It’s been very fun receiving updates from Ethan this week!
Their time in Philadelphia is over- they really just had Sunday and Monday there. They took a bus to D.C. later in the evening Monday night.
Tuesday- Thursday they are in D.C.
I got a BUNCH of pictures yesterday- they toured the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception, which looked beautiful! It’s the largest Catholic church in North America, apparently, and top 10 in the world.
I received pics of the Washington Monument and the National Mall:
In the afternoon they were at the Holocaust Museum- Ethan sent quite a few pictures of this. The Holocaust/ WWII is a big interest point for him. He has read a TON of books about it (ever since maybe 3rd grade he has been reading stuff about WWII!), so I think this museum probably meant a lot to him. I think in general D.C. is a destination that means way more to older kids/ or people who know something about our country’s history.
He sent this (bone chilling) picture:
Their itinerary said they’d also be visiting the National Museum of African American History and Culture, but I’m not sure if that was yesterday or will be today.
Last night, they went out for dinner at some place called “Ben’s Chili Bowl” and took an adorable group shot of everyone. Then they went to a comedy/murder mystery performance at the Kennedy Center from 8- 10 pm! Those are going to be some TIRED kids when they get home! haha.
They still have today and tomorrow to go. The smiles in the pictures tell me this is an experience of a lifetime for them! 🙂
Phones on the trip
Oh, one random thing I wanted to mention: Phones + kids on a trip!
I was wondering how this would go, since obviously 8th graders are pretty big fans of using their phones a lot. At first I wasn’t sure if they’d even allow kids to bring them, but they definitely did. I found out at the parent meeting that they actually expected everyone to have a phone along. (They required everyone to download the travel app, for the photo uploading, group messaging/ announcements and GPS tracking in case anyone got lost!)
BUT, I think they have a great system in place. The teachers take away everyone’s phone at night before they all head into their hotel rooms. The principal/ teachers packed these big charging tower things that can charge like 15 phones each, so they power down the kids’ phones and then charge them all up overnight (in the teacher’s rooms).
This way, the kids do NOT have unrestricted/ unsupervised access to their phones all night (doing who knows what and/or staying up way too late screwing around).
On the bus/ rest of trip, the principal said there would also be strict “NO PHONE” times, like when a tour guide was talking, etc. Any rule breakers would be in big trouble and lose their phone privileges.
Anyway, just mentioning this since it’s another example of the changing (ok, changed! I guess phones are old news now) times. I know for a fact when I went to D.C. in 11th grade I probably had a couple rolls of Kodak film in my bag and that was about it. Pretty sure I didn’t talk to my parents once the whole time! (I’ve not actually talked to Ethan either, but he has sent many (very short) texts.)
Here’s a couple other pictures he texted me:
2 more days to go! Can’t wait to hear about it all in person when he gets home.
I am grateful for a fun happy hour out with coworkers last night! It was National Healthcare Quality Week last week, so our boss had planned a little outing to get everyone together. For a fully remote team, it is fun to see people now and then in real life.