Organ Pipe National Park

Organ Pipe National Park

About Me

I purchased "Sadie''s House On Wheels "in late 2007 and loved traveling in a motor home so much that I went on the road full time in late 2008. I started writing this blog to help me remember all the wonder places I have been and it allows me to share those places with my family and friends. Summer of 2013 I decided to hang up the keys for a while and moved back into my stick house. After nearly two years, I am on the road again.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

The "District" Part I, September 10

Saturday morning Justin, Liz and I were up early in anticipation of a very filled day.  Justin had made reservations to tour the Capitol and 10:45.  We left the house about 8:30 and drove to the train station in Vienna.  The train costs about $3.00 one way (unless you have a Smartcard or are over 65 and jump through hoops to get a senior card) and takes 20-40 minutes to get to the "District" as the locals call it.  The reservations stated we needed to be at the check in station 45 minutes before our tour for security reasons.  With it being the day before 9/11 I expected all kinds of delays, but everyone seemed to have their act together and we sailed through security and the train was not delayed.  In fact, we arrived a little early at the check in  and were asked if we would like to take an earlier tour.  We took the earlier tour which was nice because at that hour there were not  too many people.  We also found out that there are spaces available for "walk ups".

The Statue of Freedom sits on top of the capitol dome and this is the mold that was used to cast her.

The rotunda is truly elegant. The gold leaf didn't show up in the picture very well, but you can get an idea.  There is much symbolism in the painting, thirteen figures represent the thirteen colonies.
The relief looks like carving but are really paintings.
The statue room used to be used for the house but the acoustics were terrible and as the number of states grew, it became too small.  Today it holds some of the statues from the different states.  Each state is allowed two statues and they must be made of bronze or marble.  Obviously there isn't enough room for all the states statutes so some are places throughout the Capitol in prominent places.

This is one of Nevada's statues and it is of Winnemucca who was a defender of human rights and the first women native to author a book.

If you have been to Hawaii you will recognize King Kamehameha

A classic view of the Capitol.  Security was tight and there really weren't that many people.  Maybe because of 911
After our Capitol tour we headed to the downtown area for lunch.  We passed China town and saw the ornate entrance.  Although the area was busy, Justin said it was really quiet, but during the week it is really busy.
I saw this rose in one of the popular squares. Justine said the square was a very popular gathering place for the lunch crowd during the week.
Our next stop was at the Smithsonian.  I didn't realize there are over 16 Smithsonian's of varied exhibits.  We chose to go to the American History Smithsonian, it was not what I expected.  There were different exhibits about American History including a special one on the 150 anniversary of the Civil War.  I've seen so much about the Civil Way this year I passed on that one.

There was an exhibit on Greensboro counter from 1960.

There was also an interesting exhibit on the gowns of the First Ladies, probably not the most interesting thing for guys. Below is Michelle Obama inaugural gown.
And this was Nancy Regan's inaugural gown.
There was another exhibit of American Icons.  Guess what these are. ..Dorothy's shoes from the Wizard of Oz in 1939
And there were these shoes belonging Apollo Ono, Olympic champion.
These were the original Muppets.
I remember this guy from my childhood.  He started out in radio but was popular on TV

We saw so much one day, there is no way to post it all. And, there was a lot more to see, but there is no way to cram it in to one day.  Tomorrow is another day and we plan to return and see some of the monuments.

 I wished I had had my act together and contacted my representative to arrange a tour of the Whitehouse and one of the Congress sessions.  Arrangement  have to be made no later than three weeks ahead of time but best to make them 4-6 months ahead.  Oh well, I'll just have to catch them another time.  Justin has two more semesters of grad school, so what I don't see while I am here this time I can see next time.

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