DC Day Two - National Gallery of Art, Capitol Tour, Sculpture Garden

We ventured back to DC proper yesterday with the main intent being on a Capitol tour. We got up on time, out the door on schedule, caught our public transit route down to Union Station, and walked to the Capitol building.

“Do you have any food or water with you?” - the first question asked by security guards when we walked up.

Well, duh. Between having several kids to keep happy and the crazy DC prices for food ($6.25 for a McD’s quarter pounder sandwich only from a food cart? $3.85 for a 16 oz bottle of Coke at the Natural History Museum?) of course we had both food and water with us.

Well, as it turns out peanut butter sandwiches and water bottles are a threat to the security of our nation’s capitol. And no, they don’t provide a place to check them before going in. So, scratch that. Touring historical places is great and all but sometimes the burden they place on families is too great. We decided to wait for the tour until after we had ingested all the questionable materials.

We instead followed crazy DC dancing and muttering man down to the National Gallery of Art where security is much lighter and they do offer a checkpoint for bags and coats. We enjoyed a couple hours walking around, mostly identifying pieces featured in Night at the Museum - Battle of the Smithsonian - yea, we are classy like that.  I think the two boys were in the Art Museum about a minute-thirty before ditching us and going back to the Air and Space Museum across the mall.

We lunched and made our way back to the Capitol for our tour. They start with a 15 minute film, then break you up into groups for moving people through. The galleries where the “work” actually gets done were closed since it was a Saturday, but we still enjoyed the Rotunda, the Statuary Hall, and the Crypt.

Did you know our Nations Capitol actually deifies George Washington?  The main “neck-stretching” painting in the Capitol Rotunda is “Apotheosis of Washington” and shows him becoming a god with attendant maidens and figures representing Liberty and Victory. This, a man who turned down positions of power in the government, didn’t want to get paid when he accepted them, and didn’t want to be buried in the crypt under the Capitol. I couldn’t help but feel he would be embarrassed by this painting. I did like seeing both of my kids ask questions during the tour however - they have never been shy in that respect.

From there it was back to collect our bags at the Gallery of Art and make our way home. We detoured through the sculpture garden on the way and enjoyed some of its pieces.

After day two of this we were exhausted, sore, and a bit overwhelmed. But not so much that we couldn’t enjoy some sweet potato pie and a hard cider in celebration of my 46th birthday.

Union Station photo op for the girls

Union Station photo op for the girls

Statues outside the station

Statues outside the station

Backside of the Capitol

Backside of the Capitol

Birthday shot for Boyink

Birthday shot for Boyink

Our crew photographing the Capitol

Our crew photographing the Capitol

On to the National Gallery of Art

On to the National Gallery of Art

I'm thinking...I'm thinking..I'm thinking...

I'm thinking...I'm thinking..I'm thinking...

Is it bad our appreciation is highest for things from movies?

Is it bad our appreciation is highest for things from movies?

Do you just like her or do you like like her?

Do you just like her or do you like like her?

One of our highlights of the day.

One of our highlights of the day.

Looking up at The Apotheosis of Washington in the Capitol Rotunda

Looking up at The Apotheosis of Washington in the Capitol Rotunda

It's a tour guide dance getting all the visitors through

It's a tour guide dance getting all the visitors through

National Statuary Hall

National Statuary Hall

Dang homeschoolers. Always asking questions.

Dang homeschoolers. Always asking questions.

The Capitol in the late afternoon sun.

The Capitol in the late afternoon sun.

That age where a serious picture can not be had.

That age where a serious picture can not be had.

4 Comments DC Day Two - National Gallery of Art, Capitol Tour, Sculpture Garden

  1. Picture of MarciMarciNovember 11, 2013

    Great pictures from DC!  We are guilty of looking for things from movies that the kids are familiar with, too!  Whatever makes it interesting for them, I guess!

  2. Picture of Sue SalSue SalNovember 11, 2013

    Love the pictures, especially the cute ladies at Union Station!  I remember when we were there a few years back.  We took the sleeper train from Holland/Chicago to DC.  Some of my pictures are very similar to yours.  I think we followed that same dancing, muttering man…

  3. Picture of JonJonNovember 11, 2013

    I lived in DC / Ft Belvoir while in the military 84-85, so much to see there. Often forgotten is the Ford Theater and Lincoln museum in the basement.  Also try to hit Geo Washington’s Potomac home in Mt Vernon.  Drive the River parkway out of DC, its awesome!  Just standing in his little cramped library jammed with books is awe-inspiring.  have fun!

  4. Picture of JenniJenniNovember 13, 2013

    Whoa!  I did not see Newt Gingrich back there in our tour group.

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