Inauguration through the eyes of E.V. students - East Valley Tribune: East Valley Local News

Inauguration through the eyes of E.V. students

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Posted: Saturday, January 17, 2009 8:08 pm | Updated: 1:11 am, Sat Oct 8, 2011.

Students from several East Valley schools and their chaperons are in Washington D.C. taking part in Inauguration events. They update readers through text messages and e-mail on what they see and do during their sure-to-be memorable trips. Tune in frequently for latest updates.

INTERACTIVE: Full Inauguration coverage

Students from several East Valley schools and their chaperons are in Washington D.C. taking part in Inauguration events. They update readers through text messages and e-mail on what they see and do during their sure-to-be memorable trips. Tune in frequently for latest updates.

INTERACTIVE: Full Inauguration coverage

E.V. students to see inauguration in D.C.

THURSDAY

Emailed at 7:48 p.m. MST

"After visiting our buddy Senator Kyl we toured DC after dark.  The Washington Monument, Lincoln Memorial (yes we have lots of pictures). Could not tour the White House, new owners still moving in not ready for visitors just yet.  We’ve had an exhilarating day, it’s dinner time. We decided to have dinner at a Chinese Restaurant in Maryland ALL YOU CAN EAT everyone’s favorite. Enjoyed a satisfying meal afterward we returned to our DC quarters for much needed rest and a good nights sleep.

Woke up this morning dusted, washed dishes, mopped and thoroughly cleaned the

Parsonage.  We are extremely grateful to Pastor Grayson and our St. Jude AME family for their warm hospitality, open arms and welcome hearts. Loaded the vans with our gear now we are ready to hit the dusty trail, but not until we have breakfast.  As we walked out the door John Legend’s song “Ready To Go Right Now” is playing on the radio.  So appropriate and on time!  At 10 am we are on the road headed for ATL!" 

- Henry “Akela” Wade, Troop 804 We Do More!

Texted at 10:02 p.m. MST

"So today was our last day unfortunately. We're on our way back right now but earlier today we had a nice finish to our trip. We took our final trip to the city and visited the capital. We luckily got to take a tour of the building at the last minute but had to cut it short cause we had to get on the road. The rotunda was one of the most gorgeous I've seen in Washington D.C. After seeing it and taking great pictures we visited Library of Congress and saw the beautiful architecture in that building. It was beautiful. After that we took our trip to the airport and got going."

- Diarra Anderson, 16, Hamilton High School junior

Emailed at 5:59 a.m. MST

Meghan L.C. Morris

"Wednesday we went to Mount Vernon which was beautiful. We [my group of three] were disappointed by the lack of original finishings and furniture in the house itself and the speed with which we were required to pass through the touring area. But it was gorgeous and the colors were so eclectic and... yes... charming. We went exploring on the hiking trail (heeled boots are good for keeping calves warm - not much else, and they make it a tad hard to climb on gravel etc.) and even in the middle of winter the trail was wonderful. Amazing like a thousand hot dogs. I plan to come back to Mount Vernon some time when I'll be able to feel my fingers and nose. Overall, Mount Vernon was lovely and the movie about the three battles is a must-see."

- Meghan L.C. Morris, 18, senior, Hamilton High School

WEDNESDAY

Texted at 10:44 p.m. MST

 Diarra Anderson

"So today was our last full day and night in D.C., and it was one of the most fun. We got to sleep in and we definitely needed all of that energy, because we spent the whole day touring at Mount Vernon. It was one of the most beautiful places I've ever seen. The view of the Potomac River was breathtaking. All day we went about the grounds doing different activities in the museum and outside. After spending the day there we went on a night tour to see the Korean, Lincoln and Jefferson monuments. I was so excited to see the Lincoln Monument. That was the best part of the whole day. As we wound up the day we headed toward ESPN Zone and played a bunch of arcade games. It was really great. The whole day was a nice ending and I'm glad I am finally getting used  to the cold."

- Diarra Anderson, 16, Hamilton High School junior

Texted at 9:01 p.m. MST

"We had a wonderful day at Mount Vernon. What an amazing treasure in our country. The weather was perfect... sunny all day, which made viewing the wonderous sights all lthe more ideal. The view from the back porch of the mansion at Mount Vernon is perhaps the most  breathtaking sight I have ever seen. After Mount Vernon, we headed back into D.C. for an evening tour of  the Lincoln and Jefferson Monuments, as well as the Korean War Memorial, and I highly recommend visiting those sites in the evening, as they are even more spectacular than they are in daylight. Dinner at California Tortilla was DELICIOUS, and the portions  were huge. I have eaten far too much on this trip. Following dinner, we went to ESPN Zone and the kids played games  for an hour or so. We are headed back to our hotel now... still have to pack because we leave late tomorrow evening. Tomorrow morning we are fortunate enough to go to the Supreme Court and hopefully the Capitol Building as well. What a terrific way to wind down a  fantastic, educational, memory-filled experience."

