We left Mt. Laurel, NJ around 4:30 am, crossing the Delaware toward Philadelphia in hopes to find the Rocky statue in the early morning. That’s when we realized they moved it inside. So, we continued on our way toward Washington D.C., except I made a wrong turn somewhere and we took the long scenic route. We crossed into Delaware, then Maryland, and finally to DC around 8 am. We used spothero to find parking near the Capitol building and started our day, only to discover that DC didn’t open until 10am. So, we sat and ate outside the US Botanic Garden.
When the US Botanic Gardens opened up, we had about an hour before our meeting with U.S. Congresswoman Judy Chu, so we spent some time checking out the national foliage.
At 11am, we met Congresswoman Chu at her office in the Rayburn House Office Building. She was very welcoming and willing to answer questions Mason had. She had to rush out, but made many suggestions of what we might do while in DC and kept her staff handy to help us. Her aides answered questions for Mason and gave us passes to go into the House and Senate Galleries. One of her staff walked us to the tunnels that connect the office buildings to the Capitol building, and guided us to the Senate building where we met with Senator Barbara Boxer. I should receive photos for those meetings soon.
After those meetings, we toured the Capitol building and visited the Galleries.
The House Gallery was noisy and the Senate Gallery was slow. The House seemed a little chaotic and perhaps unprofessional. Boehner was not sitting as Speaker, and neither was McCarthy or Chaffetz, and no one was quiet when the acting Speaker gaveled. They all continued talking loudly as a woman at the podium read what was to be voted upon. It didn’t seem that anyone paid attention and we couldn’t hear her over their noise even though she spoke into a microphone.
The Senate was not necessarily quiet, but had many less people and they stood around, paying half attention to the woman doing roll call. I saw Bernie Sanders, John McCain, Ted Cruz, Al Franken, and Barbara Boxer in attendance. It was pretty cool, but Mason was bored, so we moved on.
We walked passed the Supreme Court Building and took a brief look around the Library of Congress. Then, we jumped into a cab (after failing miserably with Uber) and headed downtown to meet a friend who now lives in DC and eat with him at the Elephant & Castle.
After Dinner, we hiked to the White House, Washington Monument, WWII Memorial, Reflecting Pool, Lincoln Memorial, Korean War Memorial, and Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial. Then, we had our second failure with Uber and walked all the way back to the Capitol building where we parked.
The next day, we visited The House of the Temple, International Spy Museum, and Smithsonian’s National Air and Space Museum, and we finished the day eating burgers, fries, and shakes at Good Stuff Eatery. I present the images below in reverse chronological order.