Saturday, June 12, 2010

LIbrary of Congress and Capitol Building

Last week we had tickets to The Capitol Steps (, so we decided to make a day of the trip downtown and visit the Library of Congress and the Capitol building first.

Apparently our apartment is surrounded by some of the worst road construction in recent DC history (which is saying a lot)....for three weeks, it is not just the roads but the metro as well that is affected. So, we trekked to a different, closer metro station along with swarms of people, but finally made it to the Library of Congress. Hot and sticky day, so we didn't linger too long outside, but there are many interesting features on the building.

The main building is named after Thomas Jefferson and contains most of his original library.

A funky fountain out front....the water was really green!

Entrance to Library of Congress.

Every where you look was covered with amazing murals and decorations.

Ryan found one air conditioning vent and I found another! At the time, it was a very exciting find. We then collected a "passport" to use in the computers that were set up in each room. There were activities to explore the different parts of the library.

The part where visitors can go has multiple levels.

Looking across at the entrance to the viewing platform into the actual library. Once we finished up, we realized we could take the underground (air conditioned) tunnel to the Capitol visitor's center. After making our way to the entrance to the Capitol, we had to go through the additional security screening. However, knitting needles were banned, and I'd packed mine because we had some down time before the evening entertainment. So, we went back to the Library of Congress bag check and then back to the security screening.

The newish Visitor Center is underground as well and was very nice. Lots of space for people to wait for their ticket time. Ticket's for the tour were free, but you had to have one for crowd control. We started in an auditorium for a brief movie about the history of the building, then joined a tour guide for a short tour.

Moved on to the Rotunda with lots of other people. I managed to get a few pics without people's heads in them...

The Rotunda was built over time, so there are many different elements to it.

Then we moved to what is called the crypt. One of the older rooms in the Capitol and the geographic center of the city.

The Lincoln statue was very popular with visitors posing.

Finally had to leave the AC comfort and move on with our day. We returned to get my knitting, and then walked along the outside of the Capitol to get to the Botanical Gardens.

Never seen Lantana in this form before.

A pretty foxglove.

A cocoa tree. I think this is the first time I've seen one with pods growing.

One last flower picture. Overall a very fun day, glad we got to see these two amazing buildings.

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