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Holly McCamant: The misadventures of D.C., NYC

Trips never go perfectly. The truth is, though, if they did, they would be dead boring.

We would have no interesting memories to take home or stories to write for the newspaper. Life isn’t all perfect, and yes, trips aren’t either.

As I wrote in the last article, I took a trip through Nacel Open Door to Washington D.C., New York City, and Niagara Falls with a bunch of exchange students two weeks ago. It was one of the best experiences I have ever had in my life; I fell in love with Georgetown, New York City, and met a bunch of amazing new people.

However, things never go perfectly, especially with 73 foreigners who don’t exactly know everything about the United States. Some misadventures were funny but harmless, while others are a little harder to laugh at.

After 30 hours of being on a bus, we were all happy to get off at Washington, D.C. On the first day, we got to see the Smithsonian museums and National Mall. The National Mall is surrounded by the Smithsonian museums, and at one end, there is a good view of the Capitol building.

Well, I knew it was the Capitol building, but most of the exchange students were excited about taking pictures with what they thought was the White House. When I politely explained to them that they were taking pictures with the Capitol building and not the White House, they asked, “Are you sure?”

Probably the worst misadventure happened at the place where Lincoln got shot. I’m guessing that Lincoln didn’t exactly feel at rest in the house where he died, and I sure didn’t either. I left my camera behind in Ford’s Theatre, and discovered that I was missing it in the place where Lincoln died in.

I was waiting to tell a chaperone what had happened, and I just happened to ask Maria from Colombia if she had seen any. She asked why, and I told her that I lost my camera in Ford’s Theatre.

It turns out that I was incredibly lucky. Maria, who had been sitting by me, had lost her glove and went back to get it. She found my camera, and had it in her hands as I was speaking to her in the house where Lincoln died. I will forever be grateful for Maria and her luck of losing her glove.

We had one other major misadventure in Washington, D.C. We were staying in this OK hotel in Maryland. Our chaperone had just come into our room to tell us about the next day, and one girl who had us taken a shower said that she thought the toilet might be overflowing.

The chaperone went into the bathroom, and the toilet was indeed misbehaving. She flushed it, and it started to overflow for real.

Eventually she turned the water off and someone came to fix it. However, it was a while before she turned it off, and we had water seeping out of the bathroom and into the carpet. I’m pretty sure that would have been worse if the chaperone hadn’t been in our room. Again, our incredible luck saved the day.

The biggest misadventure for all of us happened on the way back. This time, luck did not save us. At this point in the trip, I was sick (and still am) because of lack of sleep. We were leaving New York City to see Niagara Falls, and around Lake Ariel, Penn., the bus that we were on broke down.

There were two Coach busses for this trip, and I happened to be on the one that decided to break down 20 miles from anything. The other bus went and dropped the kids off at the nearest Burger King, and then came back and got us and took us there also. We had to stay there for five hours, and the most eventful things that happened was that I almost lost my much needed and overpriced cough drops that I had just bought and finding out that someone else was reading the exact same play I was in English.

We still got to see Niagara Falls at about 8 p.m., and it was amazing despite feeling like a zombie. I came back from the trip about 24 hours later — dead exhausted, sick, and without much homework done. The next week was one of the worst I have ever had but things are OK now. This trip was entirely worth it.

Holly McCamant is a sophomore at FHS.