Today was our first full day of walking. Our Bus Tour is complete and its up to us to check out the rest of DC. We started to morning just like the others with a Metro ride into town. The kids all really like riding the rail and it is nice to not have to drive and park. Although, the convenience comes at a price of planning. We have to be very strategic and know our stops and changes ahead of time. This helps keep everyone together getting on and off the train. During the week of these hop on hop offs, I think we only got separated twice. I think that is a pretty great statistic for a group of 16.
Once in town we surfaced from the Rail and saw the Chinatown Arch.
Then we walked down to the Ford's Theater to see the Museum and the actual box where Lincoln was shot. This was a very education stop during our week. A Parks Dept member did a lecture in the theater that told us all about the days leading up to the killing, the day of the event, and the days that followed. I think we all learned quite a bit from her information.
Before heading to the Capitol Building we stopped and had a quick lunch from a hot dog cart.
Our Capitol Tour was lead by Representative Bob Corker's intern. Wow!! He did a fabulous job. He was a wealth of information, facts, and opinions. The picture below is the entire family standing on the white marble brick that marks the exact center of the Capitol and of the city of DC. He told us that every president steps on this stone as he goes outside to deliver his Inaugural Speech. All presidents have done this and it is believed to be good luck.
The giant rotunda of the Capitol is absolutely beautiful. In the dome is a circumferential drawing that depicts the early history of the US. The intern told us that many artists participated in creating this mural. Once artist wanted to sign his name when his part of the job was complete. This was not allowed, so instead he drew a likeness of his face into the tree trunk below. ha.
In the next room he told us about the uniqueness of the perfectly round room. He told a story about how at different points in the room you can hear the conversation perfectly from across the room. Next we witnessed this ourselves as he went across and whispered very softly. It was amazing that we could hear him in normal volume where we were standing opposite of him in the crowded room. He told a story about how different representatives would eavesdrop in on their oppositions conversations in the other side of the room. Crazy!
We ended our afternoon in the Capitol by getting to sit in on some bill debate. We were given special passes and escorted into the seats at the top of the room. The Representatives were debating portions of a bill concerning waste water and pollution. The older kids were impressed by seeing this part of our government.
Ice cream breaks are good for the soul!!
We finished up our day the Vietnam War Memorial Wall. This was a special time for our family because Pawpaw lost a very dear friend from his childhood while they were both in the war. We found his name on the wall and each of the kids traced it off with crayons. It was an emotional time for each of us as we watched the solitude and hurt on Pawpaw. This wall brings back many past memories from him being in the war. I glad that I have been blessed to visit this sacred spot with him at my side.