Back to the hotel after more sight-seeing, heat, and crowds. Honestly, I'm about at my limit in terms of dealing with hoards of tourists. But still really enjoyed the day.
This morning, we had a staff-led tour of the Capitol. I had previously contacted Mark Souder's (our congressman's) office about tours of the White House. No tickets available, sadly. However, we had a scheduled tour of the Capitol building, which ended up being quite a treat this morning. Our two favorite stops on the tour: the rotunda and the House gallery (photo). The rotunda is impressive in size and, well, it's just plain cool. Weirdly, though, in the center of the rotunda is a tapestry of George Washington surrounded by angels, like he's some sort of deity. Still, though, very cool.
From the photo (I've included here--obviously not my own), and from all of the times I've seen the State of the Union address, I somehow thought the House Gallery would be larger. But the gallery itself is really not much wider than this photo shows. Congress is almost ready to adjourn for the August holiday, but they were not in session this morning (apparently, they were in committee meetings). We had to go through two levels of security, eventually leaving in the foyer all of our bags, phones, cameras, etc. But it was still a treat to see it.
After a brief respite, we headed out again to the International Spy Museum. Eh. It was cool, but I am kind of museumed out. We did the "Operation Spy" combo to the visit in which you get a secret op and have to figure out--with ten other strangers--how to use a spy's equipment and techniques to find a nuclear trigger device. That was fun.
Then we went to Jaleo for dinner. It was another awesome tip from Mollie (dang, that girl is spot-on with her restaurant advice!!). It is a traditional Spanish restaurant, which serves tapas--small portions of all sorts of different dishes. Delicious!
Tomorrow is a do-nothing day. We may swing back by the Lincoln Memorial (which is the one thing we couldn't really see from the tour bus) or just hang out by the pool. I had originally thought of going to Mt. Vernon (Washington's home), but 5 hours of a tour bus sounds, well, exhausting right now.
On Thursday (boy, the time is going fast!) we'll take the train to Boston, so that's going to be a big reading/writing day.
Oh--Mom just reminded me (thanks!) that I was in DC in 1976 the day the Air & Space Museum first opened. Cool! Yes, I remember being totally impressed by that museum--even more so than the White House.