On Wednesday we had an appointment with our Congressman (Rep. Jason Chaffetz) to tour the U.S. Capitol. We had tried to get a tour of the White House through Rep. Chaffetz but the staff member told us that since Chaffetz was a freshman rep and also a Republican, the Obama Administration wasn’t making any White House tickets available.
We rode the Metro in to Washington D.C. in the morning and made our way to the House office building. The kids probably enjoyed the train as much as they enjoyed anything else in D.C. When we got there Rep. Chaffetz wasn’t in the office but his staff was very nice and they escorted us on a wonderful tour of the capitol building including spending time in the House Gallery watching the debate on the Hate Crimes bill.
Riding the Metro
Each state had two statues in various parts of the building. Utah was represented by Brigham Young and by Philo Farnsworth, the inventor of television. Brigham Young is about as Utah as you get but Philo is controversial because Idaho often claims him as one of their own.
Hanging with Brigham Young
The rotunda was impressive and made you dizzy craning your head to look up at the building. We heard the various little tidbits that the congressional aides have been trained to tell about each painting and nook and cranny of the building.
The impressive Rotunda
After our tour of the Capitol building we found a McDonalds nearby that was jam packed with the DC government employee lunch crowd. We shared tables with a couple of business people who looked upon us and our collection of Happy Meals with bemusement. After lunch we made our way over to the Smithsonian Air and Space museum. I thought the kids would really enjoy this one but they were rather ho hum about it. The place was jam packed with busloads of school kids but our kids didn’t think moon rocks and space shuttle parts and looking up the inside of a Saturn V rocket was as cool as I thought it was back in 1982.
The one thing that Emily and Anne really wanted to see was the Holocaust Museum. We made our way over to the museum and Nancy and I took Caroline, Sam, and Diana through on the quick tour while we let Emily and Anne go slow and spend as much time as they wanted. Anne seemed to be fascinated the most – she spent time reading every display and carefully looking at every exhibit. We let Anne take as much time as she wanted up until the point that Caroline, Sam, and Diana were frustrated and cranky and ready to go home. We had planned on visiting other Smithsonian museums and possibly the National Art Gallery but by the time we were done with the Holocaust Museum everyone was “museumed out” and we decided to catch the Metro home before the rush hour crowd overwhelmed us.