Day 21 June 5—Dad comes to visit

My dad is the best dad in the whole wide world!

He had a business trip in North Carolina and took a detour to come visit me here in D.C. I think the visit was two-fold: one, he really has missed me and wanted to see me (which proves he is the greatest man in my life, and I need to marry someone like him) and two, my mom wants to make sure I am eating and he volunteered to take pictures. 

He was only here one night but I showed him all my favorite things: Donburi, the Lincoln Memorial, Eastern Market, French bakery, Capitol Hill Books… We even found a place that sells homemade popsicles (I had Mexican Chocolate)!

Lots of great pictures below.



Day 19 June 3—The Hump Day Tradition

Ever since we arrived (we meaning my roommates and me), we have gone to get fries and shakes and Shake Shack every Wednesday in celebration of Hump Day. Everything goes better when there is ice cream involved, even the work week.

 

This particular Hump Day, as we were walking back to the Metro on our way home, we stopped to take pictures by the Capitol Building. Sadly, they are repairing the dome this summer, so it’s not quite as picturesque as usual, but it was certainly still inspiring.

There is an electric feel to D.C., and you can most feel that current when you are at the National Mall. This is where our government happens. This is where the most powerful nation in the world meets together to govern its people. I am always impressed by the beauty and symbolism that is out nation’s capital. We are so blessed to live in this country where our freedoms are protected and fought for, no matter how frustratingly partisan the Congress may be. Looking at the Capitol Building, I felt an overwhelming gratitude to our Founding Fathers for drafting the Constitution as they did. Where would we be- where would I be- had none of that happened?

All of that from one building. That’s amazing to me.


Day 15- May 30—Georgetown

If you’ve never been to the D.C. area before, Georgetown is a must see. It’s on the West side of the city and is home to a ton of shopping places and eateries.  Personally, it’s my favorite area of D.C., with all the cobblestone and old buildings and foliage—something I never thought I’d say since I’m not very outdoorsy, but living in the city you start to miss green.

We are all still in touristy mode at this point, wanting to adventure through the city and take it in big gulps, so we spent the whole day there. The theme for us was “Eat, Shop, Eat, Shop, Eat, Sleep”, and as such me mainly stuck to M street, which is the main shopping/food street running through the heart of Georgetown. 

 

Our first stop was Baked and Wired for breakfast, a bakery where we pretty much bought one of everything…

 

We did a little shopping and then, of course, we needed a little snicky snack, which meant macarons at Olivia’s macaron shop (my favorite flavor was lavender!)…


And then we shopped some more…

Then we got hungry again. So we found a Spanish tapas place where we engorged ourselves on deliciousness.

It was a blissful day, to say the least. 

Day 8- May 23- Eastern Market

Our first full Saturday, we wanted to do a little exploring, so we got up early (early for me is like 10) to go to Easter Market. 

Self-explanatory. It's a market on the East side of the City.  Definitely a must see. Best produce, with samples before you buy so you can be sure it's good quality. I have bought produce here almost every Saturday since. I love being outside and tasting fresh made goat cheese and buying blueberries for my upcoming week.

My favorite!

My favorite!

Beautiful. 

Beautiful. 

Also one of my favorite things. 

Also one of my favorite things. 

There are a lot of good food places there as well. My roommates and I stopped by a food place called Ted's Bulletin, where they make homemade poptarts. I got key lime pie flavored. 

Oh. And I did get actual food too. I had a Greek burger and it was really really good even though. 


Day 7- May 22- When naked men run around the Metro Station

Well. There's not much I can say for my morning commute except that on my way to work I saw a man starting his weekend out right with a little striptease on the Metro station platform. 

Granted, he was trippin pretty hard, being very drunk and very high. 

I took the picture while the security officer was covering picking up the man's clothes behind him, so it's completely G-Rated. Plus its blurry. But you get the idea. 

Oh, the adventures of living in the city.

I love it here.



