It was a gorgeous spring day, maybe around 70 degrees all day but kind of windy. My family and the Webb family decided to go to Washington DC to see the cherry blossom trees. We were all expecting a pleasant day, wandering around the city under a canopy of white blossoms that were showering petals from above. Sounds like heaven right? Too bad that was the exact opposite of what happened. So we decided to all fit into one van, meaning that two people would have to double buckle, and of course I was crammed in the backseat with the three youngest girls.
Our van had a built in DVD player so I assumed I would be able to have a peaceful drive. Boy, was I wrong. At first everyone was quiet and content with watching who knows what movie. Soon the youngest girls were complaining that they were hungry. It was 10 o’clock. After they were satisfied with chocolate, I entertained myself with my sister’s Nintendo DS. By the time we were actually in the city my brain was fried. Anyway, that whole time our GPS was yelling at us for not listening to its directions. We finally approached our first destination- the zoo. Too bad for us the zoo parking lot was COMPLETELY full- I didn’t even know that was possible! So forget that idea.
After about another 30 minutes of looking for a parking spot, we decided to go and see the National Cathedral. At this point we all had to go to the bathroom. Badly. So we conveniently found a spot right smack in front of the cathedral and only have to walk a few yards to the entrance, which happened to be huge glass doors that must have been cleaned very frequently because I honestly didn’t notice them until I almost ran into one of them. We all filed in, ran to the bathroom as fast as possible, and then walked into the chapel. I seriously felt like I had been taken back in time. The high, open ceilings gave the place an airy feel. Colorful stain glass windows cast multicolored shadows on the columns and floors. Hushed whispers carried through the large room, giving it an eerie feel.
Anyway, there was going to be this organ presentation where some guy was going to actually play the gigantic organ that was housed in the back of the cathedral. As we sat in comfy pews, waiting to be allows into the organ room, Maddie and I got bored and decided to explore.
We wandered into a tunnel on the side of the cathedral that had different stain glass windows depicting scenes from the bible. It was dark, except for the light shining in from the windows. We reached the end of the tunnel and turned back, only to find that our families had disappeared. Apparently they had gone into the huge worship room to see the organ presentation. Maddie and I didn’t want to walk in front of all these people to get to our families so we sat back down where we were before. The organ player was talking on and on about the history of organs and how they were played and stuff like that. Maddie and I were talking the whole time, completely unaware that guy had stopped explaining and had sat down to play.
As soon as he struck the first, and extremely LOUD, chord, we both practically jumped out of our skin!! It sounded like something out of a horror movie! Maddie leaned over and said ‘it’s a good thing we weren’t in the tunnel when he started playing or else I would have screamed and run for my life.’
So after that, since it was around 1 o’clock, we went across the street to the Bishop’s Garden, which had to be the most beautiful place I have ever been in my whole entire life. It was like a combination of Narnia and the Secret Garden. If the cathedral was a different world, this was like being inside a book or something.
We walked in through an old fashioned wooden gate and down a narrow cobblestone path. There was a little rose arbor which must have been gorgeous if the roses were blooming. Maddie and I ate our lunch on a little bench beneath an old and twisted tree branch. Later, we determined that the gate we walked through was the entrance to Narnia.
The moms decided they wanted to go to the very top of the cathedral, which, by the way, can only be achieved if you ride this rickety old elevator up seven floors and it’s going like, faster than I can run, up and down. I thought I might die. Oh, and it doesn’t help that there’s a window in the door so you can see whenever you pass a floor. It was very frightening.
The hallway was very narrow and claustrophobic, but the view was great. Although I was ready to walk down 7 flights of stairs (which were emergency only) rather than ride that death trap back down at 100 mph plummeting to my death…….
We finally went to the zoo, which was overly crowded, smelled like sweaty guys, and had three dollar soda and ice cream bars. The only animals we saw were sleeping lions and overgrown chipmunks… I mean, prairie dogs…
So then we wanted to drive to the cherry blossom trees and take some pictures. We never even got out of the car. I think we spent about two hours driving just to see some trees. About halfway thru the car ride I finished my soda and then really had to go to the bathroom. Like the I’m-gonna-explode-if-we-don’t-find-a-bathroom-in-the-next-5-minutes. But apparently we were nowhere near a bathroom. Oh, joy. The following half hour was quite unpleasant. Everyone was screaming, my mom was losing her mind having to drive through that traffic and on top of on the verge of exploding, I had a massive headache. Not. Fun. At. All.
Finally, we found a parking garage and guess what? No bathrooms. We had to walk down the block (well more like sprint for me) to the nearest bathroom and then the security dude (because it was a bank- I think….) had to show us where they were. I just about died.
Our next adventure was our search for food, which involved dry sandwiches and moldy pudding. I ate crackers for dinner. After we ate our so called ‘dinner’, we walked back to our parking garage, only to find that the entrance we had come out of was locked. And heaven forbid we walk down the ramp else we get hit by all the cars that were just zooming in and out of there. For a minute we thought we had the wrong garage. Thankfully, we found our van thanks to a friendly (or, not so friendly) parking garage guy who pointed us in the right direction. A number of times. So we all climb in and after about 15 minutes of the little girls’ incessant chatter, I was seriously willing to walk home. Or ride a bus or hitchhike or anything to get me out of that van. Yes, it was that bad. Thankfully after a while they settled down and I could think clearly again.
All-in-all it was a pretty good trip, minus the traffic, getting scared out of our pants by an organ, moldy food, and screaming children. I do know for sure that we will not be going back anytime soon.
This was written a while ago (actually, it appeared as a less structured and more grammatically incorrect post on my previous blog), but I remade it for a Rhetoric assignment. I hope this made you laugh.