So I had some classes, but after those, I gathered my stuff and walked down to the parking log we were meeting at. After some aimless looking around, people started showing up. Once everyone was given their car assignments and packed up, we headed out, for part 1.
Here's how it went down, we had to drive from school to get to the bus rendezvous point. Once we get to that point, we get on the big charter but with the other students for life groups. We have 4 other schools with us, all headed to D.C. But the rendezvous point isn't close. It was a little over an hour away. It was an OK ride there. The car was quite the conversationalist. I didn't need to break out the entertainment at all.
We got to the point about 2 hours before the bus. Since there was an Applebee's close by, we decided to eat there. I split a 2 for $20 with one of the other group members. I haven't had real food since Christmas Break. Taco Bell has realer food than my dorm caf food. That steak, fries, broccoli, and mozzarella sticks tasted so good. Here's a reaction video.
After dinner, we got on the bus and shipped out. My friend and I prayed a rosary for a safe journey. After that, I pulled out my DSiXL and played this Legend of Zelda 4 Swords game that was free for the 25th anniversary of Legend of Zelda then played Feel The Magic XX/XY. It's a fun game. Once I tired of those, I read some of Michael Moore Is a Big Fat Stupid White Man. Good book. Until tomorrow.
Well it's past 12 midnight, so I can consider this part of Friday. We stopped at a truck stop, with the laundromat, the game room with some slot machines, showers, restaurants, and the like. It's 4:30, everything but the gift shop is closed in there. But who cares? The game room was a little boring since they didn't have pinball, my favorite arcade game. One priest that was with one of the other groups, young guy, got really into the game room and the name. It was called "Trucker's Ally," and every person he talked to he said, "welcome to trucker's ally, what goes on in trucker's ally stays in trucker's ally," an a playful way like someone would say about Vegas. Just having fun with the lethargic, tired college kids at 4:30 in the morning. Kind of funny. In the laundromat, there was a TV with cable and movie channels. I found it and decided to see what was on Adult Swim at 5 AM. Turns out it was King of the Hill, and an episode I haven't seen, but the bus was ready to go. I had to leave it. Oh well.
So we get into DC at about 9 AM. It was a long bus ride. When we got to DC, we went to our hotel and checked in and unloaded our stuff. It was also a time to get ready for the march that would be happening in a couple hours, and eat breakfast if we could find it. I did a little looking around and I found a Dunkin Doughnuts. I had 2 chocolate frosted doughnuts. After that I went back to my room to get myself bundled up for the march. Put on a pair of PJ pants under my jeans, got my nice warm hat, and put on my march for life shit. I was ready to head out, but I missed my group to head down to the mall.
At first I wondered around close to my hotel to see if I was close to the corner I had to be at. I wasn't. I asked the front desk people how to get there, and they told me how to get there and gave me a map. Had to be at least half a mile walk since I walked 15 or so blocks. Good thing the streets in DC, at least where I was at, are labeled with numbers going one way and letters going the other and where I had to be was at a number and a street right off a letter. I'm just walking down through DC going "17, 16, 15 I'm heading in the right direction number wise, and j, i, k and right direction letter wise." I walked by a group of Asian tourists, and a couple of them were looking at me and chuckling. I did look like something else with my puffy yellow winter coat and heavy Russian hat walking down the street with a map in my hands. Glad I probably made their trips.
I found my group and we got our signs. Once we all got together, we went over to the big rally site and saw the speakers. There were some good speakers, but one sticks out the most, Rick Santorum. That's right, Republican candidate during the Primary of the 2012 election, Rick Santorum. That was so cool to see him in person even if it was 200 feet away. Now I've seen both Mitt Romney and Rick Santorum. All I need to do now is see Newt Gingrich, Ron Paul, and Rick Perry and I'll have seen all the big candidates from the 2012 Republican Primary. I did see Rand Paul at the gathering and his name is close to Ron Paul right?
After the rally, it was time for the real march. Our group worked really hard to stay together. We got separated a little at times, but we regrouped easily. Get this, there were estimated 650,000 people there. Over half a million people. This was the first time I've seen that many people in one place before that I can recall. It was amazing to see that many people in one place. Definitely put some perspective to things. We were able to make it to congress and most of us decided to duck out because we were getting hungry and I really needed to use the bathroom. Some of our guys went all the way to the supreme court but I was not one of them.
