Since the moment I learned of the Newseum‘s opening date, I decided to take the day off of work. Why? I had gone to the museum before, when it was based in Rosslyn. And more importantly, I wanted to go because I’m a former reporter. I spent a good six years working as a tv journalist before seeking a career in public relations.

So on opening day, I joined fellow classmate and blogger Jenny from the Farm at what she calls “D.C.’s newest hot spot.” I’ve got to say that I agree with her wholeheartedly! We had an ambitious day planned of visiting the Newseum and hopping over to Cakelove for some cupcake testing, but the Newseum kept us enthralled for hours… seven to be exact! So the cupcake testing will have to wait for another day.

It all started at 9 a.m. when we arrived at the museum’s site along Pennsylvania Avenue. We were just two of the thousands of people in line, waiting to get inside for a free first-hand look.

Line to get inside the NewseumI

We got inside after 45 minutes. What was disturbing during the wait were the overly cheery employees with the tv monitors embedded in their t-shirts. Cool idea, right? Not when the tv is embedded in the chest area of a women’s t-shirt! So these tv-shirted women were walking around encouraging people to watch their chests. Little too weird for me. The back of the shirt would’ve made for a better option.

When we finally got through the doors and the security screening, Jenny and I were greeted by “Abe Lincoln.”

Abe Lincoln \

After my Abe photo op, we began our tour, starting on the lower level with an orientation video. But what interested me the most were the pieces from the Berlin Wall and the guard tower that stood watch over the communist portion of the city. The tower once housed guards who were armed and ready to kill when anyone dare tried to escape. It was a haunting piece of the world’s history to see.

Berlin Wall watch tower

With all the crowds, there were a few bottlenecks clogging up exhibit areas and even some waiting around to get into the video screening areas. But overall, the thousands and thousands of visitors did not prevent me from enjoying my day. I loved it!

I even plan to go back as a paying customer, just for the opportunity to spend more time at the exhibit about the Pulitzer Prize-winning photographs. I didn’t have time to absorb all the stories behind the photographs or learn about the photographers.

But I was left with this insightful quote, posted on the wall. It speaks the truth… good journalism and good photographs should move you. My visit to the Newseum did just that, leaving me with memories of my own laughter and even a few tears shed during the day.