The last time I went to D.C., I was thirteen years old and I’d just gotten my braces off. My eighth grade class at Clarendon Hills Middle School flew to Washington for a few days of history and general middle school awkwardness. I will never forget standing atop the Lincoln Memorial and posing in front of the massive columns with my friend and D.C. roomie, Erin. We laughed our way through that trip.
I went back this past Thursday for the Women’s Council of Realtors mid-year meetings. The National Association of Realtors was here, too, for legislative meetings on Capitol Hill. Realtors across the country flooded the city to bring change and make connections, including many of my peers in Chicago. Our association surprised us with very thoughtful gift boxes — mine was waiting for me at the foot of my bed. (That cookie from Manny’s was such a treat.)
It was a 90 degrees and sunny in D.C. last week. On the first night, we attended a patio happy hour and a rooftop party. It was so hot, so hot. I thought I might melt away. Miraculously, I did not, and I was able to go meet one of my best friends, Dom, for dinner downtown. We went to The Hamilton for hamburgers and a bottle of red. After the sun went down, we walked to see the monuments: The White House, Washington Monument, World War II Memorial and Lincoln Memorial. At night, each one was beautifully aglow. I sang silly America songs and enjoyed the time with an old friend.
I flew home yesterday afternoon, relieved to return to my beloved city. D.C. was a mini-adventure — I’m grateful for the opportunity to get outside of my comfort zone once more.