As I type, the boys are enjoying a BBQ and pool party at the home of Mr. Vazirani's Parents. There is an amazing spread and everyone's in the pool (even Mr. Meyer, Mrs. Torrey, and Terri....just kidding). We have been enjoying our stay at Trinity University's dorms very much for the past two nights, accept that the Internet does not work for us. So, let's catch up:
July 4th was an incredible day in many ways. We began by seeing the White House with our professional tour guide. She showed the boys lots of interesting things like the actual house that foreign visitors and dignitaries stay in when visiting "The White House". We also saw the place where the D.C. correspondents broadcast in view of the House. After taking our official D.C. tour picture which was the last picture posted, we sang at the opening of the July 4th parade on Constitution avenue betwixt the White House and the Washington Monument
. Then came an incredible privilege; the boys performed for wounded veterans at the Veteran's Hospital. Like many performances of that nature, it was incredible sobering for the boys. When we began the Armed Forces medley, the veterans came alive and the boys could really feel the appreciation. Singers were able to greet the patients and enjoyed a reception from the hospital director. This was a very different and unforgettable July 4th for us all, but we would soon have a traditional flash bang Independence Day. After dinner at the Grand Central Station's food court, including ice cream, we were able to take in "A Capitol 4th", which is an incredible concert that most of us have only seen on PBS. The National Symphony Orchestra, Jerry Lee Lewis, American Idol Taylor Hicks, Broadway and opera stars Brian Stokes Mitchel and Harolyn Blackwell were among the incredible lineup of performers. In addition, Jimmy Smitts Hosted and we also saw Athletes who will be representing the US in Beijing later this summer. The boys seemed to be having the most fun all tour while they danced and sang along with the concert before the incredible fireworks display. I'm sure it was just their most outward expression of the fun they've been having all tour.
July 5th was the culmination of the Pueri Cantores festival at the Basilica of the National Shrine to the Immaculate Conception. After a rehearsal in the morning and our visit to Arlington Cemetery, the boys were able to sing with 500 other voices to fill the gigantic space
. The bellringers were also prominently featured, providing additional accompaniment for the mass and playing the preludes as well as a solo reflection. That brings us to today when we woke up early....very early, and ate a wonderful breakfast at Trinity University. We then traveled back to Silver Spring where we had spent 6 nights with wonderful host families. We sang a mass for many of these families at St. Bernadette's Church, and are now enjoying a wonderful party on a mild Maryland afternoon; some well deserved R&R. Tonight we will see the Lincoln memorial lit up for the evening, and tomorrow, we will be able to visit the Library of Congress and squeeze in another museum before flying back home.
Just over 24 hours, and we will have completed an incredible successful tour!