We awoke to another beautiful day here in Virginia, and after a hearty breakfast we all got the bus into Washington D.C. for a day of sight seeing. Whilst the boys went to the Smithsonian Air and Space museum, on Washington’s famous National Mall, the men divided up; some went to museums, including the National Holocaust Museum and the National Art Gallery, and some of went for a walk around the city, taking in some of the key sights, sounds, smells and tastes of Washington. These included the Lincoln memorial, the White House (where we were ushered away from the gate whilst President Obama left in a convoy!), the Jefferson memorial, and Washington National Cathedral – one of my personal favourite buildings in the world.
Washington National Cathedral
For a few of us, lunch was from an eatery called ‘WTF’, which is apparently a blasphemous acronym used by the youth of today, but which for lunch just meant ‘Woodward Take-away Food’. Despite this name, we took not away, but stayed resolutely in the restaurant to eat our ‘piggly-wiggly’, a sandwich comprising almost entirely pig related components. Healthy it was not, but tasty it certainly was. After more sightseeing, we reconvened to hop on the bus back to Virginia Theological Seminary (VTS), where we were joined at long last by bass lay clerk Henry Hawkesworth. Henry had to come out a day later than we, after delivering two Messiahs in Banbury – a feat of which even the Blessed Virgin Mary would be proud.
We then had a short rehearsal in the beautiful chapel at VTS, to get used to the organ and the very resonant acoustic of the chapel, before heading to the refectory for a dinner of great quality and size. There was succulent chicken, soft sweet potato, juicy sausage, wholesome pasta, fresh salad, bread ‘to strengthen man’s heart’ [Psalm 104: 15], then ice cream for pudding. After dinner several of the men headed to the local supermarket to buy a frisbee, and before bed a game of frisbee was had, a game which highlighted significant problems with the group’s eyesight, fitness and coordination: things we have subsequently resolved to work on in the coming weeks. We look forward tomorrow to the first concert here at the Seminary, before moving on to North Carolina on Friday and from there into significantly colder climes…