Seriously, y'all. The program hasn't even started yet, and I feel like I am in heaven. IT'S SO PRETTY. Mom and I went walking around campus a bit this evening, and I was overwhelmed with this feeling that I could absolutely see myself living and working here in a few years.
But anyway, I should give a legit recap of the day, so let's start from the beginning.
I didn't fall asleep until close to 2:00, but I still managed to drag myself out of bed when my alarm went off at 5:00. We left just after 6:30, got Bojangles for breakfast, and Mom dropped me at Walmart while she went to her high school's graduation ceremony. I bought a few last minute things and walked around for a bit, but I mostly just sat and listened to my iPod. The ceremony took way less time than I expected it to, and Mom picked me back up right at 10:00. And we were off.
We made really good time. We hit the Virginia border at about 12:30.
I took a picture of the sign because, well, I like pictures, and the "Virginia: Open For Business" bit made me laugh.
And then we drove for another hour or so before we stopped at a Ruby Tuesday's and ate lunch. That took about an hour because it was busy and our waitress was kind of slow. The food was really good, though.
We made almost the entire way to Washington before we messed up, and Mom drove straight past a sign I had told her three times was the sign we needed to turn at, but hey. Whatever. Mom has this internal compass that somehow leads her back to wherever she needs to go. So we fixed it. Meanwhile, she's yelling at me for not telling her directions fast enough when I'm trying to look at the directions in my email and look at the GPS map on my phone. Ha. We're high-stress people.
Then, we have to make our way through Georgetown University's campus through a construction zone to get to the hotel/conference center, which is also thankfully where I have to check-in and register tomorrow. I tried to go inside and register, and apparently there's a rule that you cannot check in guests under the age of 21. So Mom had to come in, so we went to park in the parking garage down the street and then checked in. Our room is on the second floor, so we had to use the elevator. We got on the elevator, Mom pressed the 2 button, the doors shut.......and nothing happened. We opened the doors, so we knew it wasn't broken or anything. Then Mom decided to try it two more times "to make sure it wasn't just slow or tired" before telling me to go ask the receptionist. As it turns out, they're so high-security here you have to swipe your room key to make the elevator go! I've never seen anything like that before, but we had a great deal of fun laughing about it because neither of us noticed the card swipe right in front of our faces. We hung out in the room for a bit because we were so hot. The beds are really soft and pretty. And they even have embroidered pillows just in case you forget where you are.
The Tombs. And man oh man, was it worth it. I don't know if it's just the excitement of finally being here talking, but that felt like the best pizza I've ever eaten outside of Italy (because nothing compares with authentic Italian food, actually nothing compares to authentic food from any country). I'm gonna see if I can convince my roommates to come back there with me on Friday for my birthday. :)
Then we just came back to the room and laid around because we were both all hot and sweaty and exhausted. I took a shower, and now I'm going to get ready for bed because three hours of sleep just does not cut it.
I'm so excited about this summer, guys. I can't even begin to explain it properly. It's going to be amazing. I can just feel it deep inside my soul that God has something amazing in store for me here. And I'm so anxious to find out what it is. But the good kind of anxious. :) I've been dreaming about this weekend since the day I got my acceptance letter, and it's finally here. I think right now I'm most looking forward to finally meeting my roommates tomorrow. One of them, Rachel, lives fairly close to DC, and since I forgot to bring a pillow (because I'm an idiot, duh) she agreed to buy me one and I'll pay her back when she gets here.
On a completely unrelated note, this is something I meant to document a few days ago and totally forgot about it. I've mentioned my "British brother" Paddy before on this blog. (For those of you who are new, we met when Mom and I stayed with his family during an exchange between her school and a group in Liverpool in July 2008.) This is him.
He and two other guys I met on the trip, Luke
and Tom "Patto" (from his last name)
joined up with a guy they met at their university named Chris
and formed a band they call Orange Pulp (I have yet to hear the story on that one). I do my best to support them with Facebook promotion and whatnot, as I can't do much else from this far away. Well, on June 5th, they released their second EP (it technically released at 7:00 pm on the 4th my time), and I had told Paddy from early on that I would buy it as soon as it came out. Just before it released, I got this email.
And I just have to say, that is pretty much one of the sweetest things I've ever seen. I honestly didn't feel like I do that much for them, and this was completely unexpected. It made my whole day. I know some ridiculously cool people all over this world.
I am so blessed. I don't deserve it, but God has just poured His grace and love out on me, and it's so evident in my life these days. I have so many friends, both guys and girls, that I know would do anything to help me out if and when I need them, and I have been given this incredible opportunity of eight weeks in DC, an opportunity most people who come from my kind of money situation in their immediate family don't usually get. I pray that God helps me to stay focused on that even while I deal with emotions from so many other things going on.
I am happy. I am here in DC. Life is good.