We woke this morning, our last day in DC, with a certain sadness. It was inevitable. All good things must come to an end. Here we were, posed and ready for our Capitol Hill tour. I must say that Husband Jared was the most excited for this excursion.
The Things outside Congressman Paulsen's office
We went to the Canon building and then were lead through the underground passageway to the Capitol building. FYI, only staffers and very important people are allowed to walk those halls. Just another highlight for the six Hansons. There were badges and security stops and then into the grand hall where each state's statues stand tall and a life size replica of Lady Freedom greets you. Fascinating. Funny story about Hawaii's statue, it arrived naked and was not allowed to be displayed because this is a family establishment. So it was bedecked in a rather ornate gold "costume" and returned. Interesting. Alright, moving on.
Mr. Coleman was our tour guide and his knowledge and obvious passion for his work was quite evident. When we entered the rotunda I did hear gasps from the Things and I am sure a "wow" or two might have escaped my lips. The murals that line the walls house a story within a story and each intricate detail both true to history and those added by the artists for personal statement or humor captivated the Things attention.
Moving on, we saw where Abraham Lincoln's desk sat, a 9/11 Memorial that honored those civilians that sacrificed their lives from Flight 93, the House Floor, I think I had goose bumps the entire time we were sitting in the gallery there. Circling the room are portraits of the first law makers and there at the center is Moses' picture. We peeked in on the "old" house room, where it stood before this great nation became a nation of fifty states and many more representatives. An original clock that is set five minutes fast so that court hearings run on time, still a tradition to this day. The Things stood on the mark of what was supposed to be the exact center of the city, it really isn't but it is a remarkable concept, that the center of the city of our nation's capitol would be housed in the building where decisions of epic proportions are made.
There is even a slight slope in the material now from all the foot traffic
Marching on we circled back through the halls, taking in all the sites along the way and discussing all that has happened within these walls. Before we knew it our time was over and we left the Canon building and walked on over in hopes of claiming a library card for Thing 4 for the Library of Congress. Come to find out no one under sixteen can be a card holder and most cards are issued solely for research purposes. Much to our surprise Husband Jared completed paperwork and received a card. I guess Thing 4 was hoping to do some genealogy research. This building is yet another grand structure and I was thrilled to be inside.
Look at those literary frescoes and marble archways
Much to the Things chagrin we did not have time to go into the reading room, although we were able to view it from afar. Simply amazing and inviting. A place I could surely get lost in, in the best way of course. We browsed the open rooms and stood in awe of the Bibles on display. Hand painted introduction pages with such painstaking detail. They were beautiful.
Exiting the library we found the Supreme Court building. There was massive construction going on so we were only able to view it from afar, but standing on the steps was enough for Husband Jared. At least for now...
I was also able to capture this photo of Poppi and Nani with the Capitol building in the background. So thankful we were able to share these memories with the two of them.
The White House was on our list to see so we hailed a cab and found ourselves blocked out due to a press conference that was taking place on the lawn. Hmm. We did some more walking and found our way. So did all the other tourists. There was pointing and gazing and then the Things sat for a picture and all was complete. It isn't about the photo per se but I do hope these photographs trigger memories for the Things of our adventures as a family. They were most enthralled with the large gun men that stood on the lookout on top of the house, oh and Thing 4's melty ice cream that you can see below in his right hand.
It was a short walk back to our hotel from here and we passed more protesters, saw the Federal Reserve building, a statue of Andrew Jackson and a wealth of historical buildings along the way. And then, sadly, it was time to load up Betsy and hit the road again. When Poppi's truck was brought up there was a slight gash in the sidewall of his tire. Minor detour on the horizon. The Things would not let us forget the last stop we promised them, chili dogs and milk shakes at Ben's Chili bowl near Howard University. So we made our lunch stop at this infamous place and then took care of the tire situation and we were PA bound.
This trip far exceeded any expectations we carried with us. The Things were captivated with the city and it's inner workings as was I. Seems as though there would never be enough time to see or do all the museums, landmarks, historical buildings. With that said, until next time and the next adventure. Farewell Washington D.C. and thank you for an incredible holiday.