Friday, February 25, 2011

Disability Policy Seminar Trip

As I posted before (actually, while I was there), I traveled to Washington DC from February 13-16. It was so fun! I had all afternoon on Sunday to play tourist. And boy did I use my time wisely. On Monday and Tuesday of the conference, we heard from various officials with different federal groups about various pieces of legislation and budget cuts that would affect people with disabilities. It was very interesting, to say the least. Then Wednesday, the last day of the conference, you actually go to The Hill and meet with your state representatives and discuss all of the issues that you learned about the previous two days. Also, while I was gone, I was able to go to dinner with a good friend from high school and his girlfriend - so fun! I really enjoyed the time I was in DC. We will likely go back to play tourist sometime soon - Brad has never been and really wants to see all of the monuments and museums. I hadn't been since our 6th grade trip! I loved how everything I needed was within walking distance - I got lots of exercise on that trip! I also took quite a few pictures, but I narrowed it down to some of the better ones for this post. So, without further ado....

This map shows where our hotel (the red square) is in relation to everything else. The red line was my route I took while playing tourist. I covered some turf!!
The arch entering Chinatown. So cool.

I went to Union Station for lunch (and did some shopping)...

The inside of Union Station

A view of the Washington Monument, The Mall, and The Reflecting Pool in front of the Capitol building

The Capitol Building

As you may have noticed, I like taking pictures of the places I visit so I don't forget where I am in certain pics! I learned that trick when we went to Europe (everything runs together at a certain point!)

The Hope Diamond

All the dinosaur bones - amazing in person!

My favorite thing I saw was the actual Star Spangled Banner. And I have a weren't allowed to take pictures in that particular area. But I wanted to. I wanted to capture this amazing piece of history. So I tried to be sneaky and take a flashless pic as I walked out. This is what I got.

Abraham Lincoln's famous top hat

The Washington Monument

The White House! Apparently I had just missed Michelle Obama out playing with their dog...

Me with the White House (don't you love self-portraits??)

And of course I had to do some shopping. There was a H&M just around the corner from my hotel. Love going in that place!

I loved all of the food I ate there. Oddly enough, I had shrimp almost everyday I was there, in some form or fashion. At this meal, a group of us went to a tapas restaurant where it was all you could eat for $20. It.was.amazing. I had never been to a tapas restaurant...and now I must find a good one locally. This is some kind of fried eggplant with a yummy cheese dip.

In my hotel, they had a gigantic American flag flying in the atrium area. I had to take a picture of it.

On our day of Hill visits, this is me all spiffied up. I bought a suit so I looked all professional. Well, actually, I bought separates that looked like they were a suit. The whole outfit (shoes, pants, jacket, shirt) came from TJ Maxx and cost a whopping $70ish. Not bad when the jacket itself was originally $140 in the stores! I felt quite professional - amazing what that can do for a girl's attitude! :) Anyways, this is me in front of the office of my U.S. Congresswoman. At most of the visits, we met with their staff. My last visit, the congresswoman tried really wanted to meet with us, so she had us meet her in a room in the actual Capitol building. She was in session voting on various items and met with us on a break! Pretty neat if you ask me. After that visit, we hightailed it back to the hotel to get our stuff and taxi it to the airport to come home. It was an action-packed trip full of information and delicious food, but I was definitely ready to head home to my family!

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