Gallery: Visiting D.C. & Philadelphia

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For the last 10 days, I’ve been off island, traveling with my coworkers at Hawaii Information Service to attend the annual mid-year conference of the National Association of Realtors. I somehow managed to keep up with my daily blogging while away, but I thought I’d highlight my trip for today’s late post.

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The conference is a huge gathering of Realtors from across the country, and while there was a lot of conversations about the overall industry (as there is at every NAR gathering), the mid-year conference was heavy on policy. The Hawaii Association of Realtors, like associations elsewhere, arranged visits with our congressional delegation on Capitol Hill, and I was able to join the team that visited with Rep. Mark Takai, fellow former Ka Leo editor in chief.

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If you want to get a sense of what my colleagues and I were up to on the real estate side, check out a couple of video updates we posted from the road. But in addition to work, we built in some time to see some of the many memorable sights in our nation’s capital.

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I was sincerely awed by the many historical buildings, monuments and memorials that were spread across the city. They were more impressive and majestic than I expected, and trust me, I’m a cynical guy. Hollywood had tricked me once before with the Statue of Liberty, which is certainly tall, but somehow not as massive as I thought it’d be in person. But everything in D.C. was larger than life, the richness of our nation’s history emanating from every surface.

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We visited a few museums, from the Smithsonian’s Air & Space and American Art museums to a just-under-the-wire stop at the National Archives to see an original copy of the Constitution (although no photos are allowed within). As a news junkie, I really enjoyed touring the Newseum, where I picked up a “News Junkie” T-shirt.

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Perhaps the most memorable excursion was our visit to Arlington National Cemetery. Situated above a city where it sometimes seems everything is moving and shouting, the cemetery is a remarkable place of somber peace.

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We even caught the noontime changing of the guard ceremony at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, which included a wreath-laying ceremony. You can find my video of the proceedings here, though there are much better ones out there.

And thanks to my travel-ninja boss Colleen, we even managed to fit in a road trip up north to visit Philadelphia as well. While there were many more memorable and historic sights to see in Pennsylvania, I have to confess the experience I’ll remember most is taking the wheel on the drive back down to D.C. I can now say I’ve driven through several states thanks to one three-hour drive down I-95.

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There was a lot more to our trip, including some unforgettable food, but with the power out in Mililani tonight and my jetlagged body crying for bed, I’m going to end the story here. If you want to see more, please feel free to browse all 800-plus photos on Flickr!

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