When: 21 October 2003
Where: Somewhere on King Street, Alexandria, Virginia
Who: Elliot Van Nest and David Paez
With all the benefits of going to a private school, I got to go on a class trip to Washington, DC. It was a tradition at our school for 7th-graders to go to Yosemite and 8th-graders to our nation’s capitol, one that had been pre-empted or postponed in recent years by 9/11 and the Beltway Sniper. Hurricane Isabel nearly killed it for us, but we got to go right on time anyway.
Our trip didn’t start in DC, though. First we switched planes in Charlotte, my first taste of the South, thence to Norfolk, where we met up with our regular driver Kurt. The first days were to be spent at Williamsburg, Jamestown, and Yorktown, and I fell in love with Virginia. It was just so different, and it was old and pretty.
After visiting the battlefield at Yorktown on Tuesday, we pulled through the evening to Alexandria in the pouring rain. While my roommates slept, I couldn’t help but stare out the window and listen to my Nirvana CDs, euphoric from the alien landscape. I wasn’t in the west anymore. I was in America.
Next: Fighting fire with Fire