Back in June, I had a unique opportunity to travel to Washington DC with the purpose of singing in a choir at Kennedy Center. The choir sang behind Steven Curtis Chapman, a Christian music artist for his debut concert at Kennedy Center.
The weekend was a package through a company called True North. Included in the package was 3 nights at the JW Marriott, all the events of the weekend and a celebration dinner cruise after the concert on Sunday evening.
My trip started on a Friday with a drive down to DC. Google maps estimated a 4 ½ hour drive but with traffic and a few rest area stops it took me about 6 hours. I enjoyed it though. I love a good road trip. And while road trips with family and friends are fun, sometimes I like a solo trip too. I had an audio book to listen too which keep me occupied for most of the trip.
I arrived at the JW Marriott at around 4 pm. Check in was easy and the hotel was beautiful. It had an interesting elevator system. Instead of pressing a button to indicate that you wanted to go up or down, you instead pressed what floor you would like to go to. The screen will then tell you what elevator to get on (each elevator had a letter). Once you got on, it would go directly to your floor. This was great when you were the only one waiting for an elevator. It was not so much fun when 150 choir members were all trying to go to their rooms at the same time.
I had no scheduled plans until much later in the evening and the hotel was right in the heart of DC. I was hoping to make it to a museum for a few hours but I knew they closed at 5:30. I decided to head to the closest museum which was the Smithsonian Museum of American History. As I approached the entrance, there was a sign that said they were extending their hours that day until 7:30. Perfect!!
I can’t remember the last time I was at the American History museum. I decided to just start at the top and work my way down. One of my favorite exhibits was the Star Spangled Banner Flag. The flag is the one that Francis Scott Key saw when he wrote the Star Spangled Banner. It was displayed in a huge dark room, illuminated in black light with the words to the song behind it. Unfortunately, no photos were allowed.
Another exhibit had various original items, such as the actual Count muppet from Sesame Street, Mohammed Ali’s boxing gloves, Apollo Ono’s speed skates and other similar items. All were fun to look at.
I have been on a bit of a Julia Child kick so it was also cool to see her exhibit. They had her actual kitchen as well as items like her diploma and first cookbook.
After I finished up there, I was going to walk over to the White House for some pictures but the weather had other ideas. It had started to get dark and windy and then I saw a streak of lightening. So I grabbed a quick bite for dinner and headed back to the hotel.
That evening at 10 pm was the first scheduled event. Steven Curtis Chapman was doing a private concert for the choir members in a ballroom of the hotel. I met up with friends who were awesome and had gotten on line early so we managed to sit in the 2nd row. I have been a SCC fan for a long, long time and have seen many concerts but this was definitely unique. He sang some songs and then took requests which was a lot of fun. No one wanted it to end but it had to wrap up around 11:15 because we had an early start the next morning. It was definitely an excellent way to start the weekend.
I have been a huge Disney and travel fan since childhood. I love going to new places and, of course, heading to Disney as often as I can.