Last week, myself and some co-workers had the opportunity to head down to Washington D.C. for an overnight visit. We were invited by Bishop International Airport and flown down there on Southwest Airlines. Just recently Southwest added to their flight schedule from Flint to Baltimore, which just a quick train ride away from D.C.

The adventure started out way too early for me, but when I arrived at Bishop at 4 a.m., I was welcomed with a nice breakfast and a quick get-to-know everyone. Not long after the breakfast, along with some coffee that finally woke me up, we headed to the gate for a 6:10 a.m. departure with Bishop's Director of Marketing & Public Relations Patricia Corfman, Assistant Director of Marketing & Public Relations Autumn Perry and Southwest Airlines representative Karla Haibel (who were all fantastic).

After the short 90 minute, uneventful flight made even more enjoyable by the humor of the Southwest flight crew, we met up with some of the staff at BWI Airport - Amy Bathurst who is BWI Marketing Manager and Jonathan Dean, Manager, Division of Communications - who gave us some facts about the airport which is named after Thurgood Marshall and is the 22nd busiest airport in the U.S. After a few minutes of stretching out, walking and talking, Dean then accompanied us to grab a shuttle to the train station which would take us the 40 minute trip into D.C.

Jason Cooper, WFNT

Upon arrival at Union Station in Washington we were met by Michigan Fifth Congressional District Congressman Dan Kildee and his staff who took us over to see their office at the Cannon House Office Building which was completed in 1908 and is the oldest congressional office building. Kildee has an office on the third floor of the building and his staff share two adjoining rooms. Among the accomplishments that adorn Kildee's walls is a picture of the President signing the Farm Bill from earlier this year which included Kildee's legislation to promote healthy and locally-grown fruits and vegetables at farmers’ markets across Michigan. There is also a framed picture with Kildee and his uncle Dale Kildee who held the seat prior. An intern then took us to the new U.S. Capitol Visitors Center in which we saw a 13-minute movie about the branches of government. We then made our way up to the Senate Gallery where we got to watch the last few minutes of the morning session.

Jason Cooper, WFNT

After our visit to the Capitol, we made our way to where we were being put up for the night, Hotel Helix. We dropped our bags off and then headed to grab a much needed lunch at Logan's Tavern. After the fantastic lunch in which we sampled some great appetizers, sandwiches and desserts, we headed back to the hotel to get checked in and head out to explore our nation's capital (or do whatever else we wanted). I myself took a little breather and then head back to the Capitol to see my brother who works for the House Majority Leader. Having earlier seen the Senate Gallery, I was now excited to head to the House Gallery where I got to see some votes by members on human trafficking. Along with seeing Congressman Kildee on the floor, I also saw some other members of Michigan's congressional delegation including Gary Peters, Sanders Levin, and John Conyers.

Not too long after the votes, my brother called it a day at work and we headed back to his place in Maryland where I got to see my sister-in-law and my two nieces. While I missed dinner with the rest of the group (with their approval) I was fortunate to be able to spend some time with my close family and that for me was awesome! After dinner and catching up, I headed back to D.C. and caught up with a few members of the group in the hotel lounge. After a quick nightcap, I retreated back to the room to grab some needed rest after a long, fun and exciting day.

Jason Cooper, WFNT

The next morning our group was treated to a quick Starbucks breakfast. We then boarded a shuttle to take us back to BWI where we would meet up with Dean again and get a quick tour of the concourse and see the observation gallery (which was very cool). Around 10:15 a.m. and less than 30 hours after we started on this adventure, we started to board for our return trip to Flint. Upon arrival and in need of a nap, I thought to myself Bishop Airport is indeed "the smart way to fly" and Southwest out of Flint is a great way to travel to places like Baltimore, Tampa, Orlando, Ft. Meyers and Las Vegas. Having traveled from another airport that shall not be named, the ease and convenience of Flint will always make me look to them first (that and being named Michigan's Best Airport). Especially on my next trip to our nation's capital and seeing my family!

For more information on Bishop International Airport and Southwest flights out of Flint, click here.