NIGHT OF DAY 6- May 21- AKA The night I ate the best food I have ever tasted in my life, ever

Tonight, my roommate Mariko and I came home absolutely starved.

Background: Mariko is Japanese and lived in Japan during here high school. She also loves trying new foods and exploring like I do (she had become my Adventurous Food Buddy).

So when she mentioned she had a hankering for a Japanese dish called “donburi” and had found a local restaurant that served the dish, I was very excited to go along.

Off we went, adventuring into a district of the city called Adams Morgan, which is famous for their foodie spots.

Let me tell you: Donburi is tiny. The whole restaurant is about the size of a train car, maybe even a little smaller, and is one long bar where you can see exactly what the cooks are doing. But the vibe is very cool. They play loud rap music (which, incidentally, I love anyways), and when combined with the Asiatic cuisine, it comes off as a funny mixture. I loved that the cooks were rapping along to the music, turning up the volume when a song they loved came on.

I ordered what’s “ebi katsudon”. It’s a bowl of white rice with a fried egg and tempura shrimp on top, drizzled with donburi sauce and ginger and veggies on the side.

 

How could I have lived my whole life not having had this before?! It is one of the most delicious things I have ever had.

Mariko says that it is very authentic, even the set-up off the place (minus the rap music).

And it was so big, I couldn’t finish it all. Very very filling. I even got my protein for the day (SEE, MOM!).

All for $8.

Here is the link so you all can be jealous. 

Also, we need one in Utah.

The End. 

DAY 6- MAY 21- Me and My Big Mouth Go to Work

Eager to prove myself, I set my big mouth off today.

It all started when the men came to hang pictures. The CLC recently moved to a new office (closer by the White House!!!) on K Street, so most of their pictures weren’t up yet. Within the next week, one of our most important funders was also coming.

When the guys went to put up our sign in the main lobby/entrance, the letters ended up all crooked and horrible looking. The letters were originally put up with pegs on the back of the letters, creating a 3D effect against the wall. To do this, the men had to drill holes in the wall and then glue the pegs in. Which turned it really horrible, as you can see below. For whatever reason they didn’t drill the holes very straight. And they left a huge ink line where they used the ruler (have you heard of a little something called a pencil?).

Notice the ink... and the crookedness... This is also actually my desk.

Notice the ink... and the crookedness...

This is also actually my desk.

At this point, I decide I want to be the best intern CLC has ever had, their go-to-girl, and I volunteer to call around and see if any sign companies can create a new logo for us within the next week, so that everything is perfect when the board member arrives. Come to find out, there is no way to build a 7 foot sign that would completely cover the holes in the wall in time AND a sign of that size wouldn’t stay up because the holes greatly weaken the dry wall.

All the staffers were freaking out.

So, here I come in, again, suggesting we use tape and stick the letters flush to the wall. The old college-dorm way.

Except since it’s my idea, that means I get to do the work. Which would be fine, except, one, I’m short, and two, how am I supposed to make sure it is straight if I don’t have access to a level? (I mean, do they even have Home Depot in the city??) Oh, and, while I’m at it, my supervisor asked “if I could please patch up the wall and repaint it?”

And really, if we are thinking about it, I could very likely screw this whole thing up because never in my life have I patched a wall, nor do I enjoy watching HGTV or doing crafty activities, because I am just not patient/talented enough for such things and it would look horrible for the board member’s visit and then I would get fired since it was my idea and my fault, and, as a result, live on the streets, and die a lonely cat lady, eating garbage and saying incoherent things as people walk past me…

(That digressed quickly, but I just wanted to get across my anxiety with the situation. After all, I have always liked hyperboles.)

So Friday, (May 22nd, day right after this one), I come to work with my jeans and spackle and do my best to get it looking great. I even recruit the 6’5” intern to help me. Turns out, too, that you can use your phone as a level if you download the right app. And they have YouTube videos.

I wouldn’t go so far as to say that I’m Miss Home Improvement, but I’m pretty happy with how it turned out.

