Thursday, October 23, 2008
Washington DC - Day 4
Today was a busy, productive, and very fun day. It started out with my sister leaving for her meetings and my plan was to stay in the room and write. So I set up my laptop. But wait. I think a quick trip down to Starbucks for a latte would be nice right about now. It's pretty cool having a Starbucks just downstairs. So down I went and while I was there one of those pumpkin cream cheese muffins was just looking at me out of the glass case. So I grabbed it along with my SKSFCAL. Back to my room I went. Realizing I couldn't really type and eat a muffin, I decided to pick up the book I have been reading. About 3 chapters later the maid knocked on the door. She wanted to clean my room. Who am I to slow up somebody's work schedule? So I invited her in and while I sipped my latte I watched her make my bed.
Oh I could get used to this.
Okay, I really need to get some writing done. But first I need to check my email. And then I need to read some blogs. And I really need to finish knitting that little Bronco's hat I'm making for my little grandson Tyler. And by then my sister was back from her meetings and I hadn't written a word. I was tempted to feel bad about myself and then I remembered. I'M ON VACATION!!! I CAN DO WHATEVER I WANT TO DO!!!
So we geared up and decided to set out looking for FOX news.
I know - it was kind of unexpected for us too. But last night as we were watching the news we realized they were broadcasting from right here in Washington DC. And we thought wouldn't it be fun to find their studio and maybe watch? So, off we went. We walked past the capitol and realized really quick why its called Capital HILL. We walked uphill until our legs were burning. We found all kinds of executive buildings and great things to look at but no FOX News. Suddenly, out of nowhere, The Supreme Court of the United States of America appeared. Oh. My. Word. It was wondrous to behold. I just had to stop a minute and take it all in. The Supreme Court. Of the United States of America. Right there in front of me. It was amazing.
There were some demonstrators out front - pro-life demonstrators. I watched them for a while thinking. While I wondered if they were really making any difference at all for their cause, I marveled that they have the right to do what they were doing. It's part of what makes this country so great. We all have a voice. I cheered them on.
Here's a picture of me holding onto a HUGE marble column. I'm the black spot up at the top of the steps.
We went inside - I was surprised to learn that we could. We happened to walk in just in time to join a group that was going into the Supreme Court itself. We weren't allowed to take pictures, but we sat in the chambers and learned all about how the Supreme Court works. The Supreme Court actually is in session right now, and if it had been a day that they were hearing a case, we still would have been invited to go in and observe. Isn't that incredible? Unfortunately, their next day to hear a case isn't until November 3. The design and architecture was amazing. There are friezes all around the ceiling depicting law and justice. There is Moses standing with the ten commandments in a long line of lawgivers. The east wall frieze depicted good and evil. I was very frustrated that the lecturer compared good and evil to Star Wars - not what was in the Bible. Our early Justices would be rolling in their graves.
After eating lunch in the cafe in the basement we continued on our quest looking for Fox News. We walked, and walked, and walked. We circled around, we doubled back, we explored new turf. And finally -
We were elated. For a minute. Until we entered the building and the security guard said, "No, you cannot go in without an appointment."
Alrighty then. We thought about mentioning what great fans we are and we wouldn't do anything we shouldn't. But those security guards in this city - well, they take their jobs rather seriously.
So off we went. We ended up downtown and my sister wanted to see the house where Abraham Lincoln died. I had been there on Monday, but I was more than happy to go again.
Okay. You've been patient enough. Now I'm going to explain the picture you have all been wondering about. I'm going to tell you about how my sister happened to run into the politician you see her with.
First, let me tell you that my sister is not a democrat. But she couldn't help herself. She went absolutely giddy. She begged me to take a picture. She couldn't wait. So I did. And then we started taking pictures of each other with many other famous people.
We had found Madame Tussaud's Wax Museum! They didn't have the republican candidate. I'm not sure if there was anything to read into that or not.
I remember visiting one of these wax museum's when I was little and lived in Florida. I was intrigued by it. After going through it today, I don't know why - it didn't seem all that great. I guess it's just how things are when you are young.
On our way home we decided to check out the National Archives. My goodness. We saw the Bill of Rights, the Declaration of Independence, and The Constitution. We could take pictures but not use flashes. My camera didn't do a very good job. But here are a couple of photographs.
You know, mostly on this trip I just keep being reminded of what a blessed nation we are. The adjectives that come to mind are just not enough to describe the feelings of pride and thankfulness that wells up in my soul. We can go about our lives and make all the choices we want to make; we can have families and love them and watch them grow; we can go to the church of our choice each weekend and worship freely and loudly. And most of the time we don't think anything about it because somehow we tend to assume that this is how it should be. But we don't often take the time to remember why it is this way. I have always been patriotic. My country has always been important to me.
But after this trip, I hope to never think the same about it again.