East Coast Reflections

~By Sarah Ott, Grade 11

When I heard that our school was offering a trip for High School students to tour the East Coast, I was so excited. I think that regardless of your age, everybody should travel to new places every once in a while. Traveling is one of the best ways to experience new cultures and gain new perspective. On the trip we traveled to many of the major cities on the East Coast including Boston, New York, Philadelphia, and Washington D.C. Each one of these cities was filled with exciting culture, interesting people, and amazing history. There was never a dull day!

On our first day, we landed in New York, had a short layover, and then flew to Boston. In Boston we were able to walk the Freedom Trail and visit many impressive monuments. We were completely enveloped by our country’s early history. Boston was a bit more relaxed than I had expected it to be. It almost had a sort of Seattle-y feel to it. There were many beautiful parks and their famous market called Quincy Market, which definitely had a Pike-Place-sort-of vibe. We were also able to visit Salem. In Salem we learned about the witch trials, went to Nathaniel Hawthorne’s house, and visited the home that inspired Hawthorne to write his novel, “The House of the Seven Gables.”

After Boston we traveled to New York. New York was everything I had imagined it to be. The streets were flooded with people, horns were constantly being honked, and the city was beautiful. During our New York visit we were able to go to Central Park, shopping on 5th Ave, to the top of the Empire State Building, to Times Square, to the 9/11 memorial, to Ellis Island, tp the Statue of liberty, and even see Phantom of Opera on Broadway. My favorite part of New York was definitely going to the Broadway show. It was such a thrilling and well-done performance. New Yorkers are definitely prideful about their city, but they have a right to be…everything is in New York!

Once we were done touring New York we headed to Philadelphia. We weren’t supposed to be in Philly for very long, but due to transportation difficulties we stayed for the majority of the day. Due to our extended time, we were able to venture off with groups and tour the city on our own. My group went to China town, took advantage of some photo-ops, and walked to the Art Museum. When we arrived at the Philadelphia Museum of Art we sprinted up the 72 steps just like Rocky! Although our stay in Philly was shorter than the other cities, it was still one of my favorite parts of the trip.

The last city we visited was D.C. When we visited D.C. the Cherry Blossoms were in their peak of bloom. The city was absolutely beautiful! The monuments and historical sites in D.C. were so impressive. Some of the places we visited were the Jefferson Memorial, the Lincoln Memorial, the Arlington Cemetery, the Capitol Building, the Washington Monument, the Holocaust Museum, the Vietnam Memorial, the World War II Memorial, and the Smithsonian Air and Space Museum. A lot of these places were full of emotion, such as the Holocaust Museum and the Arlington Cemetery. I think that Washington D.C. is a very important place to visit, because it commemorates and pays respect to so many historical and important events that our country has been involved in.

Overall, this trip was an educational and unforgettable experience. I learned so much, saw so much, and gained so much from this trip. Not to mention, it was a blast! Being able to immerse yourself in new culture and experience so many things, with your friends/classmates by your side is such a fun and rare opportunity. I think that our school should continue to offer these kinds of trips for the students. Also, I would like to thank Ms. Huston, Mrs. Bullock, and Mr. Bullock for putting up with us crazy kids.