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On 10:30 AM by Rachel Preston Prinz in
About 14 days ago now, I found out that I was invited to Washington DC, by THE WHITE HOUSE! to attend the inaugural South by South Lawn festival. It was the most amazing event. And even more amazing that out of 20,000 nominations, I somehow made the cut!

What was even more amazing was that my parents and friends rallied to get me there. My folks gave me airline miles to fly and my friends raised some money with a gofundme campaign that allowed me to travel with zero worries.

I had three days in town: Sunday for fun, Monday for the festival, and Tuesday as a backup for the festival in case of rain, which we didn't need, so I got to see one of my besties. The "fun" day Sunday ended up being 10 hours touring and 14 miles walking. I saw almost everything, monument and memorial wise. That night, I went on a nighttime small group tour with Bipartisan Tour Company that was out of this world good! Here are a few highlights of my photography from my explorations in DC that day:

I stopped outside the capitol and across the reflecting pond for a few moments and watched Japanese and Chinese and Korean tourists get photos of themselves there. It took me about 15 minutes to catch my breath. All I could seem to do was cry. I was so grateful for everything that had come together to allow me to be here.

I texted my mom this photo of the awesome Carrion plant from the US Botanic Garden. I just couldn't help but wish that the person who taught me to love flowers and plants and trees would be there. Right at that exact second, she called me!

I met this awesome little Albanian girl outside of the Museum of the American Indian, which I worked on the design of once upon a time when Smithgroup hired my firm to help do structural and mechanical coordination on. She wants to be an architect when she finishes school. It was awesome to meet her!

 Iwo Jima always makes me think of my dad. When I was born, he was a Marine Corps DI. Which is why military school was so easy for me! LOL!

 I could have spent an entire day in the Air and Space museum!