It’s been four days since I landed in the United States of America. Since Sunday, I’ve seen a fair share of Washington D.C.. There is so much to tell already. I’ve had my first classes, I’ve explored downtown a little and yesterday was the 4th of July, which is a big deal here. So let’s start at the beginning.
On Sunday, I decided to go downtown and do a hop-on-hop-off bus tour through downtown D.C.. I saw many highlights of the city, for instance the White House, the Washington Monument, and Arlington Cemetery. I got out at the transfer stop to Arlington, because it would be busy that day according to my tour guide. Let me say first, Arlington is so impressive. All those tombstones, lining up. There are thousands and thousands, dating back to fallen soldiers from the Civil War. I saw the tomb of the Unknown Soldier (actually, there are three unknown buried there) and John F. Kennedy’s grave with the eternal flame burning on it. It was so hot on Sunday, so luckily for me, I was allowed on the tour through Arlington.
Afterwards, I decided to finish the tour and not visit the other monuments or memorials, because I figured that this would be better done on a day other than a Saturday or Sunday. I bought a bottle of ice cold water and some fried chicken and sat on the grass nearby the Washington monument to let everything sink in a little. I was in Washington D.C., me, a girl from this tiny village in the north of the Netherlands! Unbelievable. Soon, I returned to the residence since there would be a welcome speech for all the new students starting their American adventure.
After a good nights rest, we had a tour of the residence on Monday. We also got to know in which level we were put in for classes, in my case, it’s Level C1.3. We also went to Chinatown to had lunch and go walking to the Washington Monument again. I met these very nice people with whom I spent the day. At the end of the day. we got our books and we went to bed early since it would be the 4th of July the next day.
Tuesday. July 4th, 2017. Independence Day. What a happening! We could either go to our class or participate in the parade in Takoma, the neighbourhood I’m staying in. I chose not to skip classes since I only had two that morning. My teacher is such a kind woman. After class, I decided to get pizza with Niklas, Magda, and Gosia, our early dinner since we were planning on going downtown afterwards. So we did. We went to the Washington Monument to get a good seat for the fireworks that night. As soon as we sat down, it started raining for about an hour. Totally unprepared as we were, except for Niklas who had brought an umbrella, we decided to find some place with wifi to decide whether we should stay or go back to the residence to watch the fireworks online. We decided to give it one more try and buy some umbrellas, just in case. Of course, it didn’t rain anymore that day…
We went back to the Monument and sat there for about four hours until the fireworks started. I’ve never seen that many people in one spot. Everybody was dressed in clothes with stars and/or stripes, in red, white, and blue. there was live music and at 21.09h pm. the fireworks started. The show lasted for about 15 minutes and afterwards we rushed to the metro. We got there quite in time and got back just before the mass of people would enter Metro Center.
Today, I’ve classes at 13.05h pm. I was quite tired, so I decided to stay here and blog a little, sleep a little as well… Tonight, there is a monuments by light tour which I’ll join. So, that should be fun. I also booked the trip to New York City with EF!! So it’s happening!! I’m so excited!!!
From what I’ve seen so far, D.C. is a pretty relaxed city. The people are nice, downtown is impressive, and it’s quite easy to go everywhere you want to go due to the good metro system. It must be noted though that the weather is so different than from back home. In the Netherlands, we always complain about the weather. It’s no different here as well. During the day, the temperatures will rise to about 30 degrees Celcius, it’s so humid and at night, it’s still hot. However, I have my handfan, my shades, and my bottle(s) of water, so I’ll survive. I need to, I’ve got so much more to explore here!