Saturday, July 31 – Before we left for our night in D.C., we had to move our motor home…yet again. We are now in Site 61 and the electric is working SUPER!!! If you remember back a few blogs ago, we started out in site 99 but had major electrical problems. They moved us for just two nights to site 71. We couldn’t stay there because it was full-hook ups and we aren’t paying $41/day for FHUs when we can get an electric only site for $30/day. We love this site. It is so quiet and HUGE. Check it out.
Sunday, August 1- Thank you Lord for the day of rest!!! There was no way we were doing anything today after walking 10+ hours yesterday. We both just chilled today. We cooked breakfast about 1:30…this was really our lunch but we had eggs and bacon.
Around 5:00 we ran to the grocery store for a few items…$80 later….and spent the night sitting around a campfire…not too close, it was still 80 out.
Monday, August 2 - SHE'S KILLING ME!!!........Paul needs a break from MEGA-TOURING!!! - We were off to the City again this morning at 8:00 a.m. Our first stop was Union Station. Opened on October 27, 1907 and completed in 1908, Union Station is considered to be one of the finest examples of the Beaux-Arts style of architecture. Today, Union Station continues to make history as the most visited destination in the nation's Capitol with over 32 million visitors a year.
Statue of Christopher Columbus is in front of the Station.
Man is that a beautiful station. Shops galore and all types of fast food establishments. You can buy just about anything there…and we mean anything.
Amtrak and the Metro both stop here, just a few blocks from the Capital Building. We walked all around admiring the tempting bake goods displayed in the bakery windows (admired no eating) and the many unusual shops.
We then walked about six blocks to the Library of Congress. The Library is housed in the Thomas Jefferson Building.
This building is unbelievable. Similar to many of the museums or the Archives, you could spend all day here and still have tons to see. Our tour guide was outstanding!! This tour lasted about an hour and half.
The Library of Congress is the nation's oldest federal cultural institution and serves as the research arm of Congress. It is also the largest library in the world, with millions of books, recordings, photographs, maps and manuscripts in its collections.
The Library of Congress was established by an act of Congress in 1800 when President John Adams signed a bill providing for the transfer of the seat of government from Philadelphia to the new capital city of Washington. In August 1814 British troops set fire to the Capitol Building, burning and pillaging the contents of the small library.
Within a month, retired President Thomas Jefferson offered his personal library as a replacement. Jefferson had spent 50 years accumulating books, "putting by everything which related to America, and indeed whatever was rare and valuable in every science"; his library was considered to be one of the finest in the United States.
Thomas Jefferson original collection is behind glass and we were unable to photograph it; but through the miracle of the Internet, here is what it looks like.
Asian reading room.
The ceiling of the entrance foyer is finished in 23-karat gold leaf.
Torch of Learning on top of the building.
The Gutenberg Bible displayed in a case in the East Corridor is one of only four “Perfect” bibles in the world. We weren’t permitted to take pictures of many of the rooms or articles such as the Bible. The Main Reading Room is a librarians dream. Beautiful marble columns, intricate marble carvings, marble statues, and gorgeous stained glass windows.
When ordering a book from the stacks, containing over 30 million books, it takes about 90 minutes to be delivered to the desk....jeesh!
Picture taken from website.
This is another MUST SEE when visiting the Nation's Capital.
Our next adventure was a tour of the Capitol Building. The Capitol is home to the U.S Congress and its two legislative bodies, the House of Representatives and the U.S. Senate.
Back of building. We think it is prettier than the front.
Begun in 1793, the Capitol has been built, burnt, rebuilt, extended, and restored. The Capitol stands as a monument to the American people. It is where the issues facing the nation are considered, debated, and written into law.
You enter the building via the recently completed Visitor's Center, costing in excess of 600 million dollars. Another unbelievable and amazing structure. There are over 100 marble and bronze statues.....at least two from each state..... scattered in several of the buildings great halls.
Famous Washington painting…The Final Battle.
We learned that Henry Clay was the only man that kept the U.S. from war. After his death…guess what…war.
The Apotheosis of Washington is found in the rotunda.
Constantino Brumidi depicted George Washington rising to the heavens in glory, flanked by female figures representing Liberty and Victory/Fame. A rainbow arches at his feet, and thirteen maidens symbolizing the original states flank the three central figures.
The House of Representatives was not in session and the auditorium where they conduct their business was undergoing some renovation. It is closed until September 13, 2010. We were fortunate to be permitted entry into the Senate, which was in session. After a short wait and depositing our cell phones and camera with security, we entered the viewing balcony and heard a gentleman addressing the Senate about the need for increased funding for Engineering Education. The problem.......N O Senators were in attendance! Business as usual in the U.S. Congress???? We felt sorry for the Senator from Delaware giving a speech to an empty auditorium.
We enjoyed the tour but there are a few draw backs with this tour.
There are way too many people.
We weren’t able to revisit areas to take pictures.
We couldn’t wonder around in each room to get a close up look at the statues or documents.
You can enjoy reading and seeing all about the architect of the building here. It is pretty amazing.
Our final stop was the U.S. Supreme Court Building. The Supreme Court is the highest court in the Nation for all cases and controversies arising under the Constitution or the laws of the United States. The Supreme Court consists of the Chief Justice of the United States and such number of Associate Justices as may be fixed by Congress. The number of Associate Justices is currently fixed at eight The Court stands as the final arbiter of the law.
The marble exterior was so white it caused us to squint as we walked up the many stairs.
Upon entering the grand corridor leading to the Courtroom are busts of former Chief Justices. The Court Chamber measures 82 by 35091 feet. The raised bench, behind which the Justices sit during sessions is mahogany. You could just imagine the twelve justices sitting there hearing an important case. Neat!
Around the top of the room.
Well, that concluded another l-o-n-g day in the nation’s Capital. How many more can Paul endure??? Stay tuned to see if Marsha can walk him right into the ground.....whew!
Tanks for stopping by. Hope to see y’all back real soon.