Tuesday, June 14, 2011

D.C. and a Wonderful Birthday

What a fun month it has been! To begin, our friends JJ and Brittany came to DC for his job. So far, we haven't met too many people our age to hang out with, so this was a breath of fresh air! One of the coolest things in D.C. we've done so far is going to see the Changing of the Guard which happens in Arlington Cemetery. There is a place where "the tombs of the unknown soldiers" are buried. These tombs are guarded 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year. I got online to read about the process, and if you don't know much about it, it's worth it! The guards are so devoted. It is such a reverent thing to watch. The feeling you get is indescribable. You just want to join the army right away and go help the world.

Arlington Cemetery is absolutely beautiful. And huge. It is amazing how everything is perfectly aligned.

This is one of my favorite statues. My brother drew a picture of it when he was really young, and since then, I have been so intrigued by the story. Now I just need to read Flags of our Fathers!

My birthday was on a Wednesday, so Patrick and I couldn't do anything until after he got off work. He took me out to this delicious Italian restaurant where we first tried a cannoli. Oh. My. Gosh. We had been dying to go back and eat there, so this was the perfect time to do it!

While Patrick was at work that day, he sent me various text messages telling me to look in specific places in our house. He had hidden lots of little gifts for me to enjoy. He is always so thoughtful. It's one of his best qualities. Not only did I get some fun things from him, but my mom sent me a "comic strip" of the story of my birth (I promise it doesn't go into gross detail), my niece drew a picture for me, and Patrick's parents sent me a gift card to JCrew!

Little did I know, my birthday surprises weren't over! Thursday morning, Patrick told me I needed to pack a suitcase for a weekend trip. He wouldn't tell me where we were going, or how we were getting there. I don't do well with surprises. He had to put up with my questions constantly until we left. He text me and told me what clothes to bring, but that it was necessary that I pack compactly. I thought we were flying somewhere. Friday morning, he told me I needed to take the metro to Union Station in D.C. and be there by 5:30. It was about this time that I realized we were going to New York.

We arrived at Penn Station around 9:30, and when we got to the top of the escalator, I heard someone shout "hey!" at me. I looked to my right and my parents were standing there. ANOTHER surprise! Apparently, they had been planning this trip for a few months. I had no idea!

Patrick hadn't ever been to New York, so we had to fit in a lot of sight-seeing in two days. We had one of the most memorable experiences on Canal Street. Canal Street is where they sell all of the knockoff purses, jewelry, etc. Some people were trying to get us to buy purses by showing us pictures of what they had. However, my mom said she wouldn't buy anything unless she could actually see it. After a while, they hurried us into this crappy little store. The woman sitting at the desk slowly reached underneath her newspaper and pressed a button. A hidden door immediately opened, and we were hurried into the back. There was a small room FULL of knockoff purses! When anybody would speak, the people would run over and tell them to be quiet. It was so sketchy, but so fun. Once everyone had picked out the purses they wanted, they paid for them in the back, put them in a black trash bag, and pushed everyone out the secret door as fast as they could!

The very best part of the trip was going to see Wicked. I have ALWAYS wanted to see it. In high school, we sang a medley from the play, but I've never known the actual story. It was fantastic! I will definitely be going to see this again.

This was the best birthday ever.

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