It wasn't that first glimpse of the Capitol dome in the distance that got students jabbering; no, it was that first long journey down the gigantic escalator into the depths of the Metro transit system that jazzed up students from Baker View Christian School (Bellingham, Wash.) and Poulsbo (Wash.) Adventist School during their visit to Washington, D.C.
You wouldn't think escalators would generate much excitement, but apparently they're rare in Whatcom County. And that's the wonder of travel — you never know exactly what experience is going to be the most memorable or produce the most wonder.
Was it the glorious art deco of the Library of Congress or gazing into the inside of the Capitol dome surrounded by famous paintings depicting the highlights of American history? Was it the dignity of the changing of the guard at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier or cruising down the Potomac River to tour Mount Vernon? Was it standing on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial or the powerful message contained within the walls of the National Holocaust Museum?
Whatever the indelible images etched in their minds, the 40 students and parents from the Baker View and Poulsbo schools who partnered to journey to our nation's capital at the end of April will certainly have something to remember. Along with a greater understanding of where our country came from and how it works, maybe that spark of wonder ignited on this trip will lead to a life of learning and travel. They definitely know this: Books and videos are great, but nothing beats being there.