Friday, July 11, 2008

4th of July Visitor and Festivities

So, for the anniversary of our country's birthday, I celebrated in the capitol of our nation. A friend from Peace Corps Samoa, Marques who lives in NYC, called and asked if I was going to be in town. If so, would it be ok if he came down for a visit and to enjoy the festivities.

I must say that the weekend of the 4th must have been the most crowded 2 days the city has ever seen. It didn't help that the 4th fell on a Friday AND we did the whole tourist thing seeing all of the sights. From watching the fireworks from the steps of the Lincoln Memorial to the Library of Congress (with the Gutenberg Bible) and the Natural History Museum, we did it all. Crowds, sheep like movements, intense heat, elbow to elbow pathways and all... Bob joined us for awhile, but headed out before the insanity ensued.

Despite this insanity, it was fun to see a few things I hadn't yet done. The fireworks display was the single most amazing fireworks show I have ever seen. But, I would expect nothing less from the Nation's Capitol. It was like a 25 minute long grand finale. Since it was raining off and on all day long, forcing Marques and I to share an already tiny umbrella thus soaking ourselves on numerous occasions, there were a few clouds in the sky when the fireworks commenced. But, it was still worth the wait and the crowds. That Saturday we wandered around and saw the Library of Congress, the Supreme Court, the Capitol, the White House, the Natural Museum of History and the Peace Corps Headquarters. I was spent by the time we got back to the apartment. Sunday I took Marques out to my new church and we stopped by another volunteers house so he could say goodbye before heading back to NYC.

I enjoy living in the city. I have officially joined the softball team I was debating joining, and I have kickball starting up in a few weeks. One girl asked me to take a cooking class with her and learn Mediterranean cooking.

So, here are a few pictures depicting the weekend festivities

Bob and I in front of the Washington Monument

The Capitol Hill parade on the morning of the 4th. We were having brunch in a cafe on the street when the parade went by. It wasn't even close to being as big as the Strawberry Festival, but each neighborhood has it's own parade.

I played the tourist for awhile.

Me just after getting candy from the parade. Some things are ageless...

Marques getting interviewed by the Japanese equivalent of Public Access.

Me, Bob and Marques waiting in the security line to get into The Mall which was fenced off on the day of the 4th.

A mini Peace Corps Samoa reunion with Bob, Marques and me from Group 75, and Nela from Group 72.

Nela (real name Danielle, but it's sometimes hard to drop Samoan names) and I showcasing our city off for Marques.

3 hours before the fireworks display, this is where we sat to watch them...

Same spot 2 and a half hours later... can you find me?


More fireworks

They were so close it felt like an earthquake at times.

This display was definitely worth the crowds and the wait.

The next day Marques and I wandered around the city seeing the sights. This is the back side of the Capitol Building

Marques outside of the Supreme Court. I knocked on the door, but no one answered... it was locked.

This is only the beginning of the crowds in the museums on the 5th...

Capitol Hill Baptist Church

Sunday morning services are usually a lot bigger due to all of the tourists. The evening service is usually about a fourth of this size (there is also a west section you can't see in this shot...)

*The first picture is of the Washington Monument reflecting in the Vietnam War Wall Memorial