Half asleep, I stumbled on to Rochambeau’s school grounds. It

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Half asleep, I stumbled on to Rochambeau's school grounds. It was approximately 4:45 a.m. on the 24th of October. The four buses arrived at around 5:00.

Then, one hundred seventy-one children, including myself, began one of the most memorable trips of their lifetime. Of the nineteen chaperones going along with us, five of them were: Mr. Chenkus, Ms. Brooks, Mr. Pepsoski, Mrs. Rizzotto, and Mr. Didsbury, the leader of the chaperones. The purpose of this trip was to learn about our nation's capitol and have fun at the same time and that's exactly what I did. From the day we left to October 27th when we returned, I had a great time.

Most of the sites were great, but above them all, I think, was ESPN Zone. This was especially fun because all over the whole restaurant were TVs displaying a variety of sports shows. I liked seeing all the news on and clips from recent games.

It had reasonably good food. All the students had to choose from four meals. I had the chicken tenders. After everyone finished, we went upstairs into the game room. My favorite game was the soccer game. After almost a half an hour of playing with my friend Tripp I finally won. I really loved this site. However, there are some sites I didn't like as much.

I did not like Arlington National Cemetery. I thought we spent way too much time there just to look at the Kennedy gravesite and the Tomb of the Unknowns. Once we got to the Tomb we sat and watched a soldier walk back and forth for about twenty minutes. This was extremely boring and it was definitely too hot.

Although not my favorite site, Arlington National Cemetery has to do with history a great deal. The Kennedys played a big part in our nation's political history. Also, the Tomb of the Unknown Soldiers is home to the remains of unidentified people from WWI, WWII, and the Korean War. The Korean War Memorial displays 19 life-size statues of soldiers. It also has a wall with the faces of soldiers engraved in it. The Vietnam Veterans Memorial is a giant wall in the shape of a V. The wall has the names of all the soldiers who died in the war or from war related wounds. To find a name on the wall, there is a big book filled with all the names and their exact location. The Holocaust Museum, a four story memorial of the people who were killed during the Nazi reign during World War II, made many people very upset and even cry. The Iwo Jima Marine Memorial celebrated all marines that fought for the United States throughout history. The statue was copied from a photograph taken of marines raising the flag on a Japanese island.

Aside from wars, there were many monuments dedicated to politics. The White House, for example, is home to the president of the United States. Currently, Bill Clinton lives at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue. The Capitol Building is the meeting place for Congress. One side of the building represents the House of Representatives. The other represents the Senate. In the Nation Archives, I got a chance to see the Constitution, Bill of Rights, and the Declaration of Independence. It also stores the Emancipation Proclamation and Richard Nixon's resignation letter. The Lincoln Memorial shelters a giant statue of "Honest Abe" as well as the Gettysburg Address and his 2nd inaugural speech. Across from the memorial, over the reflecting pool, is the Washington Monument. About a quarter of the way up the monument, there is a change in the stone used to build it. The change shows the stop in the construction due to the Civil War.

Of course, we wouldn't have gotten there without the buses. Otis, my bus driver, was a really good guy. The hotel, on the other hand, wasn't so nice. My room had the foul smell of cigar smoke, the elevators were prone to breaking down, and the food had very little variety. I guess it didn't really matter because I still had fun with my roommates. I definitely liked the food courts and malls we went to eat at. A couple of times I had sushi, which made other people think I was a little weird. Then, of course, I went shopping after I ate.

I'd say the trip, on a scale from one to ten, deserves a seven. The hotel accommodations were not really up to par, but mostly everything else was interesting and fun. I learned a lot of things about our nation and its capitol and I think Mr. Didsbury did a really nice job.



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