And I didn’t even get fired.  So that’s good, because I think the cat-lady-thing might be my biggest fear.

In summation, I learned:

  1. I probably need to tone down my anxiety on most things
  2. I should not volunteer if I am not a hundred percent sure about my plan. Because then I have to clean up the mess. And we're just lucky it worked out this time. :) 

TA DA!!!


DAY 3- MAY 18- The Campaign Legal Center

My very first day on the job and it was wonderful!

Back when the Hinckley asked their summer interns to decide on a host office, Campaign Legal Center was one of my top choices.

Right from their website, “the Campaign Legal Center (CLC) is a nonpartisan, nonprofit organization that defends and protects our democracy in the areas of campaign finance, voting rights, political communication and government ethics. CLC works every day to attack laws and regulations that undermine the fundamental rights of all Americans to participate in the political process and to defend laws that protect these interests. Working in administrative, legislative and legal proceedings, CLC shapes our nation’s laws and policies so that the right to have a voice in our free and democratic society remains the foundation of our political system.

(To explore our site yourself, click here.)

The team is made up of about 14 permanent team members, who work year round litigating cases, filing complaints with the FEC, DOJ, etc., and basically functioning as a watchdog group. To those of you reading that don’t really get that, a watchdog group acts as another “check” against our government. There are the typical checks between the three branches of the government, but a watchdog group is not a government entity. These watchdog groups are non-partisan and their stated mission (like the CLC quote above) includes monitoring branches of the state or federal governments for fraud, waste, abuse, corruption, mismanagement, illegal activity, campaign donor influence, abuse of authority, miscarriage of justice, and so forth. Groups whose primary purpose are political or issue advocacy oriented are not watchdog groups and are categorized elsewhere.

This is also a great time to be part of a team like the CLC, given the upcoming presidential elections. The office is always abuzz with excitement over what the candidates are doing, what complaints or OpEds we have coming out, and what interviews we have coming up. We, the CLC, have a responsibility to keep the elections as fair as possible and to fight for the voters being discriminated against. It feels so crazy to think that not 3 years ago I was sitting in my AP Government class in high school, talking about watchdog groups and Washington D.C., and now I am actually here and working as part of one!

I also like that I am getting both nonprofit and law firm-esque experience, because those are two areas I am interested in going in to in the future. It is never too early to start planning for grad school, and since law school is so hard to get in to, not to mention expensive, I am going to need all the help I can get beforehand. The CLC has a great reputation among top law programs in the country, as many of our board members are also professors at universities such as Yale and Harvard. They also have recommended many of their past interns for jobs working in the Supreme Court or law firms here in D.C. I feel blessed to have this internship and the opportunity to make connections that will help me for my future studies and career. Hey, you gotta play the networking card sometimes!

Anyways, my first day on the job, was the typical first day: introductions, setting up your work space, etc. The exciting thing about my first day, though, was that one of the staffers took me and the two other interns to a conference where our president was speaking. (I’m going to name drop… he’s Trevor Potter, former FEC Commissioner, top staffer for John McCain’s presidential campaigns, and top lawyer at Jenner & Block… he is a political celebrity!)

In the conference, put on by Take Back Our Republic, Trevor and two other experts talked about current issues our elections are having because of foreign contributions. These contributions have flooded our elections and politicians are greatly influenced by foreign interests once they are elected because they want to keep the connections for future elections.

The panel was really interesting, and I thought it was a great introduction into the work I would be doing with the CLC.

It was also held in the National Press Club, where anyone who is anyone has spoken at one point or another (think Presidents, celebrity activists, etc.).

Here is a picture from the conference. CNN posted it on their Twitter page, so I felt a little famous being in the picture. It looks like my eyes are closed, but I promise I was probably just blinking!

 

DAY NUMERO 1- MAY 16- Let the Fun Begin!

So, like I said, I'm not really great about keeping up with the blogging. Please bear with me as I now try to post everything that has happened so far...

DAY NUMERO 1- MAY 16TH, 2015

It was an eventful day, right from the get-go.

