I got to Washington, DC yesterday afternoon. We're staying at the Renaissance M Street Hotel (which is actually on New Hampshire Ave.). It's a really nice hotel, but everything is pretty much a la carte (from the internet to a $5 bottle of water). Fortunately, there's a Starbucks right around the corner and thanks to Daddy I've got wi-fi access. We were finally able to get the connection to work and after about 30 minutes of troubleshooting I finally connected to the internet for the first time in almost 24 hours!
So yesterday, we had to register from 1600-1800. A bunch of us decided to go walk around the city before our meet and greet at 18:30. We walked all the way to the WWII memorial and back. I was nice getting to talk one on one with different people and hear about their language and traveling experience. We had our meet and greet, bascially just introducing ourselves and why we want to learn Arabic. There are actually three people from Alabama in our group! We were all on the same BHM flight. Most of the group is interested in international policy, law, economics, etc. There is one other public health person.
By 1900 I was very hungry and not very interested in talking more with people. So one of my new traveling partners and I left found a restaurant called Luna Grill. They had a nice vegetarian options :-). I've decided that I'm not going to eat any exotic meals before flying.
This morning around 0030, my roommate arrived! I was sleep and thought someone was trying to break into the room. She's a PhD student at LSU studying political theory.
Well, I'm heading back to the hotel for breakfast and a day of "informational sessions" sponsored by our friendly Department of State. Pictures will be posted soon I hope.