Sunday, April 8, 2012

Day Four in DC

Tuesday was one of the highlights of our trip. We slept in...or least I did. We played with Abigail while Nana taught her piano lessons and then we left her with Nana for the day. Benjamin had contacted Senator Rand Paul's office ahead of time and had scheduled a tour of the capitol building. Unfortunately we didn't plan ahead enough to get a tour of the White House. We walked around before our appointment and saw the Supreme Court building, the archives, the capitol, and some office buildings. 

An intern took us on the tour. She was new and read off of her note cards, but was extremely nice. I think that she was nervous trying to teach a political science professor. She even took us on the 'train' underground from the office buildings to the capitol.

Benjamin tried hard not to geek out too much while on the tour when we walked inches from Arlen Specter, etc. The new visitors center is amazing. I learned a lot about the capitol and how it was built and things that had happened during it's history. Our intern even took us to special spot that was built to house George Washington's remains. He refused to be buried there, though, and the spot remains empty. The statues in the capitol were also fun. We especially enjoyed seeing the Utah ones and the Kentucky ones.

Henry Clay

Brigham Young

Is this Alexander Hamilton?
Our favorite part of the tour was getting to sit in on the Senate and on the House. While we were watching the Senate we heard several speakers and then Rand Paul himself walked in and prepared his desk. We got to hear him speak and it was really cool. His intern was surprised and super excited. She had not known that  he would be speaking that day. We also saw Harry Reid walking around. Benjamin recognized a whole bunch of people too.

While sitting in on the House we saw most of the members gathered together for a vote. It was interesting because they all seemed to be ignoring the proceedings and just chatting with each other and catching up. Soon the vote ended and they all cleared out and few people were left to listen to the two sides make a case for and against turning a public park into a job facility in Accomack county Virginia. The only reason that interested us at all is that Benjamin served his mission there and my family on my dad's side lived in that region for about two hundred years.

After our legislative visits, we spent some time in the museum. There we met up with Patience, one of Benjamin's good friends from high school. She works on the hill at a fast-paced, exciting IT job. She gave us a behind the scenes tour of the capitol while she finished some of her service calls. We enjoyed seeing this view of the capitol as well. It's a good thing we had her to guide us through that confusing mess of tunnels and hallways.

She took us to historic Alexandria where we ate at Gadsby's Tavern, a historic tavern that was open even at the time when George Washington was president. He ate there as did several other prominent historical figures. The food was yummy and I especially enjoyed their raspberry sauce.

We walked down to the pier and along the little shops. We also saw lots of small tour groups being led by guides dressed in colonial garb.

It was nice to go on a date together, even if it was to nerdy, historical sites. We do what we can.

We always love getting to see Patience and are impressed with all she is doing. She took good care of us and drove us across town to help us get home.

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