Our initial plan was to go to this Irish Pub for dinner, but then we decided for lunch, but then they were super crowded so we went to this great hole in the wall burger place. It was a little pricy, like most places in DC, but it was really good. Then again, I haven't had a real burger for months. But from what I remember, it was really good by normal standards.
After lunch, we went back to the hotel, and to get back, we took the metro, or to normal people, the subway. We don't have subways in my state, so none of us really know how to use it. We spent maybe 5 minutes figuring out what line to get on, then 15 minutes trying to figure out the fair cards. Good thing the attendant was able to explain it to us. Once we figured out how to get through the entry gate, we had to figure out which side of the station to get on. This one had the boarding zones on the outer sides and the trains coming down the middle. We got on the wrong side, so had to get to the other side. Was funny since one of our group members was a quarter of the way down the escalator and decided to run back up it to catch us. Riding the subway for me is always fun, just because I never do and they go so fast.
We found our way back to the hotel, and once I got back to the hotel, I watched an episode of Gold Rush, and then crashed and burned at 6 PM. It was going to be just a quick nap until it was time to go on the monument tour, but I was out cold until one of my roommates for the weekend came back at 11:30 PM from the monument tour. After that I brushed my teeth and took a shower and went back to bed.
This was a good day. First thing in the morning, I had breakfast. I had waffles, fruit loops, and whole milk. Oh whole milk. After that, we all gathered up and got on the bus to go to the conference.
The conference was fun and informative. I got some cool stuff from the different pro-life organizations that came. Mostly flyers and literature, but got some pens and a mini Frisbee. I think it's for Frisbee golf, but whatever. We had some great speakers in the beginning, one of whom is a conservative, pro-life movie maker. He premiered his new short film, Crescendo, at the conference. It was about 15-30 minutes, and really powerful. It told the story of a young 18th century woman in Germany who's life is just horrible. Her first husband died, her second husband is a cheating sleazeball, and to make matters more complicated, she's pregnant. She decides she want's the 18th century equivalent of an abortion, but before she can take the potion/concoction thing to end her 9 month pregnancy, she goes into labor when a piano crashes through her window. I can't go on because it would spoil the ending. But I will leave you with this, it's powerful.
Lunch was good. I had a ham sandwich and a sierra mist. Still have the can since that's aluminum that my family will have fun with in the forge. After lunch it was time for the different workshops. I went to the one that was about exposing and defunding planned parenthood. We had a former planned parenthood manager there talking about all the different shady practices that PP has engaged in. To help prove it, she had her old pay stub showing the exact location that she worked at. After that, I went to one that was on pro-life apologetics, where some of the really convincing pro-choice arguments were shown how bad they were. After that one, I went to the "spreading the pro-life message with new media." As a blogger/vlogger, this one I felt I'd really enjoy, and I did. It focused more on Facebook, twitter, and tumbler than blogs and youtube, but whatever. Cool thing, apparently one guy who runs a pro-life apologetics tumbler is a semi-known user that was in the audience When it was time for the audience to give their advice, he told his story and his tumbler screen name, and one girl exclaimed "That's You!" I found that funny.
After those, time for dinner. It was pizza, and only of slightly higher quality than dorm pizza. After that, time for award ceremony for the different pro life groups. The awards were given out by the Student's for life of America president Kristan Hawkins. She's also gave a speech during the opening ceremonies before lunch. She's a very animated person, and has a signature bullhorn. These awards, best new group, most outstanding group of the year, most outstanding individual of the year, really amazing stories for why they're receiving them. I'll get the video up as soon as I get clearance. After the awards, really funny thing happened. All the group leaders rushed up to the stage and started doing the Gangnam Style dance. Bunch of pro-life, probably America loving young adults, doing the dance of a Korean pop song made by a guy who hates America and only started tolerating us once he started getting all the money from us; a tad ironic don't ya think? A pro-life rock group, don't know their name so sorry on that, played music and that was fun. Catelynn and Tyler came and gave a little speech. It was so cool seeing them again.
