Saturday, June 22, 2013

Touring the Capitol and Supreme Court Buildings, Washington DC

The Capitol
Ahh… The Nation’s Capitol, one of the iconic images of Washington, DC. We actually came here last (as far as the city of DC) since we had secured a tour via our state Senator.  All you need to do to get a private (or semi-private) tour is contact a representative from your state, and you’ll be accommodated. (Link)

We went to our Senator’s building to meet one of his assistants 


.......and went in the secret tunnel (well, not so secret, it’s public knowledge) that connects different Congresspeople’s office buildings to the Capitol and took the not-so-secret rail to the Capitol. (We easily could have walked the distance, but the assistant who took us here was wearing some pretty high heels.) For Brad, he could have just hung around the not-so-secret tunnels and have a great time.

A few additional reasons for making pre-arranged tours: look at these lines! The Capitol tours take 70-80 people around at one time (ours was 13 people)! We didn’t have to wait in line (which we hate, unless there’s food at the other end), and we got to go into the Galleries of the Senate and House while in session. (However…..the House was in recess all day……. hmmmm…. whatever…. we don’t go to work and take an all-day recess……and the Senate was actually one senator saying something we couldn’t hear to a few other people, but it was interesting to watch the opening of the senate, for sure). These are the gallery passes we were given – would have been extra special if our Senator (for whom we voted) write our names on them and signed them. Or at least have someone else do it……Oh well, he must have been busy doing something……

So we went to the Old Supreme Court (housed inside the Capitol until1860) where we saw the hooks where the Justices hung their robes – that was pretty cool.

The geographic center of Washington DC is also within the Capitol.

The rotunda, of course, is the main focus of any visit to the Capitol, with it’s extravagant ceiling and murals.

Throughout the Capitol building are statues – each state donates two statues of whatever their choosing. This is King Kamehameha from Hawaii.

The Supreme Court
Within walking distance of the Capitol, yet without a not-so-secret tunnel (or so “they” say….) is the Supreme Court of the United States. There wasn’t a ton to see here, but there was some great architecture, as really most everywhere in the tourist/political area of Washington DC.

One last view of the US capitol…………

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