We spent the last week in Virginia, an area rich in history, politics and culture. We did spend a couple of days exploring Washington DC, even despite my anxiety.
You have to get used to security to see ANYTHING in DC. I was surprised to find the security personnel for the most part were cheerful and friendly (unlike the TS agents). I only ran into one grumpy security guy. I’m guessing he didn’t like my Northwestern charm.
We drove into the city from Fredericksburg, VA where we camped. A few weeks before we arrived we were able to make reservations for a tour of the Capitol Building with our district’s representative. This gave us a back-way into the building. I’m SO glad we did this – it was amazing!
The only way you can tour the rotunda now is with a tour guide. This is for security reasons, but it made me sad. No time to stop and REALLY take in the significance of the building, the contents or the people who walked the halls. Still, the little bit we were able to get, was beyond words!
The center of Washington DC. The city’s grid all points to this very spot!
We walked upstairs from the Emancipation Hall location of the visitor center. This area hosts many of the statues sent from the states to be housed in the Capitol Building. This is the mold of Lady Freedom. It was used to create the statue that sits atop the rotunda. Breath-taking in person.
We passed "The Stairs". These stairs have seen Presidents up to President Obama on the way to their inauguration. To stand where some great men in the past of stood..amazing. And then…we went into the Rotunda. And the angels sung. Seriously. This room is so beyond description. My first response was WOW. Then awe. I’ve never experience how art can bring you emotion, until I stepped into this place. The architecture & art of the Rotunda is the ultimate experience.
Then to realize that some of the great founding men had sat in this very area, creating the laws that would guide this young country, it was a moment of patriotism for me. Don’t get me wrong. I don’t want to worship any man. However, it’s hard to not respect the sacrifice these men gave for our country.
Also in the Rotunda is where Presidents have laid after death. Rosa Parks was one of those honored who was not a President. To honor her, they have a statue in the rotunda. One of the three not sent by a state (The other are the Women Suffragists and Martin Luther King Jr.).