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Saturday, February 02, 2008


The Amazing DC Trip!

Hello again every1! It's been about two weeks now since the DC trip for the March For Life with
St. Joseph's High School and St. Mary's Youth Group here in SC. In short, I had a blast. But here's the whole story despite little news coverage here and around the states.

Saturday night was the day before I left for DC. I was excited and also scared since I had never been on a trip without my family and just a few close friends since the Freshmen year Florida trip. But that's a whole other story. So this kinda seemed like a new experience even though I had done it in Florida and also because I had been to DC once before my Sophomore year of high school on spring break with my family. So there I was late Saturday night awaiting anxiously and excitingly about what the next day would bring. Because the packing took so long with snacks, clothes, fun stuff, and more snacks I did not hit the sack until around 1 or 2 in the morning. I had to wake up at 5 the next morning to meet the buses at St. Joe's by 6. So in all I had absolutely little sleep, but that did not keep me away from being able to survive the trip.

Sunday morning at 5 I am up and atom for the trip. With three bags of everything that I needed I was off to DC. The trip to St. Joe's was a quiet one and very low key at that. Once I had arrived I was hustled into the Chapel for a brief Sunday Pro Life mass before we left on our trip. Father Longenecker did the Mass and had much ways to connect the pro life movement to other major movements since the dawn of time. Then it was too the buses. I said my goodbyes to my mom who showed me off and then we bolted out of the parking lot with two charter buses packed and we were finally headed off to DC.

I was excited to be off and couldn't wait. Before we had left we had movie choices that we could have. It was either LOTR or Padre Pio for our two buses. Luckily we got LOTR while the other bus two had to watch Padre Pio. HA HA! I was glad that my seat mate was Andy.

He's been a good friend in YG and we talked for like forever. Even through the dull and boring LOTR. I probably took too many pictures. But that was me on a field trip high. We made a few pit stops on the way and ate too many BK's and Mickey D's.

I think we got a little to mad here.

At one point in the trip I was speaking Gollum language.

Andy started freaking out and I stopped myself before I went too far. The bus ride up was crazzzzzyyyyyyy.

At one point we convinced Father Longenecker to do an Indiana Jones pose. And later one his son Ellis decided to join in.

He is such a funny kid. But his friend Clark had to babysit him since he was underage most of the trip.

But that sums up the trip up. I had fun looking out at the window at times to snow and heavy winds and many towns and cities that we passed through on the 8 hour trip to DC.

Once we hit Arlington, VA, I knew we were close to DC.

We stayed overnight at the Radisson in VA and my group went to eat out at Chilli's the first night. That included Andy, Christopher, and Tommy, and Lucas. We met another Youth Group there that was sitting beside us and laughed at all the stupid things that kids say in Youth Group these days.

"God loves cats that are fat."
"Jesus blessed donkeys."
"Mary threw the first stone."

and so on.

Monday the 21 was sightseeing of DC. We woke up around 6 and walked to the Metro to get to Union Station around 7 in the morning. We got lost and finally found the first train to Union Station.

Most of the group boarded with success and high spirits. Our YG director Chris was confused along with John in the back.

But once everything was situated everyone was better then they were before. We had a few minutes to spare so we laughed and joked and talked about all the sites we would see that day. I wanted to see the White House and they thought that the Lincoln Memorial was cooler.

COOOMMEEE ONNN. A guy sitting in a chair is cooler than the President's house??!!! PHSH! Kidding me? Nope. Anyways, that was the plan from there.

One thing that surprised me about DC was that their were newsstands for The Onion, which is a newspaper of satire on current news. Andy was not pleased having Lucas read it and so was I.
I love The Onion, but maybe not at this point in time.

We had finally arrived at Union Station and Christopher wanted our group to get a move on. And so we did. First stop was the Capitol building. Mind you it was about 30 degrees outside so we were wearing extremely heavy warm coats and boots that were really air tight and smooth. So we were FREEZING SOUTHERNERS!

The Capitol was our destination and we were headed full force to see it. Their was a wait of up to an hour. No Kidding. An Hour. By the time we entered the building My feet, head, and hands were numb and I couldn't feel anything. I was about to collapse. But I made it through.

While we waited I took a picture of the back side of the Capitol with the sunrise and the American Flag waving on the top.

Once I reached the door they checked my bag and the others for weapons, knives, spray, and food. Yep, food. I had to throw all mine away for that day. So I had to be hungry until lunch and dinner with no snack food for a day. The security guy called my bag a "mini WalMart" which it was. We went inside and did our tour.

This is the view from the Capitol balcony where the President gets inaugurated. Hopefully "You Know Who" will not be our president from that balcony next year. Please. Please. Please. We are now considered the lucky few to have had that experience.

After 20 minutes on the balcony taking pictures of DC we left and I got a big full scale picture of the Capitol before we left.

Next up was the Mall Of America and the local museums. We visited Air And Space, Lincoln, Washington, and a few others. Disappointly we never made it to the White House. The other groups except us did. Boo Hoo. Im not complaining, because I've already been their before anyway.

