Tour of a lifetimePosted on: 10th Dec 2019
It was very early in the morning that a group of 47 SAA students departed for their History/Politics trip to the USA, but excitement outweighed any lingering tiredness.
After a seven hour flight we arrived in Washington DC, capital of the world's leading nation. During our time in DC we visited The Smithsonian Institute, toured Congress and stood outside the White House for photos, though we didn't get to see Donald! We did, however, also visit the memorials to both Korean and Vietnam wars and also stood in the exact place that Martin Luther King delivered his "I have a dream" speech. It was awesome.
Moving on from DC, we travelled by coach to Philadelphia. This meant driving past Baltimore; cue a sing-song from the cast members of the upcoming "Hairspray" musical! In Philadelphia, or "Phillie" as it's known locally. We saw Independence Hall, visited the Liberty Bell and stopped at the famous "Rocky Steps".....and, yes, we did the classic run-up the steps, singing the theme song and doing our best boxing moves at the top!
Then it was the Big Apple. We stayed in the lovely Hotel Gallivant, just off Times Square with all the lights, buzz, energy and life; it was like being at the epicentre of the world, and we loved every minute. We took the Staten Island ferry and said hi to a large green lady holding a book and a torch, visited Wall Street and learned about the crash of 1929 and then faced the emotional experience of the 9/11 Memorial Museum. We came away understanding that paradigm changes are often written in human suffering.
The next day we went to the United Nations for our tour, and this inspired a number of us to consider career options in this type of role, before being tourists again and ascending the Empire State Building; luckily we all evaded the clutches of King Kong!
We got to see Trump Tower, the NBA store and walked in Central Park, as well as visiting Tiffany....where none of us could afford to buy anything of course, but we did manage to correct that error in some style at the upstate mall on our shopping day.
After our week in the USA we returned, tired but full of a life-inspiring experience, to familiar Maidstone. Have a nice day!