We met our new leader, Mark, he seemed ok. It was his first year on the job and he was quite young so it was a big difference compared to Art. One by one members of the new group started to show up. Our group was smaller this time, there were only 10 of us, which meant more room in the van! The new people in our group were Matt (the only boy), Steph, Lisa, Amelia, and Sua. We also had Leah from the other tour group join in our group because she wanted a change from the group she was in, which me, Gary and Kirsty were really happy about because we really liked her.
Mark didn't really seem like as much of a leader as Art, and was definitley way less organised. On the first day of Art's trip he gave us printed itineraries with where we would be each day and how long the drives would take which I really loved as we could see what we would be doing and when. Mark hadn't even finished planning the itinerary when we met him on the first day, and even when he had we never got a copy.
Once we had all met eachother and they had filled in all their forms we went to get in the van. Gary had requested not to be the van loader because he had hurt his back being van loader on the first part of the trip, but as he was one of the only boys he got made to do it which was really horrible. I felt really bad for him but no one else volunteered to do it, and I couldn't really help him seeing as I am the weakest person in the world.
We started our drive out of New York towards Washington DC. It was about a 5 hour drive and me and Gary of course sat with Kirsty. We could hear the person that didn't like us talking abot how much she hated the old group to the new group the whole time and it was making Gary really angry. It was actually the first time in the 7 years I've known Gary that I've actually seen him angry at someone.
We did a Walmart stop on the way. When we did Walmart stops with Art, the people who were cooking would go around and get their stuff while the others just did what they wanted. Mark gave us all a list of stuff to get so that everyone would have to do the groups shopping. I really hated this as it seemed to take ages and wasted everyones time. This is when we realised what a great tour leader Art was and how much he had done for us. We ate lunch in the parking lot and continued driving.
We got to camp at about 4.30pm and we had to set up the tents really slowly to show the new people how to do it. Yet another thing that I didn't like was the tents were not numbered or anything so how were we supposed to know who's tent was who's when we were getting them out. No one else seemed to care about this but I did, so I purposely chose a tent with a really long strap on the bag that I could tie in a knot so I could identify it when we got it out of the trailer. It was a challege every single day to get that tent before anyone else took it!
As we were setting up I found an inflatable matress on the floor rolled up, and the label of it said 'Suck my dick Eddie'. I don't think I wrote about this before but in Art's van, all the boys used to listen to this Eddie Murphy show on his ipod and that was one of the quotes from it that used to make them all laugh. So I thought, 'How weird' what Mark would have an inflatable matress that said that, and took it to show Gary. It was only then I realised that it had a 'To Gary' label on it, and there were others for me and Kirsty too! Art had got them for us, how nice was that!! We all had funny stuff or something written on them, mine had the left and right sides marked because they had all laughed at me once when I didn't know my left from my right!
We were so surprised and happy, it was such a nice thing to do, we text him to say thank you and he text back saying 'see you tonight' and then 'maybe in a few minutes' and of course we thought he was joking. About 10 minutes later we saw another Trek America van pull up and of course we knew it was him, so we ran over with lots of hugs and excitement, telling him how much we missed him already. One of the tours that was starting that morning didn't have a tour leader so Art had to be their leader for a day before they got another one so that is why he was there.
The campsite we were staying at was in Maryland, which is just outside DC, and it was really nice and had a pool and they gave us some coupons for a free ice cream. We went to get that and sat and ate it before having showers and going back to camp for dinner. The other group were there getting ice cream too so we talked to them for a bit and they were asking us how it felt to lost half our group, which of course felt really sad for us. Mark had made taco's for dinner which were SO GROSS! He was gluten free and made us also eat gluten free (which is another subject altogether, if one person was a vegetarian, the rest of the group wouldn't be forbidden to eat meat would they). Anyway, the taco's were so dry and the meat was grey. Totally unedible.
Finally, after dinner we had some fun, we drove into Washington DC to do some sightseeing.
First stop was the Capitol Building
Then the Vietnam Veterans Memorial
The coolest place to see was the Abe Lincoln Memorial
The Abraham Lincoln memorial was my favourite place, and I will admit that it's because of Night at the Museum 2.
Korean War Veterans Memorial
Then we went to the brand new Martin Luther King Jr Memorial
It was a really nice evening seeing all the sights of DC. When we got back to camp I got quite upset because I was missing my old group so much and hated that things were so different. I really missed the people that had gone and I wanted them to be there with us more than anything. Had a really bad nights sleep because I felt sick and at one point I had to get up because I needed to pee so bad. The restrooms were so far away and it was so scary walking to them, I actually thought I was going to get murdered!