Tuesday, July 13, 2010
My Freshman Year in the THS Band - Washington, D.C.
So July 3 through 5, we were in Washington D.C. The nation's capitol. What we were there for? To march in the National Independence Parade. It was a great field trip and such an experience. I will never forget that field trip, ever. It was so memorable and I was happy to be with my second family, the THS Marching Band. The first day was kind of rough. Our bus showed up about an hour late, I believe, and we all had to wake up very early to catch the bus that was suppose to depart at 5. I didn't mind at all, it was nice to see everyone in the 2009-2010 group together for one last time. After loading and everything, the bus ride there was about 6 hours with a rest stop for breakfast. Everyone was sleepy, but I find it funny to see everyone and their early morning faces. When we arrived in D.C., we stopped at this transportation area to pick up our tour guide and there were a lot of buses, but amazing monuments to look at. Afterwards, we were suppose to get a tour of the Capitol building but apparently something suspicious was going on, so we did not get a tour. Luckily, there was the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum to save the day, ourselves, and legs from walking in the heat for a little while. And then afterwards we went to this park and saw these statues of men from one of the wars we fought and other things like this wall that had these drawings on it and it was really interesting to view in person. Afterwards, we went and saw the Lincoln Memorial, and the Mall and the Washington Monument was viewable too from a distance. A lot of people were there getting pictures and what not. After that trip, we walked over to see the memorial wall with the troops that have fought in wars. Seeing all of those names... people love our country. On our way to dinner on the bus, we saw the Pentagon and the monuments around it as we drove by. Dinner was delicious and I'm pretty sure everyone had fun at that place. Lastly, on day one we checked into our hotel, the Courtyard Marriott, and got settled with everything and our roommates. The hotel was really nice. The air conditioning was nice, the rooms and beds were comfortable, and breakfast was great. I'd sure love to have breakfast there every morning. Then, day two... dun-dun-dun. The big day for the THS Marching Band and the main reason we went on the field trip. I woke up around 6:30 to catch breakfast and get ready for the day and after breakfast and everyone getting ready to march in our uniforms, we loaded the buses and then when we got to our targeted area we sat for a little while and watched some of the other marching bands warm up. It was just great to see everyone, and I was pumped to march the parade seeing all of these marching bands that marched in the same parade with us in the insane heat. Before we stepped off for the actual parade, I already saw so many people in the sidewalks. I couldn't imagine how the rest of the parade was at the time, but as soon as we made that turn, holy cow, I haven't seen so many people on sidewalks in my life. I was so nervous! I was marching on Constitution Avenue in the nation's capitol in the National Independence parade, in front of hundreds and hundreds of people that were cheering and watching us. It was very hot, but hey, we were marching under the clear blue skies and showing the country what Torrington's got. I was trying not to look around so much because I was so amazed by everything as I was roll stepping down that street. It's a once in a life time kind of thing, so I will always remember marching down that street. I want to cry tears of joy for just thinking about it. Once we got to the point of the parade where there were people for Torrington in the crowds, I wanted to make sure my chin was up, my flute angle was nice and high and I was marching with pride. The feeling is indescribable unless you actually marched that parade, it was one of the most amazing moments of my life. The parade felt kind of long overall, but hey, we showed 'em Torrington. So after all that marching, sweating, and showing of pride, we sat at a park and had our boxed lunches and afterwards we got to checkout the California Repercussionists. They were amazing! I've never seen a group of people playing in a band together like that and it was a fun experience to watch them. After that, we headed to go see the White House for a little and it didn't really hit me that I was less than a mile away from the President's home. And then we went to the Smithsonian National Museum of American History. That place was really cool actually, I was looking at some of America's history in a big building filled with items and people. Then for dinner, we went to this fish market restaurant and the food was delicious, I wish I had more! We made a toast to the senior class of 2010 and to the people that weren't leaving with us afterwards and staying long with their family, and of course a big toast to Mr. S, our beloved band teacher where we wouldn't be there without him. Thank you, Mr. S, for everything! You mean so much to each and every one of us in the band. After a great dinner with everyone, we sat and waited for our buses and then we saw the nation's biggest fireworks next to the Washington Monument. What an experience! The fireworks were absolutely amazing and huge, and that was the grand finale of day two. On day three, our last day in the nation's capitol, we went to the Arlington National Cemetery. It was really awesome to see the gravestones perfectly aligned at no matter what angle you were at because the cemetery was for those who served for the country. It was really hot during the tour, but it was just amazing seeing all of these gravestones of all of these people. The Torrington High School also placed in the switching of the guards of the tomb of the unknown soldiers and the wreath laying ceremony. Carolyn, Michelle, Dave, and Tom did something that could happen once in a lifetime too being in the wreath laying ceremony and making our mark there. After the cemetery, we stopped quickly at the monuments for the marines and took a group picture, then we dropped off our tour guides and started heading home. The ride home was rough, but I will never ever forget such an amazing field trip with the THS Marching Band of 2009-2010, chaperones/parents, tour guides, sight-seers, and Mr. S! Thank you so much for everything. This is something I will always remember.