On Saturday at 8:00am, my roommate Alicia and I woke up to our loud obnoxious alarms. We then bounced up from our beds and started getting ready for our adventure to the capitol of the United States, Washington DC. The bus was scheduled to leave at 9:00am from Chinatown and we were determined to arrive on time if not earlier. At 8:30am we did not hear Namiko getting ready, so Alicia went over to her room and woke her up, five seconds later, she ran to the bathroom to shower. Alicia made us some breakfast before we left and I made some coffee to stay awake. Knowing it was a two-hour ride, I hoped I would get some reading done.
Our friends Yu and Lijun, were also coming with us, but they had not yet bought their tickets. So I told them to leave before us to get their tickets. Ten minutes later my roommates and I left the apartment. When we arrived at the train station there was a huge crowd of people running towards a bus that had just arrived. It was the bus we were scheduled to take. When we went to the ticket window we heard that they sold out of tickets. Therefore, Yu and Lijun would have to wait another hour for the next bus, and they did. Meanwhile, Alicia found our friend Sam and we started walking towards the bus. Many people were fighting to get in. I noticed there were two types of tickets people had in their hands: E-tickets and tickets from the window. I saw a man lift his E-ticket in the air and they grabbed him like it was a first class ticket. Watching how that worked, I told everyone to lift their tickets up and they gladly took us in. Angry customers yelled “why are they going in before us!!” “This is unbelievable!!”, “we were here first!!.” It felt like we were in the drowning Titanic, and those who were privileged were the first ones to get on the boats; everyone else was left behind. It was horrible, but I was glad to be on the bus. Two hours and a half later, we arrived in DC’s Chinatown
We went to eat as we waited for Yu and Lijun to arrive. Finally at 12:30pm we started walking towards the U.S. capitol and the National Mall. We also got some delicious Rita’s water ice on the way. I have been to DC before, but those who haven’t were so excited to see everything! It was nice to be the one that knows where everything is located. We saw, took pictures, and rested when we found the U.S. capitol. It was huge! I overheard a tour guide saying that in order to get to the top of the capitol a congressman would have to walk you up there. Therefore, not many people have been up there. There are also no elevators, so the congressman must have owed you big time for him to make all those flights of stairs.
We noticed as we kept on walking that all the Cherry Blossom trees were done blooming, we missed the most beautiful time of the year. It didn’t faze us too much because it was a beautiful day out in DC. We walked into almost every museum located in the National Mall. The National Museum of the American Indian, National Air and Space Museum, National Museum of Natural History, National Botanical Garden, and the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden. In between going to museums we heard drumming, so we went to check out the noise. In front of the National Gallery we saw a Taiko Drummer Performance. There were so many people sitting outside by the steps. I loved the drummers, they were amazing and it was nice to catch a break and sit down for a while. By now it was 4:00pm and we were getting hungry. We still needed to see the monument, another Taiko performance, and the white house before we leave DC at 8:00pm.
As we walked towards the Taiko performance near the Washington Monument, we took a few pictures of the tall structure. The performance was only half an hour long, by then it was 6:00pm and we needed to rush towards the white house then to eat!
We arrived on the gates of the white house and we could barely see the house due to a large crowd of people wanting to have the best view. Alicia was so excited; apparently she loves the family and knows Obama and Michelle’s children’s names. I just know he is our president and Michelle is his wife. After a few minutes we rushed to Chinatown to find a place to eat, Yu and Lijun chose Chinese food and went to another restaurant and the rest of us found Potbellies! They have delicious food, but they were extremely slow. By the time we sat down to eat it was 7:25pm. At 7:40pm Lijun called and said that the bus was already boarding people; we panicked and ran to the bus stop. As we got our E-ticket stamp, the lady would not take mine. She needed to see an photo ID or else I could not go. I did not bring a photo ID so I showed her the debit card with my name on it. A couple minutes after a man came and he showed me that I had bought the ticket for the wrong date. It was scheduled for April 1st instead of March 31st. But the bus had enough seats, so they made the change. I was so relieved! And that was our day in DC a crazy fun adventure.