Thursday, May 7, 2009

Capitol, Supreme Court, Union Station

Capitol Building

Rotunda ceiling


Supreme Court

Union Station

Another loooong day. We were on the train right at 10 am this morning. We went to the Capitol Building first and got on a tour right away. It is the most incredible building. The Rotunda is just breath-taking. I'm beginning to run out of adjectives to describe these things. There were hundreds of people there including lots of school kids but they had everything very well organized so that you didn't have to wait too long and your group wasn't too big.

We discovered that we could get gallery tickets for the House of Representatives or the Senate just by asking. I actually went into a Representatives office from California because his office was the closest to the door. We got right into watch a session of the House of Representatives. Much to my surprise it was really very interesting. Even Donnie thought that it was interesting. When we first got in there, there were only about 20 people in the room. A Representative from New York stood up to propose some Amendment to some piece of legislation having to do with drywall from China. Evidently, this stuff puts poisonous fumes into a home were it is used. Another REp then stood up and asked him some questions. But they only gave each guy 2 or 3 minutes to talk. Then Barney Frank from Massassachusetts called for a recorded vote (whatever that means) and pretty soon here they all came into the chamber. We were never sure what they were voting on but it was still fun to watch the whole thing in action. I'm thinking of seeing if we can get tickets to the Senate on Monday which is the next day that they are in session. We ate lunch in the Capitol cafeteria. Of course, the congressmen don't each there but there were a lot of their staff people eating there. I've never seen so many suits (men & women) in my life.

We then went over to the Supreme Court building. Last time we actually got to peek into the Courtroom itself but today we had to stay on the visitor center ground floor.... kind of anti-climatic but the building is still very beautiful.

We then walked over to Union Station. I was too tired by that time to really enjoy all of the classy shops. We went back to the area where our Metro station was and there was a little place there where we could get a bite to eat. We had hit the rush hour time of day by this time so our day was quite a lot longer than usual.

I have to say that every one here is so nice. They made sure that we got on the train ok and that I could sit down. Maybe it is because we are obviously tourists or old or something, but almost everyone has been very nice and considerate. I've been very pleasantly surprised.

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