For years I have been trying to share my love of travels with my students not only though stories and pictures, but by trying to set up international or domestic school trips. Unfortunately the school where I work has mostly low-income families and even the money for the deposit would be hard to come by. This year, one of the companies I had been working with waived the minimum number of students and I took four of them to Washington, D.C., and New York City for a very fast-paced tour.
It all started at the Reno airport at 4 am, and after a few hours of flying we met our tour guide and a group of 20 middle and high school students from Houston, Texas, who would be joining us for the next 5 days. We went straight to the Air and Space Museum, which proved to be far too big for only 1 hour, but I enjoyed seeing all the old planes again, especially because I had been reading about the start of aviation on Bill Bryson’s book “One summer: America, 1927”.
Then off to several memorials, including two that became my new favorites: the Korean War Veterans and the Martin Luther King Jr. ones.
The next day we had more memorials (“I had no idea the reflection pool was real!”, said one student) and more museums (the Natural History one was the students’ favorite) in the schedule, but the highlight was the change of guards at the Tomb of the Unknowns at Arlington National Cemetery. We had such a full day that by the time we made it to Embassy Row, I think everybody was asleep.
We also had a tour of Mount Vernon (George Washington’s home) and the U.S. Capitol building, with its many statues and paintings. So much walking made the students really tired (mentally and physically), but it was well worth it.