This is one for the amazing job perk category!

What do you say when your boss comes to you and offers up a free trip to our nation's capitol? You won't have to spend a dime, he says, and since it's for work, you won't have to burn vacation days either. If you're guessing that my answer was yes, you are correct!

The journey began at Flint's Bishop Airport, and I was reminded again why Flint really is the smart way to fly. Quick and friendly customer service, easy to get to, plenty of parking and Bishop's whole laid back vibe are all fantastic ways to start any vacation. From Flint, Southwest Airlines offers direct flights to Las Vegas, Tampa, Orlando and Baltimore/Washington. From there, travelers can easily connect to over 50 popular destinations all over the United States. It was cheap and easy to hop on a nearby commuter train for the short ride into the city.

Jonathon Dean, BWI's manager of the Division of Communications was standing at the plane's gate to escort everyone by train to Union Station, in the heart of Washington D.C. Michigan State Representative Dan Kildee was also waiting at Union Station to give a personalized tour of the U.S. Capitol Building and his offices in the Cannon Building.

The afternoon was open for sight seeing, and I took full advantage. The White House was a lot smaller than I expected and heavily guarded by local police officers and men in black suits. The Washington Monument was impressive, and as I walked along the Mall I realized how much of our country's history is in Washington D.C. The Lincoln Memorial was the site for my first ever selfie, and it really took my breath away. The Korean War Memorial and the Vietnam Veterans Memorial put everything in perspective as I watched families leave tributes for loved ones they have lost.

From there, it's a blur as I realized that I was lost in a strange city with a dead cell phone. My map probably made me a moving target, but two and a half hours later I finally did find the hotel.

The next morning I was able to spend some more time in the Baltimore/Washington International Airport with a guided tour from Jonathan Dean that even included a walk on the airport's observation deck.

Later, the first of two daily flights offered by Southwest Airlines brought me back safe and sound to Flint with another short and easy flight with great customer service..

I am eager to plan another visit to Washington D.C. and I was very reassured by how quick and easy it is to fly Southwest from Flint and then connect to a lot of great destinations all over the U.S.

Heartfelt thank yous go to Pat Corfman, Bishop's Director of Marketing and Public Relations and Autumn Perry, the airport's Assistant Director of Marketing and Public Relations for their outstanding attention to every detail of the trip and for making Flint the smart way to fly. Sincere gratitude also goes to Karla Haibel, a representative for Southwest Airlines, Jonathon Dean from BWI and Dan Kildee for their time and knowledge.

Look through the photo gallery below to see some of the highlights of my first trip to Washington D.C..

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