Let's start from the beginning. I got up at 8, and went to go meet this cute boy at 9:30.
He's the new guy I mentioned yesterday. He seems really sweet, and he wants to hang out with me again, so hooray for that. :) We spent like 45 minutes talking before he had to leave to get to work, so I hopped on the metro and went to the Smithsonian station, because I figured that'd be a good popular place to start, even though I wasn't planning on going to the museums (I've never been a big museum person). When I got out, I just picked a street and started walking down it, and I found this.
This building? WICKED HUGE. Like, it has seven wings that take up both sides of the street for an entire city block huge.
Do I even need to tell you what that is? (For JD, that's the Washington Monument. Silly Canadian. :p) So, well, I had to go see that.
I don't know how something so simple in design could be so pretty, but it is. It's just pretty.
A nice soldier took this for me. He seemed to be there with friends, but he was in uniform, so I kind of knew he'd be nice to ask.
Up next, I saw this guy. John Paul Jones. And surprisingly enough, I have to Google him to figure out who he is. Maybe I know and I just can't remember, but the name doesn't really ring a bell with me tonight.
Then was the World War II Memorial. I like this one because it has all of the places that had battles on those pillars that form the circle. I think the design looks really cool.
This is the District of Columbia War Memorial. I don't know for sure, but I'm guessing this is related to the War of 1812?
Then, after a long, LONG trek, this fella showed up. Again, do I really need to say it? It was so surreal. Even though I'm sure we visited this when we came to DC as a family, I don't remember it at all, so this was brand new to me pretty much.
A shot of the whole Mall from the top of the Lincoln Memorial to the Washington Monument. Just amazing.
Then I went and saw the Vietnam Veterans Memorial. My grandfather fought in that war but survived. I don't know if there's anything more humbling than facing a wall full of the names of complete strangers who gave up their lives to protect mine decades later.
Then, I walked, and walked, and WALKED trying to get back to somewhere where I could figure out how to get back to familiar land. Finally, some nice man told me how to get to the nearest metro, and I had to walk about 8 city blocks to get there. So all in all, I made about a 3.5 mile loop, and I'm fairly sure I've never walked that much in one afternoon in my LIFE.
I saw the Federal Reserve building on the way. I get to tour that on the 27th! I took the metro back to Dupont Circle, and I stopped by a burger joint that Walter (the new boy) told me I should go to. Then I caught the bus back to Georgetown, and I came back to the apartment to relax for a few hours. I got back somewhere around 3:00.
Jody and I left for dinner about 5:10, and as we walked out, she pulled out her phone to text our friend Ben, but he and two of his roommates walked out of their building at that exact time. We walked to dinner. More walking, agh! But really, it wasn't too bad on the way there because it was downhill. I went back to The Tombs for dinner because it's close and delicious.
This is Tony, Ben, and Jody. Derek distracted them just as I took the picture, hence Tony and Jody are looking away. Ben still looks nice, though. Haha!
This is Derek and me. He's really nice, and smart, too! :) I love my new friends. We've been doing pretty much everything together because Ben, Derek, Jody, and I are all in the same institute. Rachel and Meera also stopped by for a bit, so that was nice.
Not only did Jody buy my dinner, which was super nice of her, the restaurant gave me this dessert for free. They even put a candle in it (I told the waitress it was my birthday). I should've taken the picture before I blew out the candle, but oh well. Mmmmm. A hot brownie and cold ice cream. Delicious. The hilarious part was that Derek, a nutrition major, was talking about sugar the entire time I was eating it. Haha!
Then, Ben, Derek, Tony, and I went to a Trivia night that the program was hosting. Two new girls joined our team. There were three rounds - sports & entertainment, celebrity identification (and they were all named George), and history & geography & politics. After round 2, while they were tallying up the scores, the "MC" of the night, Kristen, was going around and letting people tell jokes. I wanted to tell a really corny joke that Holly's boyfriend Michael told me, and when she brought the microphone over to me, Remley (my ICPES program adviser, like the TFAS version of an RA) yelled out "IT'S HER BIRTHDAY!" so Kristen had the whole room sing Happy Birthday to me. :) Not only did we win round 3 and I got a T-shirt for it, we won the WHOLE THING! :) So basically I made $20 (the group got $100 to split, but since splitting $100 between 6 people is impossible to do evenly, each of the other girls took $15, the 3 boys took $50 to go buy alcohol, surprise, surprise, and they said I could have $20 since it's my birthday) for answering some really random questions. Icing on the cake.
I stayed after for a bit talking to Remley and some of the other staff, and then I hobbled back to my room. (I really was hobbling by this point.) I hung out, answered all of the messages people left on my Facebook wall, Skyped with Morgan whom I haven't talked to in forever because she's been in Hawaii for a month doing a study abroad thing - I know, Hawaii's not abroad!, and talked to Michal on the phone for 45 minutes. Then I took a nice, hot shower, and then I've basically just sat here enjoying not having pressure on my feet anymore.
Also, throughout the day, I got phone calls from The Vespers, who actually sang for me, Matt, Alex, and the family, and texts from various people. Suffice it to say I felt very, very loved today. This was the best birthday I've ever had, no question. And now I'm so ready for bed because it's been almost 18 hours (I'm writing this close to 2:00 in the morning) and I'm exhausted. My birthday present to myself is that I'm going to stay in bed until whenever my body decides to wake up. I'm hoping that if I lay in bed long enough, my feet will stop throbbing.
Speaking of my feet, who wants to bring me a bucket of ice? I'd like to stick my feet in it.