Wednesday, January 26, 2011
The visit to DC
I took a photo of the cats playing together today - I think they are enjoying the dog being gone - but decided I wanted to post a summary of my trip to DC tonight (the photo of the kitties wasn't that great - but it was so much fun hearing them "talk" to each other).
I flew into DC on Monday morning, arriving around 8:30 a.m. I proceeded to the lovely Hotel Monaco which is located directly across from the National Portrait Gallery. If you even have only 30 minutes to spend in this museum - spend the time. It's an incredible museum with nearly any and every portrait you've ever seen in a textbook or other book on display. Very, very cool.
As soon as I dropped my bags at the hotel I headed down to the National Mall.
I took a few photos from the Mall area. Then it was off to the Capitol. I've never visited the Capitol before in all my visits to DC. I had reserved a ticket for a tour, but was hoping to walk in and get a tour. I walked around the Mall side of the Capitol and grabbed the pictures. While there was definitely a police/security presence all around the Mall and the Capitol (extremely friendly police I must say) I was surprised to still be able to walk right up to the edge of the building on the National Mall side to snap some fun pictures.
I walked around to the other side to head into the Visitor's Center and line up for my tour. The Capitol Tour beings with a brief film followed by lining up with a guide who narrates the thirty minute tour. The walking tour visits the Crypt, the Rotunda, as well as the old Senate and House chambers. I was amazed at how "small" the Rotunda seemed. I loved standing in the old House chambers and realizing I was standing in the place where they have brunch after the inauguration. That was one of those moments when I was just taken aback with how amazing our form of government is.
After a quick lunch in the Capitol, I walked through the lovely tunnel between the Capitol and the Library of Congress to explore the Bibles, the Jefferson's Library exhibit and several other very nice exhibits. The Gutenberg Bible has color in it - I wouldn't have guessed that. You can't take pictures inside of the exhibits.
After visiting the Library of Congress, I stopped in the National Conservatory. I wish I had more time as I would have spent hours in here. After the Conservatory I had to head back to get to the first activities for my conference but I must say it was a wonderful visit - even if it was quick.