So a pretty packed itinerary today.
We began in the Library of Congress and were one of the first people there. Pictures and words cannot do this place justice. I was in complete awe of the grandeur of the architecture and the magnitude of information all collected in one place. I had to sit and soak it all in, not for the first time wishing I could take my students here. It’s one thing to work with the Smithsonian folks via Thinkfinity and give lip service to primary sources; it’s another thing to walk the hallowed halls of the library and experience the American Civil War exhibit by reading Lincoln’s rough draft of the Gettysburg Address or realizing that Walt Whitman has the exact same penmanship as my mom.
Chills, I tell ya.
From the library, we walked the underground tunnel – huzzah, air conditioning! – to the Capitol. Another majestic building. The dome! The apotheosis of George Washington! The Statuary!
Interesting factoid: California donated statues of Ronald Reagan and Father Junipero Serra to the statuary and our amazeballs tour guide, Tracy, told me she was impressed that most Californians recognize the statues because most states’ contributions were largely obscure and unrecognizable by even those states’ visitors.
Our day continued with a walking tour of several memorials. Apparently, we were blessed with exceptional weather for D.C. this time of the year, but I was still melting and kicking myself for not throwing my umbrella into my sack; it would’ve made a perfect parasol.
Interesting factoid: if you look at Abraham Lincoln’s hands, it appears that he’s making the letters “A” and “L” in sign language. Also, Lincoln was a known supporter of deaf culture and signed the charter for Gallaudet College. Coincidence? I think not.
We ended the day at the Smithsonian. Before I could make up my mind as to which of the 19 museums to visit, the choice was taken off my hands by a particularly single-minded student who insisted we make a trek to the National Gallery of Art to see Ruben’s Daniel in the Lions’ Den. Because this museum is one of the farther ones from the “castle”, it was largely empty and I could finally experience a museum the way I’d always imagined but had never found the time or opportunity: I sat on a viewing couch in front of the painting and really stared at it, finding more nuances the longer I looked. I felt I truly appreciated that piece and I can’t wait for the day I can share a similar experience with Aly and Dyl.
So, what was I wearing for this adventure? It doesn’t bear sharing, but if you must know, it was a heinous combination of EXPLO orange tee, denim cut off shorts and black running shoes. Oh, those running shoes! I looked like a total tool, and the comfort factor wasn’t even appreciable when compared to when I wore my Chucks the day before. Never again!