Friday, March 17, 2006

D.C. Times: Midnight walks & eggs and toast at 2 am.

I had been in DC before. Once. I thought I liked it. But in this trip, I came to realize I love it.

I went for the 2006 NASPA conference as a MUFP. I have to admit that I'm blessed with so many different opportunities presented to me during my college years. It never crossed my mind that I'd be visiting places like I have, or meeting people like the ones that have marked my way so far, or that I would grow so much. I just never thought about it. A higher education has always meant a better life, better opportunities... I just didn't realized at what level.

When I got on the plane I couldn't stop smiling. It had been awhile since I hadn't left the state so that alone was a great deal for me. Last week I worked so hard to leave everything in order with my classes, assignments, and work, that I didn't really feel prepared for the DC experience that awaited me. On Friday I got my resume ready and some business cards (that I ended up not using because of a little mistake), I also got a list of people I needed to call when I got there. I had to call my friend Aaron, my AAUW advisors, and my cousins. I didn't have my cousin's number, so I sent her an email when I got there asking her to call me, and she did. So we got together on Wednesday.

Overall I had an amazing time. I took so many photos and met so many wonderful people... and saw so much.

I keep telling my friend Erin that we needed to make the most out of time there. And we did. We left all the sleeping for when we got back to AR. We rode the metro so much we became pros at it. The last time we took it to the airport we didn't even have to look at the map!

We found this nice cafe near the hotel, Open City Cafe... we liked it cause it was open until 2 am everyday. We ended up there after a night of sight seeing and a little rain. I think that was Monday. In the intent of not being cheated by my memory, I wrote down little outlines for everyday that I spent in DC. I know someday I'll look back and smile when I see little notes like "Had day planned. Full of workshops," "A little rest," "Look out the window until I saw nothing but clouds," or "Great food. Great talk." This is why I have a blog. I write to not forget little things in this journey of mine. I should write it down on paper... but I guess this is how my generation does it.

I got to go to some really great workshops. The one that I liked the best were the ones sponsored by the NASPA Women's Center. I got to meet Jehmu Greene, from Rock the Vote and Michele Wetherald, AAUW's president. I also met my advisors for the SAC, Mariama and Greta.

I got to walk in DC. I walked a lot. My feet still hurt. It didn't help that I had to wear "grown-up shoes," as Erin called them, for the conference. I took with me two pairs of shoes, but I had to take a quick trip to payless to get another pair... just so at the end my feet would end up hurting in three different places. That wasn't pretty.

But at night, when I got to wear my sneakers, it was all good. Nights were the best. I don't think I ever got to the room before 1 am. There was one night that we were standing in front of the Lincoln memorial at midnight, taking pictures. Oh, I took so many pictures.

Something that help my city-soul was the metro station right across the street from the hotel. Did I mention we became pros at it?! It was awesome. It was clean, also.

I saw my friend Aaron. I hadn't seen him since 2001 after graduation. It had been too long. We talk on the phone all the time, but seeing him was almost surreal. He's a little chubbier than I remember. I bet he thought the same of me.

And my family... Oh we had fun! I got to finally meet my two cousins Carmen Elena and Karla and my tia Maya. It almost felt like I had known them from long ago. We called my dad. I got to talk to him for a minute and Karla talked to him in German... I just know they were talking about tamales... I know I heard the word "tamal."

This is not the last I write about DC, but for now it is. I have to go home and pack for Alternative Spring Break in New Orleans. I hope I get to see my friend, Ryan.

My photoblog will soon be filled with DC shots. These are just some of my favorite:

This is Erin and me in Chinatown after having some really good Chinese food :)

The entrance of the Kennedy Center... that night was one of the highlights of the trip.

The view from the top of the Kennedy Center... how can someone not fall in love with that view?!

This is during Jehmu Greene's talk. She's joining Project Vote soon.

Me... outside the Gallery Pl/Chinatown metro station.

Me and Aaron waiting for the metro before saying good-bye.

My primas and me!!! That's Karla and Carmen Elena. We were at Karla's studio apartment.

Las tres mosqueteras! That's Carmen, tia Mayamerica, and Karlisima.

That's me and Carmen!!! By the way, Carmen... I'm waiting for the email about Daniela!

Karla and me... outside Union Station. It was windy :)

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Ay prima, esa historia es un tanto larga (la de Daniella), asi que será mejor que te la cuente por tele(phone) y no por email! O mejor te la cuento cuando vengas en Junio! Ojalá te podas quedar mas dias la proxima vez, porque el ratito que pasaste con nosotros no fue suficiente. Pero si me alegra que finalmente nos conocieramos en persona. Ojalá puedas venir con tu hermana, para poder conocerla a ella tambien. Espero que les tomes fotos con las camisetas que les compraste (y que regatiaste!), y las pongas aqui (las fotos) para ver como les quedaron.
Bueno niña, se supone que este solo iba a ser un "comentario" (hence it says: "leave your COMMENT") y ya se me hizo toda una carta! Pero que te puedo decir, writing runs in the family, doesn't it?!
Besos y saludos por ahi!
C.E. (Llamame cuando puedas!)