Friday, June 26, 2015

Museums, Colleges, and Taverns

My day started off nice and early to the sound my blaring alarm at 8:00 AM. For some people waking up at this time in the morning is customary, but it isn’t so customary for those who only slept for about 5 hours the night before. I reluctantly rolled out of bed to get ready, but I noticed that Alyanna slept right through my alarm so I gave her a light shake to wake her up.
When we were ready we met up with the rest of our cohort and took a shuttle to the National Mall. Our first stop was the National Museum of American History and we arrived there at about 10:50.  The first thing I saw was a huge display of rectangular silver plates arranged to look like the Star Spangled Banner.
We knew that we couldn’t spend a lot of time at the museum because we had to eat lunch and get to Georgetown University at 2:30 for our tour. Luckily we found a highlights tour that would only take about an hour. Our tour guide’s name was Andrew and while we waited for the tour to start he told us that he is a retiree and he works at the museum for fun. Andrew showed us around the biggest attractions of the museum.  We got to see things such as the ruby shoes from the movie “Wizard of Oz”, one of George Washington’s original uniforms, Muhammad Ali’s boxing gloves, and the hat Abraham Lincoln was wearing when he was assassinated.

Out of all those amazing displays and artifacts, my favorites had to be the original star spangled banner and the First Ladies’ inauguration gowns. It was unbelievable to get a chance to see the American flag that inspired our nation’s national anthem. As I saw that huge flag with its tattered cloth I started to sing the national anthem in my head and imagined being in its presence as it withstood all the damage it endured in the War of 1812. I felt as if the flag represented our country’s endurance and strength against all odds. Sadly we were not allowed to take photos of the flag.
The First Ladies’ inauguration gowns were so stunning. There were about a two dozen gowns all beautifully displayed. I loved how the gowns mirrored the evolution of fashion throughout the country and found it to be a very unique part of the museum.
After we left the museum we took a taxi to a restaurant right down the street from Georgetown University called Martin’s Tavern. After we ate lunch, we began the walk to Georgetown University. The street we were walking on had so many beautiful townhouses that I couldn’t help but take pictures of.
As we approached Georgetown I started to see the tower of a beautifully constructed building that I would later learn is Healy Hall. After getting slightly lost we made it to the information session, which condensed as much information about Georgetown as they could in 30 minutes. I learned that Georgetown is the oldest Catholic University in the country and was founded by John Caroll in 1789. We also learned about the colleges that they have and what majors are within each.
Healy Hall
When the information session ended everyone split into groups to tour the campus. My cohort ended up getting Matt as a tour guide. Matt is a rising junior with a major in international affairs and he is fluent in French. Even in the heat and humidity of the day Matt was able to keep us engaged and enthralled by the beautiful architecture and amazing backgrounds of the buildings in Georgetown’s small campus. My favorite building was Healy Hall (cliché, I know). I couldn’t help but fall in love with the exquisite exterior of the building and its old fashion style.
Student Center
When our tour came to an end we all headed back to our hotel to get ready for our dinner with the alumni of Georgetown. After we dressed up we headed off to the City Tavern Club. It was quite hard to find the restaurant at first because of its bare brick exterior and small hanging sign. When we entered the tavern, we were greeted by Sean Redmond, an alum of Georgetown and the President of the City Tavern Club. Since the other alumni had not arrived we got a chance to chitchat with him for a little. Sean Redmond was apart of the class of  ‘91, ‘00, and ’01 at Georgetown University. He told us all about the history of the tavern and his club’s efforts to restore and preserve it. It was amazing to here that John Adams had dinners there and Lyndon Johnson’s daughter had her wedding reception there.

Then our other two dinner companions arrived. When we were introduced to Chris Fisk and Josi Sinagoga I was surprised that they are still students at the college. Chris is apart of the class of ’17 and studies political science focused in Latin America and Josi is apart of the class of ‘16 and studies international politics focused in Sub-Saharan Africa. As a unit Sean, Chris, and Josi convinced me so much about how amazing Georgetown is. Even though they are obviously biased, all of their information about Georgetown was obviously authentic. Their passion for Georgetown was evident in their experiences and funny stories at the school. I have to say that dinner is the most fun event we’ve had so far.
Dining Area

Original Washington D.C. Plans
Sadly our dinner had to come to an end, so after saying our goodbyes to Josi we all took a tour of the tavern, which Sean so kindly offered. I couldn’t believe all of the amazing artifacts and historical background that was hidden in this “hole in a wall.” After our tour we said our big thank yous and goodbyes to Sean and Chris.

Today was full of so many events which all had the common theme of history. History is such a powerful subject because we get to view objects and learn about events from the past, and by doing so it creates a mirror in which we can see a reflection of ourselves and of our world today.


  1. History takes on such a different meaning when you get out of the textbooks and classrooms and into the real world. We were in a city steeped in the most important legacies of our civilization and the people living around cannot help but be influenced by them. We are all influenced by our history, just sometimes we forget about it.

  2. I’m glad that we were able to get in a visit here even if it was brief. There’s so much to learn but you can’t learn if you’re not exposed to it.