I’ve toured DC before, but I had never toured it with my youth group. In fact, I hadn’t ever taken a trip with my youth group at all, so when plans were made to spend a short weekend in DC together with the purpose of seeing the Bible Museum, I was thrilled. You jam twenty-five great people onto a bus for 12 hours, and good things are bound to happen, don’tcha think?
The weather decided to humor us, and our two days there were completely glorious. A bit chilly with a breeze and a warm sun beaming down on us. Even better, we inadvertently timed our trip with a food truck festival or something, so both days we got to select our meals from the miles of food truck options before us. Greek, Mexican, Halal, Indian, Saudi Arabian… the options were overwhelming.
Saturday we spent at the museum, poring through the miles of exhibits and story-telling. It is in a six-story building, and covers everything from the effect of the Bible on our current lives, to Bible translating, to a virtual reality tour through Israel, to interactive Old and New Testament stories. We popped out for lunch, and hurried back to take in more. We finally left when security kicked out us out at closing, and could easily have spent another day or two there.
My favorite exhibit was the walk through the Old Testament. It was a variety of film and interactive art, and it left me feeling wowed at the thought that I get to be part of such an epic story which is still happening. It really blows my mind a little; isn’t it an incredibly cool thing? If you have a chance, I highly recommend seeing this museum, and make sure you have at least a full day to spend there.
On Sunday morning we had a leisurely breakfast at the hotel, then headed back to the city for a day of exploring and eating.
We parked at Union Station, and I confess, when I saw a Blue Bottle shop there, I nearly jumped up and down for joy. It’s a west coast establishment, but I first stumbled across it in NYC, and it accompanied my daily morning bagel on my magical trip there last Christmas. Of course, I had to squeeze a Blue Bottle coffee into the head and tail of my day in DC as well.
After admiring the place a while, we headed toward the Capitol to pray on the steps. Then we split into groups however we wanted, and had half a day to breeze about seeing what there was to see. We walked for miles, basking in the golden sunshine and admiring the pretty bits of autumn tucked between the grand architecture.
The day was perfection, except maybe for the man yelling obscenities in front of the White House, claiming he was Jesus, and raging about how Trump and all his supporters needed to die. My nephew observed him a while, then told his parents, “But, he can’t be Jesus, because even though Trump has done some things that aren’t very good, Jesus wouldn’t want to kill him.” Spot on, kiddo. 🙂
One highlight of the day was meeting this street artist from Macedonia, who instructed Brandon to sit still and look at him for 7 minutes and he would draw his portrait. Brandon took his job very seriously, and studiously gazed at the artist the whole time with unwavering focus. He drew a beautiful portrait in just a few minutes, highlighting Brandon’s big chocolate eyes, and man, I want to be that awesome and talented when I’m old!
I don’t know where my nephews get their crazy side, I really can’t figure it out… 🙂
See the lurking portrait of Mary back there? I think she wants the coffee.
We tried to leave early enough to make it home in decent time, but timeliness has never been our strong suit as a whole. After our late start, part way home the bus broke down, and we cavorted about in the frigid parking lot, doing jumping jacks and Indian leg wrestling while our handy mechanic on board quickly fixed the issue. (Always carry a mechanic on board.) Back on board, we sang everything from Christmas carols to southern gospel to African folk songs as the miles flew by, and arrived home in the middle of the night, sleep-deprived, a little hoarse, and thoroughly happy.
Now forgive me for a moment while I brag a little, but I frequently have to wonder how I got so lucky as to be part of a group of such stellar people. From the young whippersnappers to the group leaders, they are thoughtful and genuine and hungry for truth, and jolly and as funny (and punny) as the day is long. We’ve done a lot of growing and stretching in the last ten years, and I personally can’t wait to see the places these people are going to go with their lives. Lonely years spent in an isolated part of Central America have made being a part of this group a gift I do not take lightly, and I’m proud to call them my own people.