Not too long ago, the Fillmore Central senior class was on their yearly trip out east. Being a senior myself, I also went on the trip. We had a fabulous time and got to see many great, and not so great, parts of our country. Our four locations were Chicago, Gettysburg, Washington, and New York City.
On the first day, we boarded the buses at four in the morning! We got to sleep after boarding, but that was all the rest time we got. Because after our tour guide joined us, it was go, go, go from there on. Our first stop was Chicago, Ill. We didn’t spend much time here, but there was still quite a bit to see. The outskirts of Chicago were, not gonna lie, kind of sketchy. There was graffiti on all the trains and lots of half-built/half-torn-down buildings. But downtown, the architecture was magnificent! The most memorable part of Chicago was the “Bean” (even though we learned that it’s official name is Cloud Gate). The person who made the statue made it to resemble molten metal. So when they welded it, they blended all the seams to look like one giant piece of metal.
Day two, and we headed to Pennsylvania. For all the history buffs, this was cool, but personally, I found it to be spooky. We walked the battlefield at night, and I’m pretty sure a ghost was following us. Because afterwards, we played the Ouija board and there was definitely a presence. The hotel was creepy, as well. I had to sleep by the window and I was very surprised that no axe murderers attacked me in my sleep. Probably the best part of Gettysburg was the food. It was a relatively small town and had a great burger place that reminded me of our very own B&B Bowl.
After a few days we were off yet again, and now to our beloved capitol. Washington, D.C. shocked me as a whole. You see, the Washington monument is a very tall structure, but it’s a law that no other building can be taller than it. So the skyline of Washington was very bland. The buildings all looked the same, too. They were all a grayish cream color and perfectly square with small windows. Washington was a very big city, but what surprised me is how clean it is. There are trees and flowers and grass everywhere. It doesn’t have any gross city smells either. I definitely took this cleanliness for granted when we went to New York.
New York City was the last stop on our trip. Now when you see movies about New York, or pictures, it’s all made out to make New York City seem so big and grand. In reality it’s not that way at all. We took the train into the city and right when we got off, the gross atmosphere hit me. There was trash everywhere and the air reeked badly of pee. Homeless people scattered the streets and subways as well. And if Rochester thinks they have a crow problem, well, you should see the pigeons in New York. They’re everywhere! Not only that, but they poop everywhere too! Despite all this, New York City was still one of my favorite places on the trip. There’s so much diversity packed into just a small piece of land. There were so many wonderful sights to see and people to meet. In just one day, I walked over 15 miles sightseeing. I also made many new friends in New York. I was scared at first because I thought New Yorkers were jerks who talked funny, but everyone I met was surprisingly very helpful and nice. The one thing I loved about New York the most was the art. There are street musicians at every turn, and people making street art at nearly every corner.
All in all, this experience was fun, and eye opening to learn fun facts about the history of our country. But the only thing that made this trip stink, literally, was everyone farting on the bus.
Elayna Kiehne is a student at Fillmore Central High School. She is one of eight area students participating in the Journal Writing Project, now in its eighteenth year.