- Angela Gardner, Chandler Junior High School teacher and mom traveling with her daughter from Hamilton

Texted at 7:38 a.m. MST

 Diarra Anderson

"Here's an update. On Monday we started off the day by visiting Arlington. That's really beautiful. I had never known much about that place, but it was cool to see the Kennedys' graves. It was really great to see the changing of the guard at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. They take their job so seriously and they were so precise. After that we went to see the FDR memorial. From there we saw all the cool statues of him and his wife and got great shots of the Washington Monument. Then we went to the Vietnam Memorial. It was really sad to physically see all the names of people who died. After all this we went to the Ball that the Smithsonian put on for all the students. We all ended the day in a great way by having fun and partying."

"Tuesday was the most exciting day so far, but unfortunately definitely the coldest. All of us were up really early and dressed in our warmest clothes. Along with the other two million or so people we all jammed into the Mall packed so close together moving wasn't really an option. We were not very far from the Washington Monument so all we had to see was a jumbotron. To our luck the spot we got had a pole right in the way of the screen but that didn't stop me from yelling at the top of my lungs whenever Obama came on the screen.  There was a huge mass of cheers when he was sworn in and finally he gave his speech. The cold had got to us and  we were really hungry by we were definitely not about to leave before he finished. Right after he finished we left but got packed in with the so many others that left as well. It took us  about an hour and a half to get through the crowd to get to the Air and Space Museum that we were meeting at. There were so many lines and so many people but it was all definitely worth it, just being in the atmosphere. After all of that we had a good warm time relaxing in the musuem and reviewing all of our pictures.  By the end of that we were all tired and headed back to eat and sleep. That day was unforgettable."

- Diarra Anderson, 16, Hamilton High School junior

Texted at 7:25 a.m.

"Hi it's Ariel. The trip so far has been so much fun. So far we mainly toured museums and the inauguration was an amazing experience. The energy was outstanding."

Ariel McKinney, 16, Hamilton High School junior

TUESDAY

Emailed at 6:29 p.m. MST

Meghan L.C. Morris

"So, today we went to the Inauguration. It was a disaster. We woke up at a little after five to creep our way into the city, then literally pushed and shoved our way to the far side of the Washington Monument. During the opening ceremonies the crowds booed when George W. Bush came on which was extremely rude - no matter how anyone feels about him. Afterwards... oh this was the main part of madness. No one knew where to go. Our small group had to take directions from teens on top of the port-a-potties - and it was complete pandemonium. When we finally found the one exit available to the crowds (we miraculously stayed in our group of eight in a crowd of thousands) we arrived at the National Natural History Museum only to find it packed with attendees just as unwilling to go back out in the cold as we were.

And yet, over all - as everyone has been telling me all week - it was a good experience. For one, I learned to ignore the directions on the packets of hand warmers: they do not begin working until about two hours after you open them; but my, oh my do they work then!"

- Meghan L.C. Morris, 18, senior, Hamilton High School

Texted at 12:29 p.m. MST

"What total and complete chaos, however, the Inauguration Ceremony was pleasant and shorter than I imagined it would be. As you probably saw on TV, there was a sea of people and we were shoulder-to-shoulder throughout the ceremony. It took us over an hour to get from the Washington monument to the Air and Space museum, and it was incredibly cold and windy, as well as utterly crowded. But everyone here seems to be making the best of it. It will probably take hours to get everyone out of the area ... we are thankful just to finally be indoors."

- Angela Gardner, Chandler Junior High School teacher and mom traveling with her daughter from Hamilton

Texted at 6:42 a.m. MST

"We are on our way to the Inauguration. I am shocked that the taxpayers are footing the bill for this $150 million event. I believe the cost of the last Inauguration was around $40 million."

- Angela Gardner, Chandler Junior High School teacher and mom traveling with her daughter from Hamilton

Texted at 6:48 a.m. MST

"Erin of Westwood again. We succeeded in getting onto the mall. We are all in the middle, between the Capitol and Wash. Memorial and right in front of a jumbo TV. Also it is VERY cold."

- Erin Barton, Westwood High School, Mesa, senior

Texted at 5:22 a.m. MST

"This is Erin Barton of the Westwood blogging team from D.C. I am reporting to say that I have never seen such a HUGE crowd. I don't know if we'll be able to see anything."

