Last week I embarked on an epic adventure with the fifth graders in Bear’s school.  Three charter buses, stuffed full of sleepy chaperones and hyped up kids, pulled out at the crack of dawn en route to our nation’s capitol.

It was an eye opening experience, to say the least.

You wouldn’t think ninety ten-year-olds could maintain a breakneck pace for three days straight, but you’d be wrong.

You wouldn’t think we’d voluntarily pour off buses into 35 degree weather with gale force winds, cramming onto picnic benches and huddling close while frantically inhaling bag lunches. You wouldn’t think the wind could possibly blow that hard on a blue sky day or that I could inhale an entire peanut butter sandwich in four minutes flat, but you’d be wrong.

You wouldn’t think I could hide the fact that I was slowly turning to ice despite curling into my coat.  You wouldn’t think the chaperones would be able to stand, smiling even, as they opened water bottles for mittened hands, but you’d be wrong.  It was a feat of superhuman strength, a matter of sheer force of will that got us through that meal with our digits intact.

You wouldn’t think it possible to cycle over fifty-five girls and their mothers through a rest area bathroom in less than twenty minutes…and you’d almost be right, but not quite.

And in an area as fascinating as D.C. – one with stunning monuments, legendary museums, and our country’s rich history everywhere you look – you wouldn’t think Starbucks would be the most sought after item, day after day.

But, as it turns out, you’d be wrong.