The trio of seasoned tour guides understands that being a guide is more than just being able to carry a microphone and CDL driver’s license with style. Being a guide is a great responsibility; it means safeguarding history and passing its great secrets and wisdoms on to others. Whether visiting DC’s iconic structures and memorials in the daylight or evening, they passionately share the stories of the individuals, ideals, and food-based dares that shaped the United States into what it is today. Fueled by the realization that planning a trip to the nation’s capital may be a once in a lifetime experience for some people, they put extra effort into ensuring that experience is as memorable as possible, leading all of their tours in a luxurious 2012 Mercedes bus.
Licensed professional tour guides could tell you about the design plan of the U.S. Capitol, the specifics of the congressional resolution to build the Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial, and the quotes engraved on the Franklin Delano Roosevelt Memorial. Or, they could show you.
Excellent Tours' four experienced guides share their knowledge of the capital during three narrated tours aboard vans, mini-buses, and coach buses. Each tour includes stops at the White House, Capitol building, Lincoln Memorial, and Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial, which is where the similarities end. Tours run at three different times and visit several different additional sights, such as the Thomas Jefferson Memorial and the World War II Memorial. During each excursion, guides divulge facts such as how President Theodore Roosevelt gave the White House its name in 1901, and why the engineer who laid the cornerstone of the Washington Monument used the same trowel George Washington used nearly a century earlier instead of the nice one his mother bought for him.
Lynford Morton doesn't like to be called an instructor. Instead, he prefers photo coach. To Lynford, coaching more accurately describes his process of giving advice and support and boosting confidence in photographers as they actively snap shots of their subjects. His teaching method sticks to this sports analogy, as he first forms a foundation of photography principles—a playbook of sort. Then during hands-on sessions, photographers practice using techniques and calling audibles to get clouds into the right position. Since Lynford keeps most classes at a ratio of 1 to 12 or fewer, he can guide students with tips or illustrate a point with a teaching app on his iPad.
Lynford has always loved to tell stories with pictures. His father, a self-taught photographer from a village on St. Kitts, fueled Lynford's passion at an early age—which he later bridged with a photojournalism college major and a career in public relations. Now, he walks the historic streets of DC each weekend with troops of eager photographers anxious to tell their own visual stories.
Before Comfort One Shoes' sole experts are allowed to fit a single shoe to a customer's foot, they must graduate from Comfort One University and undergo a mentorship process. It's only then that they can help shoppers find their desired footwear, whether it be lace-up Ziera boots, On running shoes with CloudTec technology, or Thierry Rabotin shoes, handmade without uncomfortable, rigid components. Alongside men's and women's footwear, the shop stocks an assortment of bags and accessories such as colorful iPhone cases from Triple C Designs that protect phone exteriors and conceal scratches from the last time you transformed into a werewolf.
Comfort One Shoes also seeks to better the world through creative philanthropic efforts, such as collecting 25,000 shoes for those without and offering their employees half their pay and time off to volunteer in the community. Perhaps such initiatives are part of the reason Comfort One Shoes earned the National Shoe Retailers Association’s Retailer of the Year Award in 2011.
Already an award-winning photographer, Cindi Hobgood also spent 25 years scouting locations for Hollywood studios and TV programs. Her locations were showcased on The Amazing Race, used by Disney, HBO, and Columbia Pictures, and shot by Spike Lee and Sam Shepard. As a location scout, Hobgood recorded her finds with a camera, carefully composing each shot in order to convey each scene’s mood, landscape, and lighting.
Today, she teaches others how to hone a similarly discerning eye during instructive photo expeditions. Magic Hour walking tour send participants snapping shots of the Korean War Veterans Memorial and the Potomac just as the sun comes up. Memorials by Moonlight takes walkers on a nocturnal jaunt past sites such as the Lincoln Memorial, and Intro to iPhoneography helps pupils get the most out of their iPhone cameras. There are even a few out-of-town trips for adventurous shutterbugs.