We went to the Washington Monument and saw how humongous it was. Then it was lunch time. My group, same as usual, went to Fuddruckers in downtown DC. We then met up with the other groups at Ruby Tuesdays, Subway, and Mickey D's and we all made a big YG trip to Bed, Bath, And Beyond to try out their new massage chair. That's when they left me. Seriously. Left Me. I walked around as did everyone else. It was time to leave the store at 1 in the afternoon and I went to meet the group at the front of the store. They were not there. Went to the first floor. Not their either. Went outside the store. Not there. Went back to restaurants. Still no sign. So I then figured out they left me for the museums. So much for watching out for each other and those silly chaperone's.

So here I am in Downtown DC scared out of my mind with some Stunna Shades on. I walked to the monuments which were about a mile away from where I was. Their were pickpockets everywhere so I really had to fend myself without others around me. I made a stop into a Smithsonian Museum. Met up with Belmont Abbey people I did not know and hung with them and then went on my own pursuits. Saw the whole museum in like 20 minutes max and every exhibit in like 5 minutes each. After that I went to Mickey D's and surprisingly found St. Joe's people whom I recognized. I called Chris and told him where I was. He was not scared one bit. AHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!!!!! That's scary when you're own chaperone's are not scared for your life. BAD, BAD, BAD. But everything worked out in the end.

It was back to the buses for the groups to get to the Pro Life Vigil Mass at the Basilica Of The Shrine Of The Immaculate Conception.

Before leaving we took a group picture before heading out.

This time I sat with my friend Clark.

Yes, the really extremely crazy fun Clark. We talked about the day and how I got lost and how he played pranks on a few people downtown.

He camera phobic so I had to stop taking pictures for a while.

I mean I was serious.

Ellis wanted to join us so he hung out with Clark and I for the last few minutes of the bus ride to the Basilica.

And went crazy on us before the bus was supposed to land at its destination.

Emily and Andy were glad to get off from the bus to stretch their legs and walk to the Basilica.

The Basilica in full before we entered for the Pro Life Vigil Mass on Monday.

The mass was soooo crowded. It was so crowded that our group had to go to the lower crypt of the church. Even then the place was packed with people. I seriously had not seen so many people in my life in such tight spaces before it.

Andy sure does.

Actually we both do, even though I'm wearing a DC shirt at Mass. OOPS.

The YG guys chilled before Mass began.

So did the YG girls too.

We were lucky enough to have Father Longenecker be a part of the Mass for the Diocese Of Charleston!!!!

After the Mass was over around 10 that night we left and headed straight for the buses to the hotel. It was too late at 11 to go out so we ordered pizzas for the night. Then we stayed up watching Dane Cook and Lewis Black reruns on Comedy Central until 2 in the morning.

Tuesday January 22, 2008 was March For Life Day and now called The Sanctity Of Human Life Day by President Bush!!!!!! Speakers such as Sam Brownback and Ron Paul were there too.

First stop was the Verizon Center for the Pro Life Youth Rally And Mass before the March For Life. Over ten thousand people were in attendance for the Rally and the March altogether.

And you can see what I am talking about when there are 10,000 people in one building. There was actually standing room in this place!

And again we were lucky enough to have Father Longenecker serve this Mass too!

Even the American Representative to Pope B16 was there!

I had a lot of fun at the Pro Life Mass And Rally with my friends and my fellow Catholics.

Clark was camera phobic as usual.

And Andy was having the time of his life too!

Then it was off to the March itself. The moment I had always been waiting for. People stretched from the Capitol building to the White House. I held the banner for the Diocese Of Charleston the whole way through. It was breathtaking. The whole experience.

I was glad to see the whole group get into it from both sides. Many people chanting, singing, and praying. It was an experience I will never forget.

The Saint Joseph's High School Banner.

The Diocese Of Charleston Banner.

We all eventually all became tired and headed the buses for home in SC. The bus ride back was fun. I sat with my friends Jill the first half, Michael the second half, and Seth the third half. It was too dark to take pictures so I waited for BK to come.

The guys sat and chilled in one corner of the resturaunt.

The girls and Andy sat on the other side talking gossip and rumors about the trip.

At one point the three amigos and I went and got our own table. At one point Christopher accidentally called Tommy "Timmy" and Lucas, Christopher, Tommy, and I burst out laughing! It was the funniest thing ever.

At the table beside us, Stephen argued with Malachi over why the Catholic Church does not allow women to be presidents in America using his "Mini Catholic Cathecism For Idiots" book.

Jordan and I had fun on the trip.

And so did Marco.

And then once everything was done all we wanted to do was go homeeeeeee. zzzzzzzzzzzzzzz.

We got back at St. Joe's for pick up at about 1 in the morning. I was extremely tired. I finally reached my house around 1:30 on Wednesday the 23rd. And I had to go to school the next day. St. Joe's kids and Homeschoolers were lucky enough to sleep in a bit, but the rest of us had to get up bright and early.

So I got home, unpacked, and hit the sack around 2:30 or 3 that night. I then woke up at 7 for school. Only 4 hours of sleep for me.

I went back to school and everyone wanted to know the whole story. Well, here it is in it's entirety.
Check out the new stuff on my profile which is the OI7 Banner for Justin, Travis, Emily, Taylor, Mac, and Jacob and the new V Factory banner for the release of their new song "For You" and others on my Facebook and Myspace now! Congrats to Wesley and the rest of the gang on their new releases this week! I wish them the best of luck in all that they do.

I hope everyone had a great week and hope that all is going well!

Christian L.

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