All that glitters

So it looks like my post went missing between me pushing publish and it showing up, but no worries. We will start again!

Anyway. Yesterday. Yesterday was hot and humid but we still had things we wanted to see so out the door we went.

We headed towards Capitol hill, but on our way we’re distracted by the sound of bagpipes. Us being us (read nosy) we had to find out more. We turned another corner only to stumble across a couple firetrucks with a huge flag hung between them. Some investigation lead to us discovering that we had come across a bunch of servicemen in the middle of police week. They were taking this one day out to host a memorial to those who paid the ultimate price and never came home from work. It looked like they were going to parade but we were hot and had things to do so we carried on.

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The Capitol center is build on a hill, hence the name Capitol Hill. We managed to climb it without too much angst, despite the heat. Sadly the Capitol itself is undergoing work and looked a bit ugly but that wasn’t what we wanted to see, so thats ok….

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We were heading to something a bit more special, the Thomas Jefferson Library, the centerpiece of the Library of Congress.

Well, after a quick security check we got in and oh my gosh. Such a gorgeous building on the inside. Built in 1897 it’s Italian renaissance style, with high ceilings, mosaics, marble statues and art, so much art.

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The gem in the middle of all this is the main reading room. From a balcony those of us not admitted to the library can peer down on the academia below. The reading room had a gorgeous high domed ceiling, stained glass windows and more gold paint than you can imagine, much in keeping with the rest of the interior.

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The whole experience was over quickly, as we couldn’t stay and explore the exhibits but the library is on my revisit list for our next trip to DC….

Up next we rolled back down the hill and headed to the sculpture garden for a spot of lunch in the shade.

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We then headed to the National Museum of American History, our penultimate site on the to do list.

It turns out we tried to get in at the same time as a couple huge youth groups, which meant lots of waiting but we got in without hassle. We had our highlights tour list ready and whizzed around checking out the top list, from Judy Garlands ruby red shoes and Muhammed Ali’s boxing gloves to a steam train and the first voice recording by A G Bell.

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Finally on our list of things to see, the attraction with the longest name ever; Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception.
Phew.

Like Jeffersons library this place was full of gold, mosaics and art. A Catholic church, it spans across a crypt which is covered in inscriptions;

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and a church with around 40 chapels attached, most dedicated to the Virgin Mother.

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This place is only 60 years old and felt too blingy for a church. What happened to giving to the poor and all that? A pious life?

Either way, it was impressive.

That was it! Our tourist list crossed off, to the best of our abilities.

We headed for a wander around the shops before a long walk home down 14th Ave. Around half way between home and the mall we were hit by a thunderstorm! It rained and it rained hard.

To avoid getting drenched we sought refuge in McDonald’s and hung out there until it was safe and dry.

A block away from home we split ways. I went to get my nails done (a shiny gold, must have been inspired by the days sightseeing) and collected some milk. Once home we hung out with our host and shared some Whittakers chocolate which he loved.

Then it was back to it…. packing, suitcase squishing and this morning, a train to Philly.

I would happily drop everything and move to DC tomorrow, but instead we will carry on with our last week of travels.

Until next time….

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