Saturday, July 18, 2015

Washington DC Trip Day 2

Today we were busy from beginning to end.  We left early this morning and took the Metro (subway) down to the Capitol area.  We spent most of the morning in the Library of Congress.  We were able to take a free tour of the Thomas Jefferson Library of Congress building, and that was really cool.  They have every book that was ever printed.  We took some pictures, so I will caption them below.

After the Library of Congress, we had some lunch (there is a cafeteria in the Capitol which was great) and then toured the Capitol.  We had these tickets, again, through our Congresswoman.  Had to get them 4-6 months ahead of time.  this was a great tour as well.  The Capitol is really beautiful.  The dome is under restoration, and we were told that this was the last week for tours of the Capitol Dome for a YEAR because they are closing it off.So we were lucky to be able to see it.

After the Capitol, we started our long walk down the National Mall.  We were using the afternoon to look at the monuments and just stroll the mall.  We first stopped at the National Botanical Gardens, which were beautiful.  Then we headed down to the Washington Monument, the Lincoln Memorial, the WWII memorial, and the Vietnam War memorial.

After all the monuments, we started our walk back to the Hotel.  We are staying just a few blocks from the white House, so we were going to walk in front of it for fun.  As we got close, the police stopped all the traffic.  A few sharp shooters appeared, and we started to get a little nervous.  They redirected all walking traffic through a large field a few blocks away from the White House.  We saw a group of people talking to a Secret Service agent on the field, and then they gathered at a fence.  So we decided to investigate.  Within a few minutes 3 large White House Helicopters appeared.  The middle one was carrying the President, and the other two were just flanking him.  And then there were several other helicopters in the area.  It was madness, but so cool.  We took several pictures, and watched the President land on the White House lawn.  We saw them get out, but couldn't see much because they were far away.  It was definitely a highlight of the day.

We are all very tired tonight.  The last two days Mat, Arlington and I have tracked over 22,000 steps each day on our fitbits, so we are getting a lot of exercise.

Enjoy the pictures!

Finley used her cane all day today.  She got a special souvenier at the end of the day because of it.
 Library of Congress
 Main reading room in the Library of Congress.  You can only go in this room if you want to research something (and have a legitimate reason).  You could request books that are over 200 years old.
 Inside the main reading room in the Thomas Jefferson building of the Library of Congress

 As  close as you can get
 Science mural
 Minerva - the Roman Goddess of Wisdom
 The Main Dome in the Library of Congress

 This was made by a monk - took him 18 months to write.  It took him one day to write a page.  It is over 500 years old.  It is one of the last great hand written Bibles in the World.
 The Gutenberg Bible is another very, very old and very famous Bible.  This was one of the first books ever printed.  Gutenberg invented the mechanical printing press.  It is also over 500 years old.  This is one of only THREE perfect copies of the Bible that are left in the world.
 The first map to label America as America that included the Pacific Ocean.
 A replica of the Thomas Jefferson Library.  As we all know, in 1812, those British farts came over and burned down the capitol and the Library of Congress, and they lost 2/3rd of their collection.  BUT - about 1/3 of the books that Thomas Jefferson donated to the Library survived and are displayed in this case.  It was really cool to see his books up close - books that were over 200 years old.  AND what he had in his collection.  (the man donated over 6000 books to the library before it burned)

 An original drawing of the very first Spiderman Comic
 Library of Congress
 Capitol Building - dome under contruction
 Finley standing next to the Helen Keller Statue that was donated by Alabama to the Capitol.
 A replica of the statue that is on top of the Capitol building
 Sam Adams (statue that was donated to the Capitol by Massachusetts)
 Capitol dome under restoration
 There were paintings all around the dome.  This is a painting of the signing of the Declaration of Independence
 This is where John Quincy Adams' desk was at the Capitol when he was in Congress
 Dome in the room with the statues
 Statue room.  Each state is allowed to donate two statues of someone famous from their state.  The rules are - the person has to be dead, and they can't replace the statue until the statue has been in the Capitol for 10 years.
 Finley standing in the Statue room in front of Rosa Parks.  (she did a project on her in 2nd grade).  We were told that Rosa Parks is the ONLY statue that will NEVER be removed from the Capitol.  AND she has been the only woman to lay in state in the Capitol after she died.

 The Supreme Court building
 Cainan hugging one of the huge columns at the surpreme court
 Doors at the Supreme Court

 Outside the Capitol
 The Botanical Gardens

 The Washington Monument
 The Lincoln Memorial from the grounds of the Washington Monument
 The White House from the grounds of the Washington Monument
 WWII Memorial
 Vietnam Women's Memorial
 Vietnam Memorial

 The Washington Monument from the Lincoln Memorial
 Lincoln Memorial

 National Academy of Sciences
 Here comes the President!

 The President Landing on the White House Lawn:

 Finley signing a bill to put her face on the $10 bill

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