washington, d.c. travel diary (2)

i’ve finally finished writing my d.c. travel diary! enjoy, and read part one here if you haven’t already.


« day two »

one of the only things i hate about traveling is that i never sleep well. i always wake up ridiculously early and just wait in the dark until i decide it’s late enough to start moving around (aka 5 a.m.).

my mum made us pack up all our stuff first thing in the morning. we stuffed our bags into the car and went to get breakfast in the hotel’s dining room. i ended up burning my already hurt taste buds on (very) hot chocolate.

bethany and i texted each other while we ate, which was dumb, because we were sitting across from each other. my messages were along the lines of “wish you were here! this trip would be so much more fun if you were with us!” we’re stupid, i think.

we hadn’t picked what we were going to do that day, so we decided over breakfast: the eastern market. mum drove us into the city (we only got lost a few times) and we started walking in the direction of the bazaar.

the capitol building was on our way. being the tourists that we are, we stopped to take pictures by the capitol’s statues and reflecting pool.

bethany was vlogging some of our adventure. unfortunately, the only parts she got were of me making really awful weed and homeschooler jokes. :’)

some of the trees along the sidewalk had words and doodles scratched into the bark.

is it the illuminati or bill cipher? we’ll never know.

ironically found on a trashcan.

space cadet.

no war.

bethany insisted that we pop into one of d.c.’s many starbucks. it had this lovely mural on the wall, so i’m glad we went in. bethany got some fancy cold caramel drink and she let izzy and i taste it. it was the first time i’d ever had starbucks coffee. it was kind of weird and made my throat hurt, but i guess it was alright.

i wanted to take pictures of the pigeons, but bethany was in a modeling mood.

if i had a shop, i would definitely put up lights like these.

we started daydreaming while we meandered down the streets, gazing at the colorful ivy-covered houses squished side by side. we imagined we’d live in one together, the three of us, maybe with a cute puppy. bethany would pursue a career in makeup at the mall, i would become some kind of sad freelance artist, and i guess izzy would just eat all our food. it sounds nice, you know — falling asleep to the sounds of the city beside my best friends.

pastel walls.

color block.

we made a friend. :)

this gorgeous mural is next to the eastern market. it’s odd, but i like it.

i’m convinced that my friends only keep me around to take pictures for their instagrams.

bubbles always make me think of rutvi’s about to burst poem. you should definitely read it. :)

after a lot of walking, we finally reached our destination. the market is a vibrant, buzzing mess of creativity: always something new to see, to smell, to hear. there were paintings, jewelry, honey, flowers, clothes, fruit, soap, candles, live music, etc.

i used to knot bracelets like these, they’re really fun to make.

an outdoor display. the market was so colorful.

flower shop.

i ended up buying a tapestry with a dragon yin and yang design in the center. i actually just put it up in my room today!

fairy godmother books & toys
from pandelibros.com

while we were deciding where to go next, we spotted a tiny shop called fairy godmother books & toys. it was super cramped (you could barely move without bumping into a shelf or customer) and a bit messy (lots of books were splayed out on the floor instead of stacked), but they had a great selection.

i bought the screaming staircase by jonathan stroud. it’s the first book in one of my favorite series.

by afternoon, we were really hungry, so my mum fed us chocolate from her purse while we went in search of the food trucks. i feel like most mothers carry little snacks in their bags. it kind of creeps me out, because as soon as you say that you’re hungry, all the moms around dig something out of their mary poppins purse. bonus points if someone has those weird strawberry candies.

while we were looking for somewhere to eat, we took a detour through the national gallery of art. i don’t have pictures of the actual paintings, but here’s a photo of a little café tucked between the wings.

i did a drawing based on this one. i’m working on another art post right now so i can share it with you guys.

i wish this one wasn’t so grainy. :/

there was also this insanely cool pathway between two of the galleries. the ground moved under you, and thousands of lights in the walls lit up as you passed.

isn’t this magical?

i got two souvenirs from the art museum: a color wheel pin and a map of the gallery, which i didn’t realize was in mandarin until it was too late.

once we escaped the national gallery, we bought a really chewy soft pretzel from a food truck to share while we explored the statue garden. most of the statues there are just misshapen hunks of metal that would be hard to call art. still, there were pieces like the amor statue, a creepy rabbit, and two boards painted like the sides of a house that looked complete no matter where you were standing that i enjoyed seeing.

all you need is love . . .

lunch was french fries for me and fried chicken sandwiches for izzy and bethany, which i thought looked pretty gross. idk, maybe that’s just how it is in the south.

