What a beautiful day for touring! We could not have asked for a better, more glorious day. It was cool, little sun and the most beautiful breeze. We are very thankful for the day that God provided us with.
Today, we were ready to go bright and early. We first visited the Supreme Court where we learned the age-old government concept of "hurry up and wait!" The tour was worth it, but you will see some of the pictures of that we snapped of the kids who were "meditating" with their eyes closed! It was really neat to be in that place. As you listen to and watch the news, you see and hear about this place, but it all came alive today as we were able to sit in the very place where both great and horrible cases have been heard. What and honor to have been there. Our guide was very informative, but not quite as "peppy" as we needed at our hour of sleepiness! We were allowed to go to the basement level where we were photographed with the late Judge William Rehnquist's bronze statue.
We then went to the Library of Congress. What a beautiful building on the inside! There were ornate arches everywhere throughout the inside and paintings and marbled sayings on the walls that were beautiful. We went to the Lincoln room which housed many great pieces of history. The most memorable to me was the autopsy journal that the doctors took as they autopsied the body of our great 16th president. The journal was open to the page that depicted the removal of Mr. Lincoln's brain. The pages were wrinkled and stained with much blood. The notes were copious and precise. I still cannot believe that I was able to read a portion of that.
There were several pieces of greatness inside this building including the Gutenberg Bible, Thomas Jefferson's personal library, pieces of literature from our American beginnings and many more paintings. In the middle of the library was the actually library itself...the reading room. This is the place where the movie National Treasure was filmed. As we pressed our noses to the glass (a highly safe-guarded area, including bulletproof glass), we were filled with awe at what we were looking at with the many literary triumphs of our time and times past. I decided to ask the gentleman at the front desk how it was that anyone was allowed in the research area. Since I had struck up conversation with him when we entered, he welcomed my questions. He proceeded to explain that you cannot get in without a security pass (essentially a library card of the strictest kind). I and my group evidently looked sad when he leaned over the counter and whispered something in my ear. Before I knew it, we were all bustling down dark corridors and some heavily guarded hallways until we reached the door to the great library. He spoke with a few people, showed credentials and we were ushered in to the very center of learning! Not one of us spoke a word as we looked up as far as we could see to the vast array of reading that was housed there. We stood there for what seemed like hours as he spoke to us and told us many interesting tales of the library. His father was on the movie crew for National Treasure, naturally giving him many privileges. He himself had worked in the White House on many occasions and for many different reasons. Soon, we were hurried out like a herd of little mice. Filled with excitement, we shared our news with the rest of the group and moved on.
As an "enrichment opportunity," we visited the Folger Shakespeare Library. We were able to sit in the balcony of the theatre for the practice of an upcoming play. The little theatre was a fabulous and we enjoyed watching the rehearsal. There was a hall filled with many things from the late, great Edward Devere. The students seemed to really enjoy having that experience. We are so sorry that Miss Troell was not there to expound on the details and facets of Shakespeare. Unfortunately, the Devere Bible was not on display to the public. We were not able to get the private tour for that. Better luck next time!
We ate at Union Station for lunch and then headed to the Smithsonian Air and Space Museum. It was really great and we were able to experience many different aeronautical things! We also visited the Smithsonian Natural History museum which was great. We saw the Hope diamond...woooo hoooo...that was a doozy! I think that is what I am going to tell Santa that I want for Christmas this year! Wonder if he can pull any strings?
For dinner, we went to Fogo de Chao. What a great time we had there. The food was great and so was the company. We really enjoyed just sitting around and having some fun together. The sponsors learned we could be totally out-eaten by some of your seniors. We most definitely got our money's worth! What fun!
Well, I apologize that there are not more pictures. Please visit again. I will post as many as I am able. The nights are quite late and the mornings early, however, I will do my best to publish more than one!