I got on the plane and went right to sleep. All things normal so far. Then, I woke up mid-flight (keep in mind, I was in the window seat, in the middle of the plane), feeling horribly nauseous. I got up, doing the usual "excuse me" and “sorry” for bumping my neighbors’ knees. I rushed off towards the bathroom…

And then I woke up, staring at the ceiling, lying in the aisle of the plane, with the flight attendants fanning me with napkins and all the passengers in their seats around me staring down. I passed out in the middle of the plane! How embarrassing! Here I am, trying to be a big girl, going to my first big girl job/internship in a big, new city, and I PASS OUT! The flight attendants started filing a report and asked to call my family (because I really do like a lost 12-year old even though I’m 20). They handed me a barf bag and took me back to my seat. I spent the rest of the flight throwing up next to the nice guy sitting next to me. I felt really bad for him.

Getting off the flight, I caught a taxi with some of the other interns and we headed off to our new apartment.

And the taxi driver was a complete jerk. There is no other way to put that. He wouldn’t help us put our suitcases in the van because he claimed he had a bad back. He then had the nerve to complain—very loudly—about the way we were putting the bags in the car. No bag on seat! You scratch up my interior, you pay! You hear me? I make you pay extra for that! And taxi drivers wonder why more people are switching over to Uber and Lyft…

Normally, I would have put up with all of this. I’m usually very patient and understanding. But there comes a point, after throwing up in a tiny plastic bag, bruising the back of your head on the plane’s arm rests, and having some old man scream at you, when you realize you’ve had enough.

So when we got out, as the driver is standing with his palm out, clearly waiting to be paid and tipped, I said to the other girls, loud enough so the driver could hear, “I’m not tipping this guy. He was rude the whole time.” And I admit, I felt slightly better about my whole day after that because it helped me reassert my big-girl-ness. He looked very shocked that a 12-year-old-looking, 5-foot-tall girl from Utah blew him off. He even apologized. Hopefully the next time he gets a customer, he’ll be nicer.

I should say, though, I really don’t mean to be so negative; this is just really how things went that first day.

On a more positive note:

Our apartments are beautiful. A big “thank you” to the Hinckley, because they have gone out of their way to give us a great living space.

We are right off the Georgia Ave-Petworth station, which makes commuting easy, and the building is secure with 24-hr security (that’s for you Claudia!!!!). But the rooms themselves are wonderful. I share the apartment with four other girls (Leah, Rachel, Hunter, and Mariko) and I share my bedroom with Hunter. We have a walk-in closet and our own bathroom with a tub. The kitchen is modern and opens up into the living area, which just so happens to have a VCR player (stocked with Star Wars, Legally Blonde, and some assorted Disney classics, all on VHS). Pretty sweet set up for less than the dorms are at the U… Did I mention the roof-top seating overlooking the city and the huge gym in the basement? Yeah. I’m pretty lucky, indeed. 

 

I posted a few of the better pictures I took of our apartment below. I will try to take some better ones later.

 That is my cute little bed by the window!

Surprise, surprise to all you who know me well... I'll be doing lots more cooking this summer. D.C. is expensive, friends.


Woohoo!!!!!

First off... I am no good at blogging. Or scrap booking. Or any other sort of diary/journal/record-keeping. This is all very new to me. But I figured, "Why not? I'm here, this whole city is new to me. Let it be the summer of new beginnings and adventures." 

Needless to say... there will be a lot of ramblings and random tangents because I simply can't help it when I write. My normal speech is full of it and so too shall be my writing. 

Second... I am so excited to be here in D.C.! There are not enough "woohoos" or exclamation marks in the world to adequately describe the bubbling, fizzy feeling in my chest and stomach that arise when I think about how I lucky I am to have this opportunity! I sort of feel like a can of soda that was shaken up... with all the pressure building inside from years of schooling and the desire to live out my dreams- however lofty they may be- I am nearly ready to burst.

So here's to a great summer!

woohoo