there was a street musician playing an electric guitar. he could make his voice do some insane stuff. it was nice to listen to while we ate.

we stopped at the smithsonian museum of natural history on our way back to the parking deck that evening. i’ve been there a few times, but it still amazes me. my favorite part is easily the gem section. i didn’t get any photos of it this time, but there are display upon display of vibrant jewels. and the hope diamond is housed there, which is allegedly cursed, so that’s exciting (read about it here).

there was a tiny garden by one of the windows, mostly orchids. i got an orchid around valentine’s day, and all the blooms fell off over the weekend, so i don’t understand how theirs looked so good.

           bethany must have mentioned these doors a million times. she was really set on getting a picture in front of them, so we paused to get one once we were done with the natural history museum. i think they’re by the building where the declaration of independence is kept, but i’m not 100% sure.

we listened to twenty one pilots on the way home. the blurryface album is good road trip music.


i had an amazing time, and i’m so glad i have friends who are content to just wander around all day. izzy and bethany, thanks for the wonderful weekend. <3

have you ever been to d.c.? if so, what’s your favorite thing to do there? i like people watching and looking at art.

xo apollo

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sunrise hike

when i was at the lodge, i joined a small party that was going on a sunrise hike. we got up at 5:30 and trudged straight up the mountain through the snow. it was so eerily quiet. there was no birdsong, no laughter, no music; just heavy breathing and snow crunching under rhythmic footfalls.

it was a ridiculously hard climb, and all the snow didn’t help at all. the leaders said it was about a 45 minute hike, but it felt a lot longer. being in nature so early seems to make time stretch. but the worst part was that when i thought i had reached the top, another peak appeared, even steeper than the ones before.

the top of the mountain was absolutely freezing, and windy. we had to huddle to stay warm (and keep each other from getting blown off the peak).

look at that insane child in the shorts. (he’s homeschooled, so that might explain some of it.) i was incredibly cold, and i was wearing long sleeves and a jacket, so i can’t imagine how it must have been for him. i mean, my hair was damp from a shower the night before, but still.

i know i’ve just been complaining this whole time, but it was so, so worth it. standing on the top of a mountain while the sun flooded the hills and sky with light was such a wonderful experience. it’s pretty impossible to describe, but it made me feel awestruck, like i was in a painting or poem, like i was shaking from the sheer beauty of it, not the cold.

 

after the hike, one girl started talking about how it made her realize just how big and wonderful the world is. and as amazing as it is, God loves us even more. there are gorgeous sights like the grand canyon, carefree beaches, colorful cities, misty forests filled with quiet life, and we are more lovely than any of it.

most of us headed back to the lodge before the sunrise finished, but i got glimpses of the pink and orange through the trees. i would love to do it again, hopefully when it’s not quite so cold. :)


2/19/18

love, the sky was glorious, painted by the old artists with a starry brush. when the mountains and trees are stretched out below you like a patchwork blanket, you realize how tiny you are in the grand scheme of things. i told myself i was just a stitch in the quilt of the universe. but i must have done something right, to be on top of the world with the sunrise staining the snow pink.

from the rising of the sun to the place where it sets, the name of the Lord is to be praised. -psalm 113:3

xo apollo

truce

now the night is coming to an end
the sun will rise and we will try again

stay alive, stay alive for me
you will die, but now your life is free
take pride in what is sure to die

i will fear the night again
i hope i’m not my only friend

stay alive, stay alive for me
you will die, but now your life is free
take pride in what is sure to die

truce // twenty one pilots


truce (noun): an agreement between enemies or opponents to stop fighting or arguing for a certain time.

to the universe,

let something wonderful happen and i will stop begging for good things every night. i will stop crying out to you that the garden on my lot has wilted. just send some sunlight to bring the flowers back to life.

to my love,

i will stay alive for you if you will stay alive with me.

(easier said than done, darling.)

i think both of our hourglasses are almost empty.

xo apollo

gem museum

hey, guys! i hope your day is going well.

for science class, my friend izzy and i visited a local mineral museum. it’s part of a college, so it’s not very big, but i was still quite impressed. i took a few pictures of the gems and wanted to share them with you.

here’s the museum itself.

i’ve always had a thing for gems and smooth stones. not as much the stylized ones that are used in jewelry, but raw ones, or polished ones that fit perfectly in the dip of your palm. it amazes me that such complex shapes and gorgeous colors are being created under our feet.

i’ve found quartz in my garden, and it always excites me that they were growing in the dirt along with my plants.

stone roses.

these look like dragon eggs or jawbreakers. i know that they’re rocks and that they’ll shatter my teeth if i try to eat them, but i kind of want to try one anyway.

