Daily report: Traveling to Washington

By Johan Noltes.

The morning consisted of free time, so after an interesting night most participants have chosen to stay in bed late. However, for room 920 the morning started early. At 6:45AM, an annoying sound started to fill the room, waking up some of the participants. The source of the sound was found in near the shower, where the Niels’ phone was dropped in a shoe. Luckily, Mattijs managed to turn off the alarm. However, 15 minutes later, the phone started again, waking up all of the roommates. Only Niels was able to sleep through.

For other participants, the morning started in a typical New York way; by running some miles in Central Park. The majority had breakfast and lunch at McDonald’s, Subway or Starbucks, which also gave the ability to use the internet. Others bought their last presents, like postcards, cd’s or shirts. It was time to pack our bags, which we could store in room 917, and gather in the lobby of hotel Carter. It was time to leave New York; our stay was way too short, but we had a great time!

At 12:30h, we were ready to depart and started walking a few blocks towards Penn Station. It seems that we start to get used to walk large distances with our suitcases, because despite ‘Pixel’s law’ we arrived early. That gave us about three quarters of free time, to grab some lunch or play cards.

Ronald arranged priority boarding for our group, so at 13:40h we were picked up by a employee of Amtrack to get boarded. This happened smoothly, so we could relax in the sold-out train, while others were desperately searching for empty seats. During the trip, we played some games (both digital and analog), updated our blogs; read a book, chatted with each other and had fun. We could especially enjoy the emotions of the people who were playing Warcraft 3 on their LAN.

Right on time, at 17:30h we arrived at Washington Union Station. While walking to the bus, it struck us that all flags were at half-mast. Our bus driver told us that a famous former politician died this day. He also told us that the neighborhood of our hotel is located in a less safe area of the city, but he was so polite to show us the safe routes in town on our way to the hotel. Within a few moments, we noticed some WiFi-stickers in the bus. The always-returning question “Is WiFi available here?” could be answered positively!

Upon arrival at our hotel, Motel 6, it started raining. The check-in procedure took about half an hour, but we were rewarded with a nice room. There was even a Bible available, which resulted in a recite of the book in nearly every room. The hotel also had WiFi available, and after some problems we got it all up and working. Finally there was some time to upload our blogs en photos.

At 20h, we started walking to the nearby Wendy’s for our diner. In the meantime, Michael Weber joined our group. At Wendy’s, the commission let us choose from all available menus. After this long day of travel, we were all hungry, so the Triple Baconator Deluxe was very popular. I will not mention the number of kcalories involved here. At least, the manager was very grateful with our order, we made his day. During the de-briefing, Niels announced that there was an extra room available in the motel, so two participants were chosen to have their own bed. Ruud and Albert were the lucky ones.

When arriving back at the hotel around 21:30h it was time to update our blogs, buy some drinks (however, apparently it was not allowed to sell alcohol on Sunday evenings in stores), and watch a movie or series. The day ended by Mark knocking at our door around midnight; telling us that the bus would departure an hour later than announced earlier, so we could sleep for an extra hour.


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