Thursday, May 17, 2018

DC Trip 2018 - Botanical Gardens/Library of Congress/Capitol

On Monday we started the day at the United States Botanic Garden.

This wasn't in focus, but I think it's super cute anyway

See Philip's reflection in the water?  :)

Lots more flowers...

The gardens were just Amazing!!

I love these ones with water drops on them

Whenever I see this flower, I always think "Listeria"  Haha!

Pretty arbor

Then we went inside...

The orchids were Gorgeous and everywhere!

The tropical room was beautiful and three stories high!

Look at those colors and patterns!

Looking down from the upper level

This plant was So peculiar!

Some prickly ones

This was the Desert Garden

Check out those strange cacti!

Working on his Junior Botanist book

A fun outdoor kid's area
(These "misters" were motion activated)


They even got to plant a flower!

Watering the flower they planted

One of my favorite family photos from the trip

After a leisurely start (Philip knows I need a breath of fresh air in between all the museums), we had lots of other things to do that day!

The House side of the Capitol

Thomas Jefferson Building of the Library of Congress (LOC)

Philip had never had a chance to go inside the LOC so this was pretty exciting for him and Keenan loves libraries in general so he was pretty pumped to see what has to be one of the premier libraries in the world (although the British Library claims to have more catalogued items).

Heading up the steps of the LOC

The architecture inside was Stunning!!

The ceiling of the main reading room

The floor of the main reading room

This mosaic is made up of thousands of tiny tiles!

Wise words

A ceiling selfie

Another mosaic

A first edition Gutenberg Bible

One of the long, pretty hallways on the way to the children's area

The Children's Reading Room (the only room in the LOC where kids can touch books)

Philip read several fun books to the kids 

We didn't even know about two other great rooms until the end

We then walked through the underground tunnel to the James Madison Building of the LOC and had lunch in the cafeteria on the 6th floor.  It was getting hot outside so we returned to the tunnels and crossed back the Jefferson building before returning to the street to head next door.

Quick photo stop on the east side of the Capitol

Before arrive outside the Supreme Court

We headed inside and looked around the first floor before heading upstairs

A lecture was in progress so we didn't actually get to stick our heads in the chamber but we could see the bench through the open door and curtain.  They had just convened earlier in the day and released five new opinions.  Philip had considered getting us all up early enough to get in the line to try and be in the courtroom for the announcements but decided that could make the day a bit too long.

The Great Hall
(each former Chief Justice has a bust in this hall)

We exited through the door at the other end out onto the front steps and then crossed the street to wait in the shade before heading off to start our tour of the Capitol.  We had instructions to meet in the office of Senator Roberts and one of his staff members would give us a tour.

Inside the Hart Senate Office Building (the newest of the Senate offices)

An old version of the underground trolly connection to the Capitol

The modern version

A life size replica of the Freedom statue at the top of the dome

The old Supreme Court Chamber

Inside the dome of the Rotunda

This is where Billy Graham was recently Laid in Honor
(only the second private citizen, after Rosa Parks, to receive that honor)

"Declaration of Independence" by John Trumbull in 1818

The old House chamber, now National Statuary Hall

Every state is given the right to place two statues in the Capitol and each state legislature has totally authority over the statues they send to DC.  Congress can also commission additional statues so, for example, we saw the relatively recent addition of Rosa Parks.

Senator John James Ingalls
(There are apparently plans to replace him with Amelia Earhart)

General Eisenhower, the other Kansas Statue
(Ike replaced Gorge Washington Glick, 9th Governor of Kansas)

After this we had to leave everything electronic down in the visitor center in order to enter the House chamber's viewing gallery.  The security was super tight, seemingly even more than at the White House!  Philip had also never had the opportunity to actually see the inside of either chamber (a key benefit of booking a tour through your Senator or Representative vs. the normal public tours you can get from the visitor center) and so he was pretty excited.  The only bummer was that the Senate chamber was closed and so we couldn't visit both galleries as we had been told we would a few months ago.  Many thanks to the staff of Senator Pat Roberts!

We also decided to see the National Archives that day, to free up some time the following day.   There were No pictures allowed inside the building, but it was Amazing to see the original Declaration of Independence, the Constitution, and the Bill of Rights!   

1 comment:

Mom W. said...

Wow, the Library of Congress is SO different than I would have guessed.

That was educational for us all. Thank you!!