I know…this is not the best photo.
I know…it’s the picture of the US Capitol.
I know…it’s not an unexpected site in Washington, D.C.
This was the first photograph I took on my first visit to D.C. in late March of 2011. My brother encouraged me to book a flight to visit and see the cherry blossoms. I had heard the spring cherry blossoms are beautiful.
I arrived on a Thursday night and my brother had readied the information I needed to take the bus and the metro to the mall as he was working on Friday. I had to take in the sights of the monuments, the Smithsonian and the cherry blossoms on my own. I was a little tenuous about riding the metro (first time for that too), but the excitement of this trip kept me focused and unafraid. I woke Friday morning, hurried to get ready, caught the bus, got on the correct metro train, and stepped off at the stop that would lead me to the Smithsonian. Cool.
I made my way to the escalator that would bring me out onto the mall.
I stepped onto the escalator.
I started to feel goosebumps.
Then I started to feel a lump in my throat. And I was at the top, out onto the mall.
I felt tears well up in my eyes.
Speechless, the number of goosebumps increasing.
There I was, standing in the middle of the mall, surrounded by Smithsonian buildings, the Washington Monument to the west, the US Capitol to the east. It took me 53 years to be there, to have an unexpected, overwhelming sense of country and freedom. I stood there for what seemed like several minutes and I snapped this photo.
Unexpected sight? No.
Unexpected emotion? Yes.
It is an emotion and a trip I will never forget.
If this isn’t as unexpected as you had hoped for, check out the rest of the weekly photo challenge submissions HERE.