Instead of going into a lengthy explanation here as to where the heck I've been these past few months, blog wise, I'll just jump right in and pick up where I left off back when things were rolling along quite nicely....DC.
In case you missed it or are wondering though, I did explain here the general reason for our 'stagnation' in TX. We have now officially been back on the road for almost 2 weeks and as you can tell, have a whole lot of catching up to do. So let's get right to it.
On one of our last days in DC we hit the Capitol again. This time with a real camera in hand. The last time we were there we had also done the official White House tour. One cannot bring a single thing into the White House, let alone a camera. As I was desperate to get some decent photos of the Capitol, back we went. We also popped into the Senate and House galleries this time around. One needs a special pass from your congressperson to do so and now we had one. However, since you cannot bring any food into the building and we were loaded down with snacks for the day, only the kids and I went in while S waited outside with the food....Oh, and of course one cannot take pictures inside, so nothing to show here for the visit either. So many restrictions......We did have a very educational time in the galleries though, despite them being completely empty. Everyone was back home since it was election day!
From the Capital we crossed the street to the Supreme Court!
The court was in session that day but one doesn't get to see them in action. We did get to peek inside the courtroom once they were done for the day but of course, you guessed it, no pictures allowed......
The hallway displays were photographable so we had to get this one in. The first woman to serve on the Supreme Court, Justice Sandra Day O'Connor!
At this point I'm probably mixing up my days here but in the effort to wrap up this town I'll boil it all down to the basics and combine two days in one. Since our last two days were basically spent rushing around from one end of the Mall to the other trying to get 'it all' in, it seems appropriate anyway.
Though we did not get around to visiting the Library of Congress, we did visit the National Archives. No, no pictures there either. Despite the measly two hours we got to spend in there, we did get to see the most important stuff. Oh, like, the Declaration of Independence!! The Bill of Rights!! The Constitution!! Oh My!! After we hit those highlights, we roamed around as time permitted and by chance came across Charles Ingalls' homestead file from 1886! That was super cool. We could have spent many more hours in there as there's a heck of a lot more to see and investigate, but the hour was late and the doors were closing.
At one point during those last two days we raced around getting all our Jr. Ranger needs taken care of. We quite literally ran from one of the museums over to the two ranger stations we needed to go to. We had to get there before they closed and we were cutting it very close. I think I mentioned this before, but there are two different badges one can earn in DC: The Presidential Park badge and the the National Mall badge. The older two did them both, it really was a bit too much for Whirlwind, but he was given an honorary badge anyway :-).
On our way from one station to the next (no, they are not right next to each other) we got a chance to glance at the White House from the back one last time. Lucky for us we got there when we did since 5 minutes after our gawking session began the police came to clear everyone out. Soon after that we saw President Obama's motorcade zoom by and we understood why. That was a treat.
Though we absolutely loved our time in DC, we were thoroughly exhausted and glad to be packing up the car to head back to our campsite for the last time.
Our adventures in DC had come to an end but our stay had not. Our next grand plan was to head up to the City of Brotherly Love for the day (yes, it is a 2.5 hour drive each way) AND maybe even pop over to Valley Forge. A pretty lofty goal which we unfortunately did not fully achieve as you'll see. The weather though had other plans, so the next day we spent hanging out a local library and playing board games in the RV while watching the rain come pouring down. The universe was smarter than us. We really did need that down time to rest up a little before heading out on a long sightseeing filled day in Philadelphia.