After more than a year of Caleb asking, "When can we go in that big building," we finally made it inside the US Capitol. We scheduled a staff tour through Senator Mike Lee's office after failing miserably with our own Congresswoman, Eleanor Holmes Norton. I can't figure out why Norton's office was too busy to help us with out request, considering that she is a non-voting member of the House of Representatives, has one of the smallest constituencies in the country, and she and her staff don't have to travel to go home, but we are thrilled that Senator Lee's staff were so accommodating. Our tour was atypical is that both Kenny and I have given the same tour many times ourselves and so, more than anything, we just needed an escort into the building. Hannah, our guide, did point out some recent additions and tried to think of things to keep the interest of our boys, but overall we sort of blitzed our way through, bookending our visit with rides on the Capitol Subway System. And, let's be honest, those few seconds on the trains were the highlight of this adventure for Caleb and Isaac.
Yes, it is the middle of December and we are walking around without coats.
My favorite statue - King Kamehameha I. This statue used to be housed in Statuary Hall, but has since been relocated to the new Capitol Visitor's Center.
Philo T. Farnsworth, inventor of the television and one of two statues from the state of Utah. Several statues line the Capitol Visitor's Center which is a huge, underground building completed in 2008. Neither Kenny nor I had been inside and it was definitely worth stopping in.
After a stop at the Crypt and the Old Supreme Court Chamber, we headed to the most impressive part of the tour, the Rotunda. Despite being told that it would take 45 Caleb's standing one on top of the other to reach the ceiling, Caleb was unconvinced that it really was 180 feet from where we stood to the top. He was. however, impressed by the gigantic paintings of major events in US history that ring the walls. And, all on his own, pointed out the painting depicting the battle of Yorktown, reminding us that we had been there earlier this year.
Isaac, on the other hand, decided to take a rest from the rigors of touring and take it all in from a more relaxed vantage point.
Kenny just finished this biography of Alexander Hamilton, so he decided it made sense to pose with the statue of the man himself.
This is Ronald Reagan, in case you couldn't tell. What is most interesting about this statue is that embedded in its base are pieces of the Berlin Wall.
The newest addition to the statues housed in the Capitol is this one of Gerald R. Ford. I wonder which statue from Michigan was replaced by Mr. Ford's bronze tribute added, apparently, just a few months ago?
From the Rotunda, we moved onto Statuary Hall. Once upon a time, the vast majority of all the statues in the Capitol were in Statuary Hall. Packed in, in fact, so that it was impossible to even see many of them. Over the years, the weight of all that marble and bronze started to take its toll and slowly they moved statues out to other parts of the building to keep the floor from collapsing. Now there is a much more manageable number in this room that was once the House of Representatives chamber, including this one of Brigham Young.
Hanging out in the fireplace in Statuary Hall.
Our last stop before heading back to the Senate Office Buildings was the Brumidi corridors. I have always loved this part of the building, but, sadly, these days most of it is completely inaccessible to the public.
Family group shot and proof that I was there too,
in all my 37 weeks pregnant glory.
Riding the Capitol Subway back to the Hart building. We had a great tour, just the right length for our little posse. So, now we've been to that "big building" and we can cross one more thing off our not to miss in DC list.