Tuesday, April 29, 2014

DC Day Seven :: Tours and the trip home

In order to get tours at most places in DC, you have to plan months in advance by writing your congressperson. When Bayley made the trip a few years ago, it was a tedious process. Now it's an online form. But somehow two of our most important tours were scheduled for the day we left.

Our White House tour started the morning. The rain decided to join us, which mean wait in this line - no that line - now this line - was lots of fun. Really should have opted for those umbrellas.

Once inside, we entered the East Room, which served as a staging area for the other rooms. Then we made it to the Green Room where a staffer had a prepared bit about the history of the room (Jefferson found the rug, Jacqueline Kennedy updated the d├ęcor). There was a Blue Room, State Dining Room, and a Red Room that had a chess table I fell in love with. And that was it. We were out the door.

We'd planned on looking at the statues on the lawn, but it was raining. Instead we hid inside the Museum of American History to wait until our Capitol tour. I wanted to see Dorothy's ruby shoes, but the kids were kind of museumed out. Until we were walking through early American history and Hayden found -- Crazy King George! He'd played George in a living history exercise at school, so he had to get a photo.

The United States Capitol tour was better than we'd thought! We started by finding our congresswoman's office, and then getting a tour of the building by one of her interns. As we walked through, we realized that you could tour on your own, as they had staffers in place to describe things. We often hung back to listen because our intern was so soft spoken.

There were lots of interesting tidbits - like each state has a statue there, but the only one you can touch is the one of Helen Keller. We got to see where the original supreme court met, as well as the underground tunnels (which Gracie thought must be to avoid the rain.

In the rotunda, we touched the compass star for luck. It has some kind of Masonic significance, but we were ushered out of there too quickly to catch it. If we go back. I'd do the self-paced capitol tour instead.

Wanting to make sure we had plenty of time to catch our flight, we took the Metro back towards the hotel. We found Good Stuff Eatery - home of the toasted marshmallow milkshake. Bayley had a...you get the drill.

Non-stop flights are the only way to go when travelling with kiddos. Really makes things easier. Once we landed the kids were starving, so we hit Dirty Bird. Where Bayley... yep. Again.

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