One of the highlights of our time in DC was visiting the Capitol building.
A few months before our trip I contacted our congressman’s office to schedule some tours. They set up our own personalized tour of the Capitol building by an intern working for their office. While talking with the intern during our tour we realized that his parents live in the same area of Florida where we used to live and he was also homeschooled! Not only that but I recognized his mom’s name when he mentioned it. We have over 20 mutual friends on Facebook so I knew her name sounded familiar. It turns out she’s friends with lots of my other homeschool mom friends back in Fernandina. Small world!
Anyway, we really enjoyed our tour! The rotunda which is the large room under the big dome you see on the outside of the building was really beautiful on the inside. There were famous paintings surrounding the room featuring our nation’s early history.
Ceiling of the rotunda.
Old Supreme Court Chamber used from 1810-1860.
Memorial honoring the heroes of Flight 93 on 9/11/2001.
The absolute best part of our Capitol tour was getting the chance to sit in the House Gallery which is the room you see on TV where the state representatives argue about political stuff. Unfortunately we could not take any phones or cameras in the there, in fact the security to get in there was very extensive (including those full-body scanners they use at airports). It was worth it though to get to sit in and watch and listen to some representatives argue about a budget amendment. I can’t say the subject matter was all that interesting, and I honestly did not recognize any of the people in the room, but it was still really cool to sit in and watch that nonetheless.
In addition to the Capitol, we also visited Ford’s Theater where President Lincoln was assassinated. The museum was very well done and had many exhibits about Abraham Lincoln’s presidency and the Civil War.
After touring the museum, we were able to sit in the theater to listen to a ranger talk about the events of the night of the assassination.
Theater box where President Lincoln was sitting the night he was shot.
Peterson House where he was taken after being shot where he later died the next morning.
We also visited the National Archives museum but unfortunately we were not allowed to take pictures there either. We saw the original documents of the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution and the Bill of Rights. It was very cool to see those original documents, even though the writing was quite faded and difficult to read.
Lastly we visited the new Museum of the Bible. The children’s area was really fun!
Jesse pretending he is Samson knocking over the pillars.
Jake doing the same thing.
There were a lot of arcade style games with Biblical themes that the kids loved playing.
While they played in there I wandered around some more of the museum. We didn’t have a lot of time to spend there and I didn’t get to see much of the museum, but I did like the Amazing Grace exhibit featuring the history of the writer of the famous hymn, John Newton.
The museum had 6 floors and I only had time to explore one. I guess that means we’ll have to go back again someday.
Also, we never had a chance to make it to any of the Smithsonian museums. I didn’t realize there was so much to see and do in DC and I clearly did not plan on enough time there. What my friends at Ditching Suburbia taught me is that we should not leave an area with regrets of what we did not see. It’s impossible to see it all, and it’s always nice to have a reason to return. We definitely left many reasons to return to see more of DC!
I will have one more post about our time in DC to share pictures of the cherry blossoms. We coincidentally timed our visit perfectly so that we were able to see the beautiful cherry blossoms in full bloom! Stay tuned for that post next.