My Trip to DC

My trip to Washington DC was soul stirring in many ways. This was the first time I’ve ever visited, and like most trips, it gave my soul a reprieve from the mundane, monotonous schedule of everyday life, but unlike most places that leave me in wonder and in awe, I came away with more questions about life and the future, than a feeling of contentment. Perhaps it is a sign of the times that one must question everything.

Like any visitor first stepping into DC, I visited all the “touristy” spots, expertly guided by my soul sister, Sarah, who’s living there at the moment. As we spent the crisp Fall morning walking after a delicious brunch, the White House came into view. It was……underwhelming…historic…nostalgic…beautiful; simply put, it was too many adjectives and emotions to properly describe the feeling of pride, a sense of loss, and a glimmer of hope for the future.

The feeling I felt that was most predominant while visiting was a sense of mystery, or even secrecy. It was as though the buildings were speaking to me, with their regal beauty on the outside, but so many hidden stories in the inside.

Eisenhower Executive Office Building

Originally called the State, War, and Navy building, it later transformed to now be the offices of the President and Vice President.

As I passed by the Eisenhower Executive Office Building, I couldn’t help but ponder on the fact that there have been thousands of people who have come and gone through this building, with their secrets kept in tact. How many who work in this town work towards peace, and how many are motivated by greed, money, and power?

Korean War Veterans Memorial

Korean War Veterans Memorial

I’d like to believe I’m an eternal optimist and the real shift in my perspective really came as I passed through the Jefferson, Roosevelt, and of course, Martin Luther King, Jr.’s Memorials. The weight of their influence, and the gravitas of their words allowed me to reflect more deeply on my own principles.

DAR Constitutional Hall

DAR Constitutional Hall


Jefferson Memorial

I will end with quotes from two imperfect men, but their words are as important today as they were when they were spoken. “We hold these truths to be self evident, that all men are created equal” (Jefferson) and “we must scrupulously guard the civil rights and civil liberties of all citizens, whatever their background. We must remember that any oppression, any injustice, any hatred, is a wedge designed to attack our civilization” (Roosevelt).

The Subtleties of Lyon

This past month, I had the privilege of traveling to Lyon, France, and was blown away by its architecture, quaint, almost hidden alleyways, and the beautiful church overlooking the city, Basilica of Notre-Dame de Fourvière.


Basilica of Notre-Dame de Fourvière


The architecture draws from both the Roman and Byzantine empires.

If you’re not in awe when you look at the intricacies of every detail of this church, you’re a robot.

After sitting in the pew and just taking in all of the beauty, my family and I walked down stairs that led to Vieux Lyon, or Old Lyon.



The bright colors of the houses on each side of the narrow “street” felt like I was somewhere in Italy, rather that the middle of France.



Walking down the cobbled streets in Vieux Lyon reminded me of walking down the streets of Verona, with boutique mom-and-pop stores on each side, restaurants, and pastry shops, with pâtissières, beckoning you to try their chocolates, breads, and gelato. It was a feast for the eyes and the stomach.

Exploring the city gave me an idea of the quintessential French culture, but also the Roman and Italian influences that have remained to this day, evident in the architecture.

Being in Lyon was food for the soul. Basking in the sun and the heat was a much needed reprieve from the brutal Chicago winter. The people were tre charmante. And the Italian food and delicious pastries kept this vegetarian with a smile on her face at all times. Most importantly, I got to experience all of the magic with my family, who live in various countries across the globe. The family reunion could not have been more perfect. If you can take family trips, especially to Lyon, you should.