You must do the things you think you cannot do.
Eleanor Roosevelt

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Field trip to see Congress in session

Some friends of ours are taking a Civics class taught by a couple of moms. We were going to have Jake take it, but the timing didn't work out for us. They were very nice and invited us to tag along on a field trip to see Congress in session.

So we drove to DC and parked at Union Station- if you have a large family, driving and parking can be less expensive than the Metro. Of course the trade off is getting stuck in the afternoon rush, but if you're with friends, it's not so bad.

We started our day at Congressman Bartlett's office so we walked along the back of the Capitol building. Here's most of our group.

The boys standing in the hallway waiting for our appointment.
I kept telling Hank to stand near Mr. Bartlett so I could get him and Jake in the same photo.

Mr. Bartlett and his infamous copy of the Constitution. He's impressive in his knowledge of it. The other Congressmen/women know they're in trouble if he pulls it out. It means he's about to point out an error in their argument.

Mr. Bartlett very graciously posed for about a hundred pictures with all the different families
After that we headed over to the new visitor's center. Quite nice. They have a restaurant in there but it's crazy expensive. The boys and I ate outside and then rejoined our group inside.

The big kids and other adults had tickets to see both the House and Senate in session. They weren't debating anything exciting that day so I opted to take Hank and his buddy Jacob on a tour of the Capitol. Personally, I figured we were there, it would be a shame to not actually *see* the inside. So the big kids went to do their thing and the boys and I did ours.

We began by watching a cool video about the history of the US and then went on a whirlwind tour of the Capitol. They seriously kept us moving so the pictures are rushed. The boys were very good sports. Hank is used to his crazy mother posing him for pictures all over creation. Thankfully Jacob has grown used to it over the time we've known him.

The statue of Freedom in the lobby of the Visitor's Center. This is a replica of the statue that tops the Capitol dome

A bust of Abraham Lincoln. It's degree of incompleteness is symbolic of different things of his pre-President days and how he changed during his time in office. I don't remember the details though because I was watching our group walk away with one eye while photographing the boys with the other!

Hank's favorite president, Mr. Washington

Another famous dead guy

Roger Brooke Taney, longest sitting Chief Justice and Frederick native. Sadly he's best known for his shameful ruling on the Dred Scott case. His law partner was Francis Scott Key. Who would have guessed Frederick was home to such rich history?

In the old Supreme Court chambers (I think). It's where one group (House, Senate, or Supreme Court) used to meet.

I like Ike

The ceiling of the dome

The Great Communicator

There are pieces of the Berlin Wall in the pedestal of the statue. Very cool.

Fun picture coming up the steps of the Visitor's Center towards the Capitol

Silly picture

Muscle men

Union Station

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