DC Day 1

With two days to see DC we hit the trail running and went till we dropped.  Our first morning we started at Capitol Hill.  Of course it was pouring!
 While Max worked we toured the Capitol building and visited the Library of Congress.
 One of our most enjoyable visits was at the Capitol building.  It was Columbus Day which meant that some areas were closed but others that were typically closed were open to the public.
Our tour guide was energetic as we were his first tour of the day.  He was anticipating a long day but snuck us into some off limits areas.
We learned so much in the rotunda about he paintings and the statues from each state.
California gifted Ronald Regan, one of only three statues that are smiling.
Arizona donated Barry Goldwater.
We saw where George and Martha Washington were buried along with seeing Speaker Paul Ryan's office and many other cool parts of the Capitol building.
After our tour we took the underground passage to the Library of Congress.
We were able to see the Gutenberg Bible.  It was the first book that was mass produced using a printing press.  It is absolutely beautiful.  I could not believe the bright colors of a book that was printed in the 1450's.  There are only 49 copies and it is one of the most valuable books in the world.  We learned that many of the scribes would die at an early age from likely mercury poising from licking the tip of the pen that had red ink.
Since it was Columbus Day we were actually allowed into the Library of Congress.  Normally you can only view it from the second floor.  The kids sat across from the seat Nicholas Cage sat in during the movie National Treasure.  What a beautiful building and oh to think of all the amazing books, maps and documents held there.
One such treasure was this map that was one of the first ever drawn of North America.  Apparently its is quite accurate.  It is hard to imagine how they got everything so accurate without the help of computers, satellite imaging, and modern mapping equipment.
We then went to visit the Supreme Court but with the holiday, it was closed.
It was nice to explore the beautiful building with no one else around but I would have loved to take the kids inside to see a court proceeding.
After a busy morning of sightseeing it was time to walk to the National Gallery of Art Sculpture Gardens for some lunch.
Max had finished his morning presentation and was able to meet up with us to to tour the National Archives and the American History Museum.  Hank was so excited to see the Declaration of Independence since he had been studying it in school and it was what the entire movie National Treasure was based around.  I have to say it was a little underwhelming.  The lighting in the room is so dim to protect the documents that it is hard to see them.  There is no line system so it feels a little rushed since they do not allow you to stay in one place too long.  The Constitution is so faded you can hardly make out any of the writing.  But all day, Hank said seeing the Declaration of Independence was his favorite part of the day. :)

At the Museum of American History the ladies loved seeing the former First Ladies' gowns.  We were surprised how tiny the earlier first ladies were.  Kaitlin was as big as some of them!
The boys got bored with that section and found a seat while we ewe and aaahed at all the lovely gowns.  But they came alive in the money exhibit.  Hank loved seeing all the $100,000 notes and gold coins.
It was very moving to see Lincoln's hat that he was wearing the night he was assassinated. There was so much to see it was hard to take it all in.  We walked through the entire museum stopping at the things that caught our eye.
Once we finished we had two hours before closing time and still needed to stop by the National Gallery of Art!  But an ice cream and foot break was in order first.  We hit up an ice cream truck and ordered favorites from my days of visiting the ice cream truck as a kid.  Bugs bunny ice cream with bubble gum eyes.  The kids didn't know such awesome treats existed. :)
The Art Gallery was incredible.  I only wish we could have spent the day there with Hailey.
As a kid it's hard to appreciate pretty paintings and sculptures.  But as an adult when you are standing in front of a Monet, Van Gogh, or Rodin, it is quite thrilling.
They really are better in person!  The texture and detail is exsquite.
Since visiting the Salvador Dali museum in Florida in my teens, I have always loved his work.  I learned that The Sacrament of the last Supper is the museum's most popular piece.  It is no wonder why.
My favorite art form is sculpture.  We were able to see many Dega's pieces and my favorite Rodin The Kiss!
Hailey was in her element and completely recharged seeing all the wonderuous pieces.  She could have stayed there all day, however, state trips are all about compromise.  The three little one's were crashing.  We had walked almost 8 miles!  It was time to head home for the day.
After dinner we headed down to the pool to relax in the jacuzzi and hit he game room where we had our first ever family bubble hockey battle.  The K Queens won!
The annual Skelly Jamies made their appearance just in time for bedtime.  All in all it was a spooktacular day!

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