to Arlington National Cemetery for a fascinating trolley tour which included the changing of the guard of the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier.  It was a very special and moving opportunity.  Negotiating the Metro system has been another new experience and after dealing with high temperatures everyone was ready to go swimming and order pizza in.  Mr. Joe Geringer, Mr Codie Williams, Mrs. Jane McDonald and Mrs. Dana DeVore are the chaperones for this trip which was planned by Mr. Craig DeVore.

Day two:  Our plan to tour the nation's capitol, guided by aides from Senator Roy Blunt's office took an exciting turn.  We were given tickets to visit the Senate chambers and observed a vote in progress.  We were then permitted to visit the House of Representatives' gallery.  Unfortunately they were in recess, but it was still an exceptional experience.  In the evening we were treated to a bus and driver who took us around to the various monuments including the Washington Monument, Lincoln Memorial, Korean War Monument, Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial and the Jefferson Memorial.  What a day!

Day three:  We visited the White House, the Navy Memorial and the National Archives where we saw original documents including the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution and the Bill of Rights.  Security has been rigorous throughout our tour and today was especially intense.  As we walked from the Metro station to the White House we passed Trump International Hotel. Keeping track of everyone's identification, phones, etc. is a challenge we've managed to overcome so far.  Wish us luck as we continue this once in a lifetime adventure.

Day four:  A cooler day started with a visit to Ford's Theater where President Lincoln was assassinated followed by a tour of the Petersen lodging house where he actually died the next morning.  We ate at the Hard Rock Cafe and realized how thankful we were to be in a fairly small group; a school group of 200 students was ahead of us at the restaurant.  That evening we took the Metro out to Alexandria, Virginia and enjoyed walking around the area, sampling many types of ice cream and gelato followed by a historical tour that included a few ghost stories.

  • Day five:  Sunday was a more somber day.  We first visited the Holocaust Museum which is unforgettable.  As Mr. Williams pointed out the horrific events that occurred during the Nazi regime weren't that far in the past.  In fact, we all had the opportunity to meet a woman who is a survivor of Auschwitz.  After eating lunch on the National Mall from various food trucks we went to the American History Museum and the Museum of American Art.  After getting a little bit of culture we lightened things up with an interactive operation at the International Spy Museum.  Everyone seemed to enjoy that quite a bit, but were definitely glad to return to the hotel to rest and eat some carry out food.  

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Day six:  Mount Vernon, the estate of President George Washington, was today's destination.  Traveling there by Metro and connecting bus we arrived in a light downpour that took nothing away from our interest in this amazing piece of history.  After walking through the mansion and visiting the cook house, Washington's tomb, the blacksmith shop and slave quarters we were met by a tour guide in costume and character.  Portraying the persona of a personal secretary and tutor to Washington's step-grandsons, our guide spoke with authority about life on the estate, the personal habits of the Washington family and in particular about the experience of the hundreds of slaves living there.  For many this was the most impressive part of our trip.  The gardens were amazing.

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Day seven:  Time to pack up our souvenirs and get ready to fly home.  Home . . . what a beautiful word; no place like it.  Here are a few reflections from the kids as we prepare to travel back to Putnam County:

"Abbie - visiting the White House; the pictures on television don't do it justice."

"Alexis - seeing the Capitol rotunda with the ceiling murals and statues."

"Emily - I enjoyed the party bus and visiting all the national monuments at night."

"Tori - Mount Vernon was more hands on than some of the other things we visited and I liked that."

"Kelley - Mount Vernon was my favorite."

"Payton - Navigating the Metro was interesting. The architecture at Mount Vernon was also interesting,"

"Jonathon - I liked the Spy Operation."

"Carsen - Ford's Theater, the monuments and the Capitol were all good."

"Kaitlyn - I liked Ford's Theater."

"Maggie - Ford's Theater."

"Josh - I liked it when they passed out Missouri bacon at the Capitol."

"Cole - liked finding his missing identification and being able to visit the White House."

 

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Putnam County R-I Schools803 S. 20th St.Unionville, MO  63565

660.947.3361

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