Day 8: Washington DC

I took the metro from Silver Spring to Union Station in Washington DC soon after writing my last post. Brandi had let me borrow her metro card so I didn't have to buy one. After getting into DC, I had a pulled pork sandwich at Cafe Phillips then I went to the capitol building.

I had always thought the front of the capitol is the one facing the big lawn and the Washington Monument, but it’s actually the other side that’s the front. I went inside the visitor center and obtained a ticket for the guided tour.

Front of the US Capitol

The tour started out with a brief movie about American history and the capitol building. Then the tour guide took us underneath the dome and explained the painting around the dome and the eight paintings on the walls. My favorite painting is the one that depicts George Washington handing over the Congressional army back to Congress. This showed that he wasn’t seeking power like some dictator or tyrant.

Inside the capitol dome

Washington handing over the Congressional army

At the end of the tour I had lost my tour guide, but I wanted to see the Senate chamber and the House of Representatives chamber. After asking another tour guide, I learned I had to get a gallery ticket from a senator. So I looked up Bob Casey, one of senators from Pennsylvania, and found his address.

His building was across the street from the capitol called the Russell building. I thought I might get a chance to see the senator but he will be in meetings all day, as his aide told me after given me both tickets to the chambers.

I went back to the capitol and decided to go to the House of Representatives chamber first. After long waiting lines and a security check point, I was frustrated. I also couldn’t take any pictures because they won’t allow cell phones there. After seeing the empty chamber, which looks like a room with a bunch of chairs, I decided that I won't go to the Senate chamber if all that's different are the chairs. My decision was made certain when I asked one of the guards what the Senate chamber looked like, all she said was to look at the pictures on the wall.

After I got out of capitol building I still had some time to kill. I ended up resting inside the United States Botanical Garden for about an hour before taking the metro home at 5 PM.

At Brandi’s apartment, I started laundry and took Brandi and Judy to The Big Greek CafĂ© that’s nearby for dinner. Now back at the apartment, I finished laundry and Brandi is baking some banana and strawberry bread. Yummy! Tonight, I hope to rest up for tomorrow’s ride to Lorton, VA, where I will be staying with Adrian, another Warmshowers host.