they’re just so pretty?? help.

this one looks like someone painted it with watercolors.

there was a display under ultraviolet lights, so the rocks, which looked normal in regular lighting, glowed neon colors. :D

i saw some really awful geology jokes on the internet, and i thought you guys should suffer with me, so here you go.

q: what do you get when you mix sulfur, tungsten, and silver?
a: SWAG

q: anyone know a joke about sodium?
a: na

q: what do you do with a dead chemical?
a: you barium
(and then cry because this reminds you of my chemical romance.)

i feel like such a nerd.

have a good day, my friends! you look great and you are loved.

xo apollo

5 reasons why i’m thankful for blogging

hey. i hope you’re all having a good day so far.

i don’t like thanksgiving that much (who thought a holiday where you’re supposed to eat copious amounts of food in front of people would be a good idea?), but i wanted to do something for it anyway. so here are some reasons why i’m thankful for blogging.

it’s a place to express myself

i love being able to share my pictures, drawings, and stories/poems with others. i think it’s easier to share my creations online than in person, because while my friends will glance over what i’ve made and say, “nice,” you guys actually give me encouragement and constructive criticism.

it gave me a hobby

before i started blogging, my only hobbies were reading and gymnastics. making blog posts helped me realize that photography and writing — which are now two of my main pastimes — are lots of fun. plus, blogging is a hobby all of its own.

it helped me get into new things

you have no idea how many books/shows/bands i’ve gotten into just because someone mentioned it on their blog. if it weren’t for them, my tastes wouldn’t have expanded from rick riordan, doctor who, and owl city.

the community

idk what kind of blogging community i’m in (wordpress? writing? photography?), but it’s incredible. all the bloggers i know are sweet and helpful and leave comments that make me smile. in fact, i’ve gotten emails from some of you asking if i was doing ok because i sounded sad in one of my posts. most of the people in my life don’t make as much of an effort to reach out to me as you guys do.

internet friends!!

i’m not gonna lie, talking to my internet friends is one of my favorite things about blogging. it’s crazy how much i care about and enjoy chatting with these people who i’ve never met.

i also wanted to share some pictures i took when the trees were turning colors. they’re mostly of the crepe myrtle in the front yard, but there are some of our maples, too.

i have to go to my grandparents’ house today for lunch. i’m not terribly excited about that. it’s always pretty boring and i have to listen to my family make homophobic/sexist comments all afternoon.

anyway. happy thanksgiving.

xo apollo

playlist: rad

the “rad” playlist (which originally had y.m.c.a. on it, but it made me laugh so hard that i had to take it off):

i want you back // the jackson 5

forget you // ceelo green

blitzkrieg bop // ramones

basket case // green day

back in black // ac/dc

hooked on a feeling // blue swede

should i stay or should i go // the clash

we will rock you // queen

another one bites the dust // queen

carry on my wayward son // kansas

i wanna rock // twisted sister

i wanna be sedated // ramones

cherry bomb // the runaways

we didn’t start the fire // billy joel

all the small things // blink-182

wake me up before you go-go // wham!

ghostbusters // ray parker jr.

it’s still rock and roll to me // billy joel


i’m sick today, have been since sunday night. i’ve got a fever/cold, i think. idk if anyone else does this, but when i’m sick, i have to be moving constantly or else i’ll feel like throwing up. which means i’ve been drumming my fingers on things, pacing, fanning myself, etc. it sucks a bit, but i’m actually kind of glad, because i didn’t have to go to school today.

 my friend izzy slept over on monday. we had a campfire, played the alphabet game (“my name is bartholomew, my husband’s name is bob, we live in a bathtub, and we sell BaBiEs on the bLaCk MaRkEt.”), watched guardians of the galaxy, slept in a hammock (2 people + 1 hammock = very bad idea), and made fun of each other until 2 a.m. the next morning, we danced in the rain to the piña colada song and then came back in and played just dance (which is always extremely competitive for us). i need to make an appreciation post for my friends sometime, because they’re strange and wonderful and make my heart do weird things.

i haven’t worked on my nano project yet today, but i’m at 24%, so i guess i’m on track. i’m still on the first chapter and everyone is still on titan, which isn’t nearly as much fun to write about as space shenanigans are. i want to strap them into their crappy ship immediately, but i need to introduce more characters before i can do that. someone help me, nano is already driving me insane and i’m only doing 15k words.

friendly reminder to take your meds, drink some water, and relax your shoulders. sometimes things are happy and sometimes they are sad, but they’re all good and you will be ok.

xo apollo