Exploring America, Great fun for all! Eleven Conrad High School students and six adults embarked on an incredible adventure.
After an interesting arrival due to weather in Denver we met up with students from Shelby and Culbertson and were underway.
Our journey began at our Nation’s Capital, Smithsonian Museums, The National Archives and an evening performance of ‘Shear Madness’ at the Kennedy Center.
Washington, D.C. also included, a snowy trek through Arlington National Cemetery, the changing of the guard at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier and the Eternal Flame at the gravesite of JFK, touring the Ford Theatre, seeing the White House, many magnificent monuments and Mount Vernon, our First Presidents home. Viewing Old Glory to the Apollo 11 Command Module, the heartbreak of the Holocaust Museum and seeing our Nation’s Capitol. What a way to whet the appetite of youth and adult alike.
Next stop on our journey was the City of Brotherly Love, Philadelphia, running the ‘Rocky Stairs’, seeing Independence Hall – birthplace of our Constitution and the Declaration of Independence, the Liberty Bell and Betsy Ross’ home. The founding city of much of our Nation’s History, not to mention the Philly Steak Sandwiches at Reading Terminal Market were amazing!
New York City is truly a planet unto itself! The sights, sounds and tastes were something to be experienced. Times Square left us all a bit awed with the lights, crowds and culture. There were people from every walk of life and background to be seen. Contrary to what many of us think, the atmosphere was rather friendly and helpful. Sailing in a ferry boat past the Statue of Liberty, was a special treat. While in the Big Apple, we saw “Motown” a wonderful Broadway musical, Central Park, The Metropolitan Art Museum, the quiet intensity of the 9-11 Memorial, the Intrepid Air and Space Museum, the Dakota Building home of John Lennon, Chelsea Market, China Town, 5th Avenue and so much more. Several also donned ice skates at Rockefeller Center. A view from the ‘Top of The Rock’, was a must see.
Off to Boston via Yale University, a rather old world and beautiful campus. Straight to Quincy Market and Faneuil Hall for … what else Clam Chowda! While in Boston please don’t pronounce the “r’s”! Fun at the Aquarium, the Boston Commons, then off to the Blue Man Group! Walking the freedom trail, sitting in the Old North Church, Paul Revere’s home and Mike’s Bakery where we all sampled cannoli’s! A quick break at MIT and walking the grounds of Harvard before stepping back in time at Plimoth Plantation and seeing how the first settlers lived. Riding a lobster boat, hauling in traps, learning about lobsters, differences of the claws, colors, measuring and more. Fun was had by all examining these crustaceans, followed by what else ... eating a whole lobster, if it was on your list! No trip would be complete without a ghost tour of downtown Boston!
Winding down in Salem, Mass., then ending our trip at one of the first National Beaches was a perfect ending to a perfect trip. Getting home was another adventure for many, by now we know when it comes to the airlines we just ‘fly with the punches’. We had a blast!
Our exploring took us through Virginia, Washington, D.C., Maryland, Connecticut, Pennsylvania, Delaware, New Jersey, New York and Massachusetts. We so greatly appreciate all of you who helped us in our fundraising for this amazing opportunity. Your support has made this trip a memory of a lifetime.
Editor’s note: This article was submitted by Connie Bitney, one of the adults that had the opportunity to take the trip with the Explore America students.