- Erin Barton, Westwood High School, Mesa, senior

MONDAY

Emailed at 8:16 p.m. MST

Meghan L.C. Morris

"Well, it snowed this morning when we were at Arlington (which was amazing, by the way), but the flakes melted before touching the ground. Arlington was gorgeous - the architecture was something we never see in Arizona and the history of the cemetery, while nothing new to me, was terribly romantic in a rather macabre way. We saw the changing of the guards and I recorded as much as I could see. The trip I am looking forward to most is Mount Vernon, which we postponed until Wednesday because they were about 10K people over their usual average. Tomorrow will be about 10 hours outside... in the cold... packed together... probably standing, but a very momentous occasion. Tonight we went to the ball hosted by the Smithsonian and the whole way back to the hotel on the bus we talked about the people we met (and danced with). Yesterday we went to ESPN Zone for dinner but had to walk from the Mall because traffic was too thick for a bus. Then there was a water main break at the restaurant. We also got to go around for a few free hours at the Smithsonians (Air and Space Museum, American History and the Archives so far). The museums were so huge and there were so many different places to visit. I like how DC embraces its history, unlike some other places in America."

- Meghan L.C. Morris, 18, senior, Hamilton High School

Texted at 7:47 p.m. MST

"Finally on our way back to hotel. Long cold day today. We did not make it to Mt. Vernon, but did see WWII and Vietnam Memorials as well as Iwo Jima and FDR Memorials, and even made it to the Kennedy Center for the Arts. The kids had a lot of fun dancing the night away at the ball. We will be outside ALL day tomorrow and the high will be 31 degrees, so we will be dressed in MULTIPLE layers. Exciting times ahead... Inauguration on Tuesday all day, then evening tours of Lincoln and Jefferson Memorials and the Korean War Exhibit. We are exhausted but exhilarated at the same time. The District is crowded and full of energy. We will see Mt. Vernon on Wednesday."

- Angela Gardner, Chandler Junior High School teacher and mom traveling with her daughter from Hamilton

Texted at 9:10 a.m. MST

"The letters from George Washington are some of the other cool things we saw in the National Archives."

- Diarra Anderson, 16, Hamilton High School junior

Texted at 8:45 a.m. MST

 Diarra Anderson

"Finally we got in yesterday morning at about 9 o'clock. We traveled first right to the mall, doing a little tour. Then we got to get out and go to any of the museums we wanted as long as we grouped up. Our little group went first to the Air and Space Museum. It was really great, but so much to see we didn't know where to start. Then after that we went to the archives where so many important document copies are. We saw copies of the Emancipation Proclamation, Declaration of Independence and the Constitution. It was amazing. After the Archives we treked over to the Natural Art History Museum. That was the best out of all the ones we saw. It displayed set ups of animals from all over the globe in their different habitats that looked so real. It had a dinosaur display. We went to see the Hope Diamond, which was gorgeous and after all the touring we met back up with our large group, headed to dinner and then headed back to the hotel and rested up for another exciting day."

- Diarra Anderson, 16, Hamilton High School junior

Texted at 6:25 a.m. MST

"It is snowing at Arlington ... how serene."

- Angela Gardner, Chandler Junior High School teacher and mom traveling with her daughter from Hamilton

Texted at 5:47 a.m. MST

"Good morning. We are off to Arlington first thing today. Then to the Iwo Jima Memorial and the Lincoln and Jefferson Memorials. Later in the day we will go to Mt. Vernon and then to a Ball at the Doubletree Resort. Tuesday we have to be on the bus at 5:30 a.m. to head to the Inauguration. Yikes. We have two full days ahead of us. Wednesday will be packed full of activities as well. What a wonderful experience."

- Angela Gardner, Chandler Junior High School teacher and mom traveling with her daughter from Hamilton

SUNDAY

Angela Gardner and her daughter Victoria Tucker, a senior at Hamilton High School, in front of the Capitol. SUBMITTED PHOTO

Texted at 3:30 p.m. MST

"Busy, busy day for the Hamilton High School group. Everyone went in small groups and got to spend the day seeing things of their choice. Most of us saw National Archives, American History Museum, Natural Museum, Holocaust Museum or Air and Space Museum. Tomorrow is Mt. Vernon and in the evening, the ball. We are off to dinner soon at ESPN Zone and are all hoping the Cardinals hold onto their lead."

- Angela Gardner, Chandler Junior High School teacher and mom traveling with her daughter from Hamilton

Texted at 10:40 a.m.  MST

"Cold but tolerable. City is not as busy as expected. "

- Angela Gardner, Chandler Junior High School teacher and mom traveling with her daughter from Hamilton

Texted at 9:45 a.m. MST

"We are on the bus headed into Washington D.C. We will be visiting some of the Smithsonian Museums today.

Students will get the choice of what they’d like to see around the Mall area. We are pretty much free to choose our activities up until 5:30 this evening.

Although we are tired, we are an excited bunch! We are also sending best wishes for our Cardinals…Go CARDS!"

- Angela Gardner, Chandler Junior High School teacher and mom traveling with her daughter from Hamilton

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