I Was at the Capital


travel with jodell haverfieldBy JoDell Haverfield, Have Travel Memories

Relax, you can’t turn me in, because I wasn’t at the capitol on Jan 6, 2021. I know February is Valentine’s Day. However, I can’t ignore the current vibe in our Nation’s Capital as we enter the month of love, heart shaped candy, chocolates, cuddly PJ’s and teddy bears. So, please hear me out.

Little did I know when I hosted a girl’s trip to Washington D.C. in April 2019 just how much things would change less than two years later. The cherry blossoms might be the only thing recognizable in D.C. by this coming spring.

There was quite a different atmosphere in that beautiful city the day we toured one of the most architecturally and symbolically important buildings in the world that has housed the Meeting Chamber of the Senate and the House of Representatives for over 200 years—the U.S. Capitol Building. We were lucky enough to get passes from Senator Marco Rubio’s office to watch Florida’s own Rick Scott in action on the Senate floor that day.

Later, once we passed through security, we were welcomed into the White House and given free rein to peek into her historic rooms and take pictures. It was a warm sunny day as we looked out the windows at her manicured lawns and flower beds. Today, the White House is surrounded by thousands of soldiers and concertina wire fences. There are no tourists, and the city resembles a ghost town.

I like to say to people, “You Have to Travel to Truly Live and Memories Last Forever.” This rings especially true to me today, as I reflect on my memories of this trip. While I had traveled to many places and other countries in my life, I had never been to our nation’s capital.

It was humbling to visit the National Archives Museum and view the original 232-year-old document of our Constitution, the longest surviving written charter of government, a document that some in our government now wish to change. I will never forget the view of the beautiful Lincoln and Washington Memorials lit up at night, or how I felt as we reverently walked the hallowed grounds of Arlington Cemetery to lay flowers at the marker of a soldier who was the husband of one of the participants in our group. My heart ached as I looked over and saw a horse drawn caisson wagon pulling someone else’s loved one to be laid to rest.

This Valentine’s Day 2021, I am thinking of my friend and of all those whose loved ones have served or are serving to protect our country including those called to serve in Washington D.C. today. This February, I am thinking of how we should love one another. You do not need an excuse to buy a box of chocolates or flowers for yourself, a loved one, a friend, a neighbor or someone else. So, Happy Valentine’s Day to everyone reading this editorial, no matter who you are.

If you want to travel closer to home and you’re a fan of the Food Network and HGTV, then you will love our next hosted trip to visit Pioneer Woman and Magnolia Market May 1-8, 2021. For more information, visit our website havetravelmemories.com, click on Travel Agency at the top of the page or email me at jodell@havetravelmemories.com. You can also see more of our upcoming trips for 2021-22 & 23 and don’t forget to visit our Facebook, too. Facebook.com/havetravelmemories.