My Experience Traveling to Washington DC For The First Time

Written by: Maisie Tolzmann

Maisie is an ASDA member who traveled to Washington DC for Lobby Day 2018.

As a first-year dental student, it is so difficult to stay on top of the overbearing course work that even thinking about being involved in a student organization seems like it is out of the question. Last fall, I remember being in a state of panic as I filled in my planner with the exams, quizzes, and homework assignments for the 23-credit semester ahead. Soon after the semester started, I attended a meeting for Marquette’s ASDA chapter. I saw how involved other dental students were on top of their class work and decided to become more involved. Before I knew it, it was the spring semester, and I was boarding a plane to fly to Washington D.C. for National Lobby Day. I had never been to Washington D.C. and had never been on an ASDA trip before, so I knew there would be a lot to take in on this trip.

We started our first day in D.C. getting settled into our Airbnb and preparing for the evening ahead. I was so excited to be in a new city that I couldn’t wait until the next day to sight see. So, I rallied together a few fellow Marquette ASDA members, and we went to explore the Jefferson Memorial. When we were in Washington D.C. the cherry trees were in full bloom, which made my first time in the city surreal. I was frantically snapping pictures, but none could truly capture the beauty of all of the trees. After walking around West Potomac Park, we met up with the rest of the Marquette ASDA group at a restaurant for dinner. My favorite part of the night was seeing these monuments lit up and glow in the night.

The next day we had most of the day to sight see before the National Lobby Day meet and greet in the evening. Our day started with a tour of the National Museum of African American History and Culture. This museum took us about 2 hours to get through, but the time seemed to fly by. The museum was a very powerful, and I recommend it to everyone. From there we ate some delicious food at District Taco and prepared for our next stop, the Holocaust Memorial Museum. This museum started with each person entering receiving a passport that told you the story of someone that was part of the Holocaust. Then you entered dark, industrial elevators that played a video about the Holocaust. This really personalized your experience in the museum. I spent 4 hours in this museum, and I easily could have spent many more. Based on the two museums I toured in D.C. I have to say that they are definitely worth your time and full attention when inside. If we had more time, I would have toured many more.

After the museums, I could have gone for a nap and a foot massage, but the touristing continued. From the Holocaust museum, we wandered down National Mall. What amazed me most about sight-seeing in Washington D.C. was how far apart everything was. I was under the impression that the Lincoln Memorial, Capitol Building, and other notable buildings and monuments were within a couple of blocks of each other; however, that was not the case. The Capitol Building is around two miles from the Lincoln Memorial. I never thought I’d say this, but a Segway tour would not be out of the question the next time I’m in D.C.

After walking a total of thirteen miles around D.C., I was tired, hungry, and sad it was over. Any expectations I had about that day were blown out of the water. I left D.C. knowing the day I spent being a tourist was only the tip of the iceberg. Someday I will go back, and hopefully it’s with Marquette ASDA!


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