Seeing headlines that talked about this being President Obama’s last Fourth of July in the White House made me think about my time in D.C. during the summer and how much I miss it.

I was blessed enough to have the opportunity to volunteer at the White House’s annual Fourth of July celebration, and spend the day in D.C. The day I spent in Washington that day was almost unreal, and it is a collective memory I carry with me everywhere.

I had never seen so much red, white, and blue in my life. I thought the celebrations I had seen in my hometown of Aurora, Colorado were something to write home about (and they are), but the D.C. celebration was rightfully the most colorful and busy Fourth of July celebration I had ever been witness to.

It was nice to see President Obama spending time with staff and other officials. It felt surreal to eat picnic food and drinking tea on the White House lawn with my friends, and I felt like a king taking the subway home after spending a night listening to great music in the midst of a packed crowd and celebrating the holiday with my colleagues and the White House.

Seeing people march in the streets for the parade, watching the festivities in excitement, and experiencing a city as great and historic as D.C. on the Fourth of July was a memorable experience. I would highly recommend experiencing the holiday in D.C. next year.