It was freezing this morning, like literally. However, the cold didn't really hit me until the wind started blowing. Plus the sun is not really up at 7:15am...a little too early for my taste. We made it to the Metro, which I think we are all getting the hang of, and then we went on to the auditorium. I was kind of worried about falling asleep during the speakers, but they turned out to be really interesting. The first speaker was Professor Steve Bell who spoke about the changing media and how it has affected the candidates and their respective campaigns. The second speaker was Dana Bash who is a senior correspondent on Capitol Hill for CNN. During Campaign '08 she was assigned to follow John McCain and later Sarah Palin. She was my favorite because she had a Q&A session which was really informative; her answers gave us insight into parts of the campaign that we would otherwise not have access to. The third speaker was the author of our assigned textbook, Dr. Michael Genovese. He did not speak for very long because he will be speaking extensively throughout the week, but the short amount he did speak got me excited for the rest of his topics. That was the end of our morning (and our warmth). The rest of the day was filled with lunch at a pizza kitchen as well as a bus tour of D.C.
I came to Washington, D.C. when I was a senior in high school, but this time around I found the monuments more interesting than I did then. The first sight we visited was the Iwo Jima memorial. I was really excited to see this one because it had been closed for a cleaning the last time I was there. The second stop we made was the Lincoln Memorial, but it there was a lot of setup for the Inauguration so that kind of killed the scenery. On the same stop as the Lincoln Memorial we also went to the Korean and Vietnam War Memorials. Even though it was cold, I still stopped to reflect upon the names of those who gave their lives to protect our country. The next memorial we visited was the World War II Memorial. This one is my favorite by far. Naturally we had to get our picture taken under the Georgia pillar, and then we watched the ducks splash around in the fountains. So easily entertained. The last monument that we actually got off the bus for was the Jefferson Memorial. Of all the monuments, I thought that this one had the best view as it sits right on the Potomac. Finally, we finished our driving tour by driving by the FDR Memorial, the various Smithsonians, as well as the Capitol which was already being prepared for Obama's inauguration next Tuesday. We ended our tour at Union Station where a few of us enjoyed a very nice meal at a restaurant called 'America'. A fitting meal to end a fantastic day!