(Day three en route to Philly from D.C. this morning and Baltimore, MD this afternoon. Post finished in Philly)
Another great and exciting day. We started out running late (I needed a 8:40 shower before we left) to the Capitol building. The traffic in D.C. was so bad we decided that if we parked and ran we would have a quicker time of making our 9:10 tour. We did so and Sarah frantically pumped quarters into a parking meter, getting seven minutes and thirty seconds for each one (four dollars per hour) before we started jogging to catch up to the track team that makes up the Stanley family.
I inwardly decided that Tom’s job as a waiter had prepared him more than my job as a cubicle worker for the sprint that awaited us. Tom and his sister Lela were much quicker getting to the capital building than I was; Sarah graciously acted out-of-shape and made sure she split the difference between the “Tortoise and the Hares.” I think I was using alveoli in my lungs (thanks biology class) that haven’t been exercised in a couple years at least. My heavy breathing sounded a worse than I think it should have, and after Tom circled back and got the tickets from Sarah, he jogged ahead and found the correct door to go in (I really look forward to using the intense attraction-hopping adventure to get in shape for all of the walking/jogging/hiking that awaits). We finally arrived at the correct entrance and, after a minute or two of a game of “take some more metal items out of your pockets and see if you can get through the metal detector” headed up by Tom and his extra camera batteries, we ended up five minutes late for our Capitol Tour.
Thankfully there were more spots available at another tour a bit later. It’s great when things work out.
To kick off the tour, there is a small theater in the capital building (who knew?); our group of about 200-250 filled about three quarters of the seats. The video was really effective (it made me feel good about how all the ridiculous partisan bickering in Congress supported the decision-making process) and after we split into five equal groups of fifty or so, the tour itself was also excellent. Our tour guide made sure to mention that the forefathers intended congress to be the most citizen-accessible branch of government, reassure us that we should (through voting and communicating with our representatives) be part of the legislative process, and, frankly, made us feel really welcome into the house of Congress.
He took us around to see some great statues and unique rooms. Check out our Flickr account (link on the right sidebar) for details.
The rest of the day included a continuation of our great experience in Baltimore’s uber-food court at Lexington Market, The National Aquarium at Baltimore, Fort McHenry, and Kisling's Tavern, before Sarah (the D.D.) drove us to Philly. More on these happenings coming soon from Tom, Sarah, and/or I.