Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Washington DC Trip - Day 1

Our day started out well before the sun rose. All 30 kids, 4 moms and 2 teachers arrived at the middle school at 3am to meet and board the bus which transported us to the airport in order to make a 6:10am flight. We arrived at the airport with plenty of time. Everything was well organized as each of us, in alphabetical order - of course - approached the airline counter, handed over the suitcase and proceeded through security and then to the gate. With much time to spare all went in search of breakfast and sat down on the floor to consume it.
As soon as it was time to board the plane, all food was enjoyed while trying to determine who was sitting where. The game plan was for all to board the aircraft, stand where their assigned seats were and then "play musical seats" so everyone would sit with their friends in order to enjoy the plane ride. Of course, it is easier said than done when trying to deal with 8th graders...but with only a little chaos, they managed to get seated before disrupting too many of the other passengers...actually we did get some nice comments from some of the passengers during this first leg of our journey. We flew from San Francisco to Chicago, where we changed planes with a short layover.

With an hour in between the flights, the kids had time to buy some lunch (McDonald's seemed to be the majority favorite). After lunch was consumed and still some time on their hands, the electronic gadgets came out and all took turns looking on.
We arrived at Reagan Airport in Washington DC around 4:10pm. Some of us were able to see our first view of the Washington Momument and the Pentagon from the runway. Excitment buiding and desire to exit the plane...we made our way down to the baggage claim and met up with our tour directors (all luggage was accounted lost pieces - yahoo!)

We boarded another bus outside the airport for our 2 hour drive to Williamsburg, VA. Our tour guide explained some of the safety features of the bus, as well as some of the rules - aside from the requirements, he did stop and point out the Pentagon as we drove past it. He pointed out the side of the building where the plane crashed into it on 9/11 and the memorial park that was build a couple of years ago. After that, it was basically a long bus ride to Williamsburg. We arrived a little after 7pm at the Wasabi Buffet, which was a perfect place for all of us hungry travellers! I think that we all got our fill of sushi, peel-n-eat shrimp, crab, varieties of Chinese entrees, fruit, salads and an assortment of desserts.
From dinner, we headed into Colonial Williamsburg for a Lantern Tour. We met our tour guide, who was dressed in Colonial attire and he took us through several of the building.

The first building we entered was Clothing Shop. We learned that the business was run by both men and women; we got to see some dresses from that time period which were on display as well as some fabrics.

The next business we visited was the printer. We saw an older printing press and learned about all the things that were printed back in colonial money, newspapers, forms and contracts.

And the last business we visted was the book binder. Here is where they created books...the most popular one and best seller was the ledger. In fact we heard about 200 year old ledgers found, which had given historians information of who bought what, how much and so on. Our guide showed us how books were bound, using twine to stitch them, and the paste paper that was used to create a nice cover.
I think that everyone enjoyed the lantern tour...but if you ask any of the kids what they learned or what they will remember about it, don't be surprised when they say "DUTY" (aka horse poop).
After tour, we boarded the bus and headed to the hotel. Everyone was handed their key to their rooms and was escourted in. The security guard checked in with us promptly at 10pm as she will be sitting outside the door of the kids to keep an eye on them so that we can all get some shut eye. For that wake up call is scheduled at 6:30am...and that time will be here before we know it.
So, I will bid you good night - Lisa


Angela said...

Great first day pics! My parents went to Washington DC about 10 years ago and I didn't go but I want to go there so bad :) Maybe next year!

Marjorie said...

Hi Lisa--I didn't see your e-mail address in your profile. Just wanted to let you know you won my tote giveaway, so if you could let me know your mailing address I will get it out to you as soon as I can. What did you think of Williamsburg? I haven't been there in ages but I thought it was beautiful.

Rachel S said...

That was a great first day. I didn't know they offered lantern tours of Colonial Williamsburg. That's cool!

CindyMae said...

Wonderful pics of your first day! Sounds like so much fun and educational! What a great experience for you and Robert both!

Catherine said...

Sounds like you are off and running! I didn't know you were heading to Williamsbug as well! That's one of our favorite places to go and the "duty" is always a favorite - cept' we call them apples!