Stop and Smell the Roses

Stop and Smell the Roses

So much I've done, so much more to do!  I thought life in Florida was fast-paced...boy was I wrong.  Here, it's go-go-go.  Traffic stops for no one.  People stop for no one.  Time stops for no one.  Now that my internship is in full swing (Hang in there for a future post on that.  I love it.), I find myself caught in the hustle and bustle of juggling work, class, programming, and keeping sane. Every so often I feel as if I'm on autopilot.  It's lazy evenings like tonight when, kicking back on the couch after a long day, it occurs to me that what's the point of this whole experience if I don't take a breather and let it all sink in?

 

Ain't it pretty?

 

A Day in the Life

[cue: Tuesday's schedule]

6:45am - Wake up, walk half-zombified to shower, emerge somewhat awake, pour cup of coffee.

 

7:45am - After 3 outfit changes, wonder why you didn't just plan the night before.  Finish getting ready, pop oatmeal in the microwave and realize it wasn't a microwaveable bowl and the oatmeal exploded.  Whoops. Grab your purse, slip on your shoes, run out the door.

 

8:00am - Get to metro station and realize you ran out the door in your sandals.  Run back to the RAF, grab heels, run back to metro station.

 

8:30am - Somehow you still always manage to make it to the office 30 minutes early.  So much for being frazzled.

 

9:00am - Get settled in, greet coworkers and supervisor, get the morning's agenda, and indulge in your daily vice.  When your boss encourages you to pour a cup of coffee, and your office has a keurig with unlimited K-cups, you don't say no.  (Yes I'm aware of this excessive consumption.  That's why I got decaf...placebo effect :))

 

LET WORK DAY COMMENCE

 

10:00am - Sit in on conference call with supervisor and other department heads.  They're really letting me do this.

 

10:30am - Travel off-site to meeting!

 

12:00pm - Enjoy lunchtime outside the building with Courtnie, a fellow intern.  No better place for a breath of fresh air than between the White House and Capitol Building.  Feel incredibly lucky, incredibly humbled, and incredibly blessed.

 

3:00pm - Mid-afternoon slump kicks in.  Brew a cup of tea to power you through your work.

 

4:00pm - Cover front desk shift for the last hour...pray nobody calls because you still haven't figured out the 8-step telephone system.

 

5:00pm - Head - no, sprint - to metro, hoping not to get caught in the rush hour traffic.  Doesn't work. You're still packed like sardines, but at least there's a quiet, polished businessman next to you rather than a screaming child.

 

5:30pm - Arrive back at the RAF, drop stuff in room, and collapse on the couch.  Contemplate brewing some coffee but...nah. Think about how nice a 10 minute power nap sounds but remember you have class in an hour!  And you're starving...leftovers to the rescue.

 

6:30pm - Hooray for convenience, class is downstairs.  Double hooray since class is interesting.  Promise yourself that if you can stay awake through 3 hours of this, you can do anything.

 

9:30pm - Bedtime!  Wait, no, you're an adult.  The dishes aren't going to clean themselves, nor is the laundry going to fold itself, nor is your mailbox going to empty itself.  Do it all, half-zombified (again), then hear a knock on the door. It's one of your awesome neighbors from down the hall.

 

10:30pm - TV time, hang out on the couch time, laugh time, make plans for the weekend time.  So much for bedtime!

 

11:00pm - FINALLY collapse into bed but you can't fall asleep because there is so much running through your head, and trying to connect all the dots takes so much energy.  But it's ok, because you couldn't be happier to be anywhere else.

 

To all those who text me and have to wait 24 hours for a 3 word answer...please forgive me.

 

Union Market

Last weekend, a group of TWCers and I had our first Civic Engagement project meeting.  Our project, "All Things Sustainable", took us to Union Market, a nearby farmer's market, for a tour.  Unlike Eastern Market, Union Market is an indoors mecca of fine foods, artisans, and gourmet vendors.  It's a bit more upscale - you can find restauranteurs selling gelato, oysters, and fine wines. My group got a tour in which we learned about local food sourcing and got to go up on the roof after to view the hydroponic gardens! Hydroponics is a space-effective, soil-less method of growing that means a more sterile environment and more nutrient-dense crops.  This makes them better than organics!

 

 

 

 

Salt & Sundry, a Pottery Barn-Style kitchenware shop

 

Some familiar faces

My family from nearby Virginia came to the city to take me to dinner.  It's always great to see them. I missed my cousins and am so glad they're close!

 

 

I'm not sure how many Gators are here in D.C. for the summer, but I'd guesstimate it's a good amount since I've already discovered several in TWC walking around the RAF in their orange and blue UF sweatshirts.  I met up with Ben, Jonah, and Leah (some Gators here I DO know) for some falafel since we had all gotten back from Israel recently and were having serious falafel withdrawls.

 

Ben and Jonah are interning on the Hill, and Leah scored an internship with FOX News.  It's great to be a Florida Gator!

 

"What's That?"

"Probably just another building.  Oh wait, it's the Supreme Court."

Sometimes you just happen to stumble upon things like it's meant to be.  On a leisurely Sunday stroll around Capitol Hill, my friend LeeAnne and I decided to wander up to and snap pictures of every building in sight.  Good thing only the security guard was around to catch our mistake!

 

 

I Stopped to Smell the Roses

And several other plants at the the U.S. Botanic Gardens.  Originally the brainchild of founding father (rather, founding farmer) George Washington, the gardens were commissioned in 1820 and have outdoor flower beds as well as an indoor conservatory, that includes flowers, fruits, and spices from every corner of the Earth.  Rooms are themed ecologically, and include a desert room, jungle, and tropical paradise.  Not only is the place beautiful, but fragrant!

 

The most important plant

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

So you're probably wondering about the internship, and civic engagement, and my class, and what living at the RAF is like.  Just hang in there for now. Future posts will explore all of that more in-depth.

 

Off to Tynan Coffee & Tea to prepare a presentation for this week. The sun is shining, breeze is blowing, and their vanilla chai tea latte is calling my name.

 

-Rachel

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