May 29, 2016

Maryland Recap/ USNA Graduation!

I spent this past week in Maryland with my closest friends to celebrate our friend Luke's birthday, and graduation from the US Naval Academy. Three years ago I went to Maryland with the "squad" to visit, and last year I flew out to attend the US Naval Ring Dance with him. Even being my third time visiting, there were still so many things to see and do! We made our way back to Washington DC to tour the Smithsonian museums, and revisit the various monuments. First stop was the Smithsonian Museum of Natural History. This expansive building holds every fossil, geode, insect, and animal you never knew existed, along with a beautiful display of world renowned nature photography. Second stop was the Smithsonian Museum of American History. There, you are able to view the original flag that inspired the "Star Spangled Banner", along with displays of the different wars and major events in US history. We then made our rounds to all the major monuments, like the Washington monument, Reflecting pool, and Lincoln Memorial. That night we hit up a Washington Nationals baseball game. The stadium was impressive, along with the screams from the Mets fans we accidentally sat with...whoops! The next day, we traveled to the National Zoo, where I was able to witness giant pandas, which exist in a select few other Zoos in the United States! We then went to downtown Annapolis for ice cream cones, and souvenir shopping (my favorite part) ;D On day three, we watched the USNA Color Parade to support Luke! Afterwards, we had a delicious celebratory dinner at Primo Pasta Kitchen. Our last full day was the big day, graduation! After a fly-over from the Blue Angels, and some monotonous speeches, the caps went flying, and everyone was able to congratulate the graduates! We spent that night at the sponsor's house, having a BBQ, enjoying the sunset off the docks, and singing along with our musically talented friends. Maryland road trips may be over, but the memories will always last. I'm so thankful for the laughs, smiles, and love of my friends this past week. "How lucky am I to have something that makes saying goodbye so hard." 

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