The 4th Weekend


To say this weekend was "eventful" would be an understatement in every sense. Starting Thursday night, this weekend has been nonstop...literally. The city was absolutely beautiful and crowded just for the Fourth. Yes, there was rain. Yes, there were a lot of smelly people. Yes, it was muggy. But, nonetheless, it was memorable. To start, our little rat pack decided to go to the 21st Amendment (a restaurant by the Hill) to listen to live jazz and enjoy a nice evening before a very jam-packed weekend. The jazz was beautiful but the service was not-so-great. Lucky for them, gratuity was included ;-)

Later that night, UC Berkeley kids on the 5th floor decided to have a party, themed "Dress as your favorite political figure." We decided to check it out and it was quite interesting. I didn't dress up, but when people asked, I just said, "I'm Condoleeza Rice on the weekend." I'm not sure what that means but it worked. The host was the Statue of Liberty. Does that even count as a "political figure?" I was really confused at first...I thought it was her birthday since she had a crown on her head. Oh well.

Friday was the big day. There were no universal plans for our UCI group. There was a parade, concert and fireworks at the Mall but my roomies, friends and I weren't sure if we were quite ready to endure the heat at the Mall (with a crowd of thousands of people) for over 8 hours (the events spanned throughout the day). Therefore, we went to the shopping mall for a bit, guiltily spending more than our budgets allotted, then decided to head back. The rain was coming down hard but that stopped no one. The big question of the day was: Were the fireworks going to happen? Me, being the Disneyland expert/pessimist of the day, confidently informed everyone that it was highly unlikely. "Disneyland doesn't even light their fireworks if it's overcast. So even if it isn't raining, I doubt they'll do it." Well, DC proved me wrong and at about 9:30 pm the fireworks show started. With a spectacular view and heard throughout the city, everyone looked up for the next 30 minutes...4th of July in the nation's capital. How much better can it get?

I really applaud everyone for enduring the painful weather and staying positive despite my negative predictions. Good job!

Saturday (feeling more like a Sunday w/ the 3-day weekend) was pretty low-key. My roommate Daria and I decided to walk around Georgetown, have some lunch and what else? Shop for a little bit. I bought some tennis for walking and working out in and Daria bought some fun/outrageous Tory Burch patent-leather red flats. Later that evening, we went to Chinatown to watch Hancock. It was a good movie...definitely worth watching. Even later that night, I was in a spontaneous mood to watch a scary movie. Don't ask me why because I HATE scary movies. With enough persistence and begging, my friends agreed to watch "The Forgotten." To my dismay, it wasn't even scary! It was more like a story from the Twilight Zone... I don't recommend it. Everyone just fell asleep which is a pretty clear indication that it wasn't that impressive.

Sunday...was a beautiful day. My roommates Emma and Daria and I decided to go to the Arlington Cemetery. It was a last minute decision--we wanted to utilize the free time and do something productive. Meanwhile, our other roomie, Andrea, was sick with the cold (probably from me) and therefore, decided to stay in and get some rest. Despite it all, the cemetery was absolutely gorgeous. Don't you love being blown away? I really had no idea what I was getting myself into...I had no expectations and I didn't know what the cemetery consisted of. As we took the bus tour throughout the cemetery, the level of respect I had for fallen soldiers and the hundreds of thousands who risked their lives in the Civil War, WWI, WWII, Vietnam, Iraq, etc. deepened by a thousand fold. The experience was powerful and heart wrenching at the same time. It was memorable in every sense.

(Tour Guide Emma...caught off guard)
(Ready...let's go!!!)

(Awkward pose)
(JFK's burial site...his eternal flame to the right was lit by Jackie)

(As you can see, there are THOUNSANDS & THOUSANDS of fallen soldiers/family)
Another cool thing we got to see was the changing of the guards at the burial site for the unknown soldier. Every 30 minutes, this switch occurs and it happens all day and all night. It is quite the process and a great thing to observe. It is also symbolic of the appreciation and significance for this unknown soldier. Although he was not identified, his service was important to the country. The guard walks 21 steps every 21 seconds, back and forth, behind the burial site of the unknown soldier. Apparently, 21 is the highest ranking for a soldier other than the purple heart. (Please don't quote me on this...I am trying to remember what I read; therefore, the facts may be a little off). I took a ton of pictures so here's my best attempt at filtering and choosing the best:

So that's was a great weekend; memorable to say the least...

Until next time,
ciao ;-)

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