After the conference, we went back to the hotel. The people from my school were talking about shopping and other feminine things, and the people from the other group on our bus were talking about TV from my childhood and other good forms of entertainment. I went over and started talking with them. It was fun. Talked about the different shows on Nickelodeon and Cartoon Network and Disney Channel before the Hanna Montana effect all from back in the 90s. Eventually we got onto politics, and this is why I love being with pro-life or republican groups; we just started talking politics and how we all had conservative views on the matter. We also talked about how awesome it is being in groups like this where we share similar views. Good time. Got back to the room, watched some TV, then went to bed.
Sunday was our "Go to church then come home" day. Since most of us are Catholic, and if not Christian, most of us went to The Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception, aka, the really nice church outside of DC. Getting there was fun. We took the Subway, and as I mention again, not from a place with subways. We had our fun trying to figure out how much to put on our tickets. But riding the subway was the fun part. It was maybe a 30 minute ride, and the subway goes really fast if you don't know. One guy that was with our group had some real fun on it. He came up with "Subway Surfing." To subway surf, you stand up while the train is moving, and not hold on to anything. Train flying down the tracks at 40-50 MPH and not holding on to anything, it was a great idea. So great, I joined in. Luckily no one was stupid enough to the point of us actually hurting ourselves, but definitely not a smart move.
Once we got to our stop, we went to the church, and it was amazing. Just beautiful. It was kind of fun watching this group of 30 people trying to find seats together. Mass was good. Here are some pictures of this amazing church.
Want more, click here.After mass, we had time to explore the church more. This is when I got most of the pics. The basement was really cool. It had a crypt and a little chapel underneath the big church. They also have a cafe and 2 gift shop/book shops. Really cool.
After we had about an hour to explore, it was time to head back. We had about half our group together ready to leave. I mass texted the other group members saying we were leaving. I tried to slow them but they wanted to go. There was some trouble because we didn't put enough money on our fair cards so we had to put more money on it. That was some confusion, causing us to miss the train. Well we found our way up to the platform, and waited. Right before our train came in, the other group members responded with "we're on our way." 2 of us, me being one of them, decided to wait around for them. Well, we did, and once the train left, we went down to the entrance and was talking the way to get the proper fair over the gate since we already paid and they didn't. That was fun. We eventually got them all through, and rode back to the station closest to our hotel. None of us had a strong concept of where we were, but we found our way back fine.
We packed up, and got on the bus, and started our journey home at about 1. Some of us found a regional planned parenthood headquarters and prayed outside it. I was not one of them because I waited around at the subway for our group members which set me back at least 30 minutes. The ride back was cool. We stopped at the big trucker stop we stopped at on the way there. It was different being there in the day when everything is open. I had Dairy Queen burger meal and a butter finger mini blizzard. Took the entire time to wait in line and they got my order wrong. I think I've developed a 6th sense where before I even unwrap my burger, I can tell if there's anything else on it other than pickles. Minor set back, but whatever. We watched friends and that was fun. Love that show. If I knew we'd have DVDs to watch, I'd have brought some of mine. Oh well. We stopped at 2 rest stops in Ohio. Since all rest stops in Ohio look the same, I wasn't sure if we were in the same as on the way there, but I quickly saw that we weren't because the pinball machines weren't the same. I would know since pinball is my all time favorite arcade game. On the second stop I played a round of family guy pinball. I even won a free game. That is probably in part due to the fact that they don't get many good players coming in and setting high scores. That was cool.
We arrived at our check point to get in cars. There was one problem, one of the group member's cars had a flat tire. That was a fun experience, sarcasm. I was ready to get on my hands and knees ready to put on the doughnut. We didn't though. We went to the 24 hour McDonald's. I got a fountain drink. We were there for about an hour and a half, so 2:30 until 4 AM. Turns our McDonald's changes to breakfast at 3 AM. We left at 4 AM, and it was about a 2 hour car ride back to college. Enjoy a sneak peak at the vlog that I'll get out eventually of the ride back.
We got back at about 6AM. I'm glad that I told my roommate to leave the door unchained. I slept until 12:30 PM. Now begins my week back.
Now for a few reflections. I've done trips with school before, but they were in middle and high school so we were minors, and as minors, we had chaperones. Here it was kind of weird, since same sort of set up, but because we're all adults, no chaperones and the trip leader was our students for life president. Just a little weird for me. Sure am glad I did it, since I'm not sure I'll be able to do it again. Well this has been Pokematic signing off and bu-bye.