vacation wrap-up

Friday, April 12, 2013

In the spirit of a vacation wrap-up, I thought I’d share the rest of the highlights and lowlights in a numbered list because that makes me feel happy.

1) The US Capitol Tour
Let me tell you about something I don’t understand: people who go to DC and do a public tour of the Capitol. It’s craziness in there. If you would just contact your representative ahead of time, you will get your very own intern to guide you at a specific time instead of waiting in an infinitely long line, in a small group instead of with 45 others, and if you’re one of the lucky beneficiaries of new redistricting in Ohio, you might even get to do it with the Speaker of the House. Yay redistricting? Oh yeah, and it’s all free.
Congress was on recess - refrain from jokes please - and the Speaker was out of the office, so we got the super-special tour. When you look at the Capitol building above (which isn’t the best pic I took, but it does show what I need it to show), the very middle section under the rotunda with the columns is the Speaker’s offices. He has four floors, and those balconies look directly out onto the National Mall. I hate to be seduced by power, but it’s fairly heady to touch the table where the Speaker lunches with the Dalai Lama, see the real-gold painted murals on the ceiling, and thumb through his personal books on his desk. His offices are something, that’s for sure. It’s no joke to be the Speaker of the House.

2) The Space Shuttle
While I am still swallowing the bitterness over the Air Force Museum not receiving one of the space shuttles, I will admit that this is one of the coolest things I have ever seen in my life. It’s amazing. You just can’t comprehend the size of this thing, and once you’re there, it’s impossible to stop staring at it. I don’t even particularly love flight stuff, but I loved this thing.

3) Vacation readiness
More of a low-light, but I’m really bad at vacation. I feel more tired than when we left, and I really, really, really missed the kids. It also turns out that I need more music than is provided on a typical day walking through Washington D.C. I was seriously feeling a bit depressed until day 3 when I realized it’s because there hadn’t really been any music so far. I did enjoy being with Wendell, but we decided that it was both too short and too long all at the same time…we are really glad to be home.

4) The Poetry Exhibit at the National Portrait Gallery
Something about seeing the portraits of the people who penned the words I was reading was extremely moving for me. The older I get, the more I appreciate poetry, and this exhibit was powerful.

5) The Metro
I am in love with public transportation now, and I think it should be everywhere, all of the time. I don’t know how this would financially or practically make sense, but I’m nearly convinced to make it my life’s work. If I never had to drive again, I would be so very happy.

Have you been to Washington, D.C.? What was your favorite part?

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