Experiencing our nation through its environments, animals, people and history.

Galatians 5:1

Thursday, July 12, 2007

Daddy Day 2

We decided to check out our Nation's Capital today! Very cool.

Once again, we arrived around 9:00 AM and got 10:30 tickets. So, we had a little time to check out the US National Botanic Garden because I'm such a big flower guy (it was the closest museum to the Capital). It turned out to be pretty cool, however. It was also a great place to go to the bathroom since we read that there wouldn't be bathrooms available for much of the Capital tour.

You like the pic at left??? It's not mine. This is a new display at the Botanic Gardens. The flowers are made out of glass. One cool thing about the gardens was the examples of cool gardens from every state. The first one we saw was a mini Japanese Garden that is found in Portland, Oregon. It also has examples of just about every flower in America (I think). Inside the Gardens was the bathrooms but also examples of gardens found in different climates. We toured a desert, an oasis, a tropical rain forest and a few others. One bonus about today was how cool it was outside. It kind of reminded me of the cool summer weather in Seattle.

On to the Capital!

Here we are inside the "Rotunda". The Rotunda is below the large dome you see from the outside of the capital. It's simply "AMAZING" Words and pix don't do it justice. You just have to see it. By the way, I finally got the clothing right for the kids. We seemed to fit in this time. However, I think I'm the only person who did not get a picture looking up into the dome.

Here is a very bad picture of a very good painting of the signing of the Declaration of Independance. The art was amazing, the statues amazing and overall the Rotunda was just flat COOL!

Here is the "official" description of the Rotunda from the Capital Website: "The Rotunda is a large, domed, circular room located in the center of the Capitol on the second floor. It has been used for ceremonial functions, such as the unveiling of statues, inaugurations, and the lying in state of distinguished citizens. Its lower walls hold historic paintings, and a frescoed band, or "frieze," depicting significant events in American history rings its upper walls. The Rotunda canopy, a 4664-square-foot fresco painting entitled The Apotheosis of Washington, depicts the first President of the United States rising into the clouds in glory."

Pretty boring description of a really cool place!

This room was called National Statuary Hall. Why, because it is full of Statues. It used to house Congress but we outgrew it and they decided to put two statues from every state in it. Actually only 36 states have statues in it at any given time and the rest are placed somewhere else in the building. Washington State is in the room now so we got to see it. They rotate them around so every state has a turn to have their statues in Statuary Hall.

There are some "funky" (a term used by an "official staffer") acoustics in this room. Our tour guide (wearing a red polo in the "bad picture of a good painting") stood across the very crowded room and spoke in a soft voice and the sound of his voice carried across the arched ceiling and was very clear to us. It was "wierd" but cool.

Above, the kids are standing directly over Washington's tomb. Kinda creepy hunh?? Not really, it's Washington's tomb but guess where Washington is buried? No, it's not Williamsburg, but that's a good guess. He is buried in Mt. Vernon, Virginia. It's funny because as we were driving out from the other Washington, we noticed that every state seemed to have a Mt. Vernon. Now we know why! Cool hunh? So, Washington's tomb sits empty. Maybe they will put Denzel Washington there when he passes away??? I doubt it.

So, how many times did I say "cool"? Did you count? I counted 10. I noticed it right away but I thought it was funny so I left them in and added a few more for good measure. Sorry if it detracted from your reading pleasure!

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