Ah day 5, another full day but what a great time! My cover photo reflects what I did this day: the Capitol building and the United States Botanic Garden together. I took this photo as I approached the botanic garden after lunch.
Our request to tour the capitol was granted and it happened on this particular Monday in May 2022. We were to meet at the Longworth House Office Building’s entrance. Our guide was the person I exchanged emails with prior to our trip as he works in our congresswoman’s office. He was showing another new employee how to give tours so it was just the four of us. That was so nice!
We weren’t able to go into the Senate or House chambers as those were still closed to the public. I have taken the public tour before(which our guide told us were reopening on 6/1) but on this tour we saw where the Supreme Court used to work between 1810 and 1860, which I had never seen before. The room was darkened to reflect how it would have looked back then. Approximately half the furnishings are original. We went under the dome where all the pillars are that hold up the dome. And our guide pointed out Minnesota’s two statues. Every state gets two statues that are placed at various spots inside the capitol. We also saw a replica of the Magna Carta in the Crypt and I don’t recall ever seeing this either. Its principles underlie much of the U.S. Constitution. So cool!!
It was also a bit unnerving when our guide pointed out certain points from the insurrection on January 6, 2021. For example, where Officer Goodman redirected Mitt Romney away from the mob. These points gave me the chills remembering the horror of what we all saw on that day. I don’t think I will ever forget it.
We made our way to Zaytinya for lunch as I was determined to go back. I wasn’t able to make reservations for my birthday and had no luck trying to call them. I called at least twice and nobody answered the phone? I’d been to Zaytinya twice before and I love their food! Plus I had a $50 coupon to use at one of José Andrés’s restaurants. When I made reservations at Jaleo and Oyamel (two other José Andrés restaurants), I also signed up for their emails and I’m so glad I did! That $50 coupon made for a pretty cheap lunch! There was slow service again and it wasn’t that busy. I’m still glad we went and we enjoyed another Zaytinya meal. This was our third time at a José Andrés restaurant this trip and all three had service issues. I couldn’t help but think they could take some lessons from Clyde’s group of restaurants because we had excellent service three times at those restaurants.
After we exited the capitol building I wanted to find a fountain where my mother, uncle and grandparents took a photo about 1940. I did a lot of research prior to our trip just so that I could find this fountain. And I did find it! Hubby took a photo of me in front of the same fountain. He spent some time getting the photo in the exact same position as the one from 1940 and he did a fabulous job! The angle is a little different because my mother et al were sitting up on that ledge behind me where there are some flowers planted and I didn’t want to climb up there. You can see that there are some differences. The top of the pillar behind us, and to our left (your right) has a different top. And you can see cars parked in the 1940 photo and there is no public parking these days in that spot. This was one of the highlights of my day!
After lunch we separated again as hubby wanted to visit the Spy Museum(I got him a ticket in advance) and I went to the U.S. Botanic Garden. I’m so glad that recently reopened as it is another place I try to never miss. It is heaven in there! So many interesting plants and flowers and it smells so good!! My favorites are the orchid and cactus sections. I took my time and even sat on a bench for a nice, long rest break listening to the fountain and the birds.
We chose Logan Tavern near our hotel for dinner and it was pretty good. I couldn’t resist their signature mango key lime pie for dessert and that was the only photo I took. Delicious!!
I took a small detour in my weekly posts about my trip to Spain in March to attend my nephew’s wedding in the D.C. area. So this week I’d like to share a bit about another day I got to spend in our nation’s capital. This was the day after the wedding and the day before my daughter and I went home. Similar to my last trip to D.C. last fall, this one was another short visit. This trip was with my sister, her son (the one that didn’t get married) and my daughter. We parked at the Vienna metro station about 9:45 a.m. and took the train into D.C. We had reservations for a tour of the capitol building at 1:50 and planned to visit both the Botanic Garden and the Library of Congress and also get lunch prior to our tour of the capitol. We did manage to squeeze it all in but I wish there would have been time to see more of those gardens. But, I’m so happy I got to go there. It was one of the highlights of the day for me! Following are photos from our short visit. I hope you enjoy them!
First we visited the Botanic Garden since we didn’t get to D.C. in time to take the 10:30 tour of the Library of Congress. And we only had about 30 minutes but I did get a few nice photos of lovely flowers:
sisters on the metro
cousins on the metro
sculpture at Botanic Garden entrance
yucca plant flowering
a different type of orchid, close-up
same orchid from far away
more beautiful orchids
and yet another orchid!
how about some more orchids? (I can’t get enough of them!)
not sure what this flower is but I saw it as we exited
We had to hustle to make it to the 11:30 tour of the Library of Congress but we made it and just barely! We stuck with the tour for about 30 minutes then checked out the exhibit of Thomas Jefferson’s library. I had never been to the Library of Congress before and my goodness, what a lovely place! Our guide told us it was built to impress and it is definitely “over the top” with many sayings and printer’s marks all over the walls. It’s definitely worth a look and very impressive!
Afterwards we took the tunnel to the capitol building where we had lunch in the “restaurant”. It’s actually a cafeteria with many different types of food to choose from. I got a salad from the salad bar, Miss M had a veggie wrap, nephew got sushi and sister got a turkey burger. We all thought the food was very good so while it’s a cafeteria, I highly recommend it for lunch if you’re visiting the capitol building.
hustling to the Library of Congress
lovely stained glass ceiling-Library of Congress, D.C.
even the floors were beautiful!
Library of Congress, D.C.
“A little learning is a dangerous thing. Drink deep or taste not of the pierian spring.”
Our tour guide called this the first baseball team :)
the reading room from the overlook(Library of Congress, D.C.)
guide to Jefferson’s library exhibit
really old books!
ceiling in Jefferson’s library exhibit, Library of Congress, D.C.
one of the many torches of knowledge
When we checked in for our 1:50 tour of the capitol we were given the option to join the 1:30 tour since it hadn’t left yet. We had a very amusing guide which made the hour (or so) tour very fun. I learned so many things from him but the tale he told at the end of our tour was one thing that stood out. It’s a question that comes up often at my house: is the tomato a fruit or vegetable? Hubby has always said that it’s a fruit because it has seeds. Did you know that there was a decision by the Supreme Court that the tomato shall be classified as a vegetable? Yes indeed. I thought our guide was kidding but I googled it and found Nix vs. Hedden from 1893! So those of you that say it’s a fruit? You’re breaking the law! Too, too funny.
Leaving the library on our way to the tunnel
tunnel to the capitol building
Sadly, we couldn’t see the great art due to renovations
even the dome was covered in cloth :(
every state has two statues. these are just some of them
view of D.C. from the capitol. that’s the Washington monument in the distance
Well, I forgot a few photos for the last gallery and there seems to be a glitch with photo galleries whereas I cannot edit any gallery in this post. So, rather than start over I’m creating another, small gallery for the photos I forgot to include. These are statues of Norman Borlaug whose name caught my eye as there is a Borlaug Hall on the St. Paul campus of the U of MN where I work. Sure enough, it’s the same person. The other statue is the only one not specific to a state and it’s of Rosa Parks. What a nice tribute to her role in the Civil Rights movement.
A few last photos of the capitol and Library of Congress from the outside: