Stats to Date:
Total Miles:8175
Total States (& Districts):13
Total Oceans Touched:2
Car Problems:1
Total Times Lost:6
Day: 20 Location: Virginia Beach, VA
If you're trying to achieve, there will be roadblocks. I've had them; everybody has had them. But obstacles don't have to stop you. If you run into a wall, don't turn around and give up. Figure out how to climb it, go through it, or work around it.
-- Michael Jordan


Note to self: Don't park anywhere that another car can park immediately behind tailgate. If that car's too close, you can't get out in the morning. Which is exactly what almost happened this morning when I woke up at 6am, peeked out of my trapdoor and realized that the car behind me was nearly touching my bumper. Hmmm.... Luckily, it was a little Saturn two-door and my tailgate, when opened, was higher than the other cars hood. First, I almost lock my car behind bars for the night, then I almost lock myself into my camper... I'm on a roll.

I started my day by walking around the Mall area in downtown D.C., drinking some coffee and waiting for the two museums of the day to open. Something I didn't tell you about yesterday is that I met a friend who works at the FBI Training center at Quantico, VA. She mentioned that if I was in the area and was interested, she could give me a tour! So, of course I gave her a call first thing and we agreed to meet at 1:30.

The Holocaust Museum was first on the list -- I didn't have much time, so I went to a new exhibit on "Creating the Master Race," in which they explained how the Nazi party systematically identified "inferior lives" in order to sterilize, deport and eventually kill for the sake of creating a pure, master race in Germany. Over 200,000 mentally retarded, blind, mute or otherwise disabled children were killed in a large euthanasia program. Anyone viewed as a drain on the German economy or a threat to the purity of the race was labeled "life unworthy of life." The part that was most amazing to me was the fact that the German people as a whole supported this effort on a large scale -- mostly because the Nazi party used propaganda and integrated this teaching into the curriculum of the universities. It was considered a German's civic duty to "keep their bloodline clean" by marrying only Aryans -- this line of thought was supported by "scientific" research, charts and graphs designed to misinform. My last stop in D.C. was the National Gallery of Art, where I got to see a lot of art I had studied in my art class a couple of summers ago. Included were Rodin's "Thinker," the famous portrait of George Washington, several Monets, Van Gogh's, Vermeers and other artwork that just about anyone would recognize. I left at noon, eager to get to Quantico.

As a kid growing up, I used to read all the spy, war and mystery novels -- so getting this private tour was a pretty amazing experience. I got to see the firing ranges, the area where they train in highspeed driving, classrooms and a "mock town," used for real life exercises. I had a great time talking with my friend Sharon and at the end, she even gave me some money for support. She was an amazing lady.

Finally, it was off to Virginia Beach to hang out with my friend Jonathan and few of his friends -- one of them a scrappy New Yorker affectionately named "Boozer." How do you get a name like "Boozer," you ask? Spend 15 minutes in a club with the guy and you'll know. He was nuts -- running through traffic and sounding off with his characteristic "HAAAAAeeeeeyyy" followed by an amazingly eloquent use of explicitives. Seriously though, he was a really nice guy. We all had VIP passes to a club in downtown Norfolk were we hung out for most of the night... later Jonathan introduced me to a bouncer from VMI (who fights in the Ultimate Fighting Competition) -- and the bathroom attendant known as "Smiley Jack." I was extremely tired most of the night from all the travel and the little sleep the night before -- but I had a great time -- Jonathan was an awesome host. I slept like a rock to get ready for the long day of travel I had ahead of me the next day.

One thought I had during the day was that when I am tempted or put into challenging situations, God is usually quietly whispering, "How much do you really trust me?" I hope my answer is always "totally." Goodnight!
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