Friday, June 30, 2017


We started off the day with a visit to Capitol Hill. We walked from our hotel to the Rayburn House Office Building to visit our representative, Scott DesJarlais, Tennessee's 4th Congressional District. 
Our Rep. wasn't in his office at the time, but his office staffer was very accommodating. She took us into his office, and we all sat down and chatted for a while and she snapped a picture for us.
You got to love a politician with a sense of humor. 
Elijah tried Rep. DesJarlais' chair on for size.
Shelby did, too. Just fit! His staffer asked us if we'd like a guided tour, and of course we said yes. She arranged for one of his interns to meet with us and show us around the Capitol and also provided tickets to the House Chamber and the Senate Chamber galleries.

Shaylee gave us a personal guided tour of the Capitol building after walking us through the tunnel from the Rayburn Building to the Capitol Visitor Center, also located underneath the Capitol building. We didn't have to wait in line which was pretty awesome since there were hundreds of people there. She was very kind and accommodating and knowledgable about the Capitol.

Emancipation Hall at the Capitol Visitor Center
The full-size plaster model for the Statue of Freedom was used to cast the bronze statue on top of the Capitol dome. Freedom wears a helmet encircled with stars and topped with an eagle’s head and feathers, the talons hanging at either side of her face. Her long, curly hair flows down her back. Her dress is secured with a brooch with the letters “US,” and she is draped with a fur-trimmed robe. Her right hand holds a sheathed sword, the left a laurel wreath of victory and the striped shield of the United States.
In one of the exhibit rooms off Emancipation Hall. It caught my eye.
Old Supreme Court Chamber 1810-1860
The Rotunda ceiling
The Apotheosis of Washington is a large fresco by Greek-Italian Constantino Brumidi, visible through the oculus of the dome of the rotunda. The fresco depicts George Washington sitting exalted amongst the heavens. It is suspended 180 feet above the rotunda floor and covers an area of 4,664 square feet 

The Rotunda
The art and architecture in the Capitol Building are amazing
Office of Speaker of the House Paul Ryan. Official Business Only.

Statuary Hall has also been called 'the whisper room'. One of the myths of Capitol lore is that John Quincy Adams would pretend to sleep at his desk while listening to conversations on the other side of the room. Our guide told us this story and demonstrated by crossing the crowded room and whispering to us. And yes we could easily hear her. Maybe it's not a myth after all.

Statuary Hall Ceiling

The Statuary Hall served as the floor of the House from 1807 to 1857 and witnessed some of the most important decisions and debates during the expansion of the U.S.
General John Sevier, Tennessee's first governor
Andrew Jackson, 7th President of the United States as any Tennessean knows (or should know)
The Old Senate Chamber from 1810 to 1859

After our guided tour, Shaylee dropped us off back at the CVC to fend for ourselves, eat some lunch, and visit the House and Senate Chambers
Lunch in the cafeteria. Elijah was hungry and picked up one of everything it seems 😋😀
Back out into the hallway to wait in a line for the first time that day to enter the Senate Chamber gallery. Security is extreme. They take everything from you and store it in a numbered box until you come back with your receipt to retrieve it. No cell phones of course, so no pictures. 
Amusing ourselves in line.
Once we sat down in the gallery, we saw Mitch McConnell who was in the middle of speaking about a baseball player from his state of Kentucky. Never did get the gist of it all. He left and then we sat there for over an hour, waiting for something else to happen. Never did. Without a doubt the most boring part of our whole day. Watching government work is like watching paint dry.
This was the only cloudy day with a bit of rain we had during our week here. This is the East side of the building.

The Capitol is a beautiful building. I was thankful all the scaffolding was finally removed and the renovations done by the time we came here. 
The Statue of Freedom faces East because the sun never sets on freedom.
True story.

West side of the building

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