Getting Away From it All

Getting Away From it All

It's been a long, busy week (and past couple of weeks) but this past week made it all worth it. First, I got to see all my recent hard work at my internship pay off as our Women's Leadership Forum Conference was a tremendous success. Then, I got to unwind with an unforgettable weekend exploring outside of D.C.

 

Hard Work Pays Off

The Women's Leadership Forum National Issues Conference is a big annual event every year, and I was fortunate enough to work on it almost as soon as I started my internship with the DNC. My co-workers were quick to get me involved, letting me help them with some of the hard work that went into putting on the Conference. My fellow interns and I helped attendees with their questions and concerns leading up to the big event, and we helped organize and prepare materials for both the panelists and guest speakers as well as the guests. The two-day Conference opened on Thursday afternoon and concluded Friday evening, and the 500 attendees seemed to really enjoy the experience. It was a good feeling, seeing everything I put into this event pay off. I felt like part of the team working on this project. That seems to me to be the goal of every internship experience, and I can now safely say I have reached that point.

 

Day Trip to the 'Burg!

You may remember that the Washington Center occasionally offers excursions on the weekends from a previous post about my trip to Baltimore. Well, this time TWC drove a busload of students to historic Gettysburg, Pennsylvania. Home of the famous Civil War battlefield, I had also heard it was a nice place to visit. I jumped at the chance to go because, being new to the East Coast, I want to do as much exploring as I can. The drive up to the 'Burg (as apparently the city is called, according to Snapchat's geotags?) was gorgeous, as it went through a section of Maryland where fall is in full swing. Trees that have turned to wonderful shades of red and orange flanked both sides of the road. The drive actually took us through the battlefield itself, past fields on the outside of town. We even drove past the Gettysburg National Cemetery, famously dedicated by President Lincoln with his Gettysburg Address.

 

Our first stop was the Gettysburg Heritage Center, which told the story of the battle and its impact on the town. As a history nerd I really enjoyed learning more about the circumstances surrounding the battle and how the town's citizens tried to make sense of the carnage in the immediate aftermath. After getting my history fix, it was on to the town itself! I wasn't exactly sure what to expect, but in a way Gettysburg both lived up to and defied my expectations. I had heard it was very quaint, with lots of shops and places to eat in an easily walkable space. But I was taken by surprise by just how small-town Gettysburg really is. The place is pretty tiny for a location with such a significant place in the history of our country. It makes you think about how normal it must have been for the people living here before the Civil War, and just how disruptive the war was to them.

 

We then had the opportunity to visit a pumpkin patch outside Gettysburg! It was located on a nice piece of property that was essentially a big stretch of land, with a real-life corn maze (that a friend and I managed to make it out of after a slight struggle) in addition to the actual patch of pumpkins. There was a tractor ride to the pumpkins, and that in and of itself was kinda neat. The weather was perfect for fall: slightly cool but not too chilly. The sun was slowly starting to set by the time we got to the pumpkin patch, so the wide-open sky looked lovely. The best part? I found a small pumpkin that is now part of my apartment's decor. It made for a nice conclusion to a really fun trip to Gettysburg.

 

On the way to getting a pumpkin!

 

Hail to the Victors!

This Sunday marked a big milestone for me: my first ever NFL game. A friend had located some cheap tickets and I jumped at the chance to go see Washington play Tampa Bay at FedEx Field. Getting to the game involved a bit of a metro trek, as the stadium is technically located in Maryland, but it was worth it! I was able to go with a group of friends who had also never been to a professional football game before, so there was a lot of excitement in the air even before kickoff. We had a great view of the field from our standing-room only section at the very top of the stadium. It was a great vantage point to watch the action unfold. The game started out as a disaster, with Tampa jumping out to a 24-0 lead. However, by the second quarter Washington started to turn things around. The fans went crazy after every big play. It was definitely a home-field advantage for Kirk Cousins and company as they clawed their way back into the game. When the home team finally took the lead in the last 24 seconds of the game, FedEx Field went nuts. My friends and I were cheering and high-fiving like we were D.C. natives. It ended as a huge win, the largest comeback victory in franchise history. What a game! What a way to end a long week and a fantastic weekend!

 

My view from the top. Not bad! Especially when the game-winning score took place right below!

 

Until next time,

 

Barrett

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