Tuesday, February 4, 2014

U.S. Capitol

We knew Trek would be leaving for a few months starting the 2nd week of January, so we wanted to take a little trip before he left for some good family time.  Trek & I always like to go to the temple before any long separation to help get us spiritually fed & ready for the trials we will face so we decided to head up to Washington DC again to visit the temple & a few fun family sights with the kids.  We stayed with some of our best friends who are stationed up at Ft. Meade, MD so it was a great trip all around.

On our way up, Trek snagged us some tickets to tour the US Capitol building.  We've been there before, but not on a tour INSIDE.  I was very excited.

I love that my kids love learning.  They were just as excited about the capital building as I was.  I'm happy they enjoy history like Trek & I do.

The center of the Capitol (aka the Dome) is beautiful beyond description.  There are no lights in the room, just a circle of windows way up high in the dome.  All the light in the room is natural light & it's spectacular.  The dome itself is lined with gold & beautiful artwork.  The ceiling is painted (just like those in Europe) with important figures that tell a story.

In the center of the dome is George Washington surrounded by many people.  On the outskirts of the dome are little groupings of people who signify different things.  Neptune is there with his Trident.  Cadence was pretty excited because she like mythology.  She pointed him out right away.

This portion of the painting depicts the industrial revolution. . . the many inventions that will make this country great.

Liberty is fighting off the prejudices of the world next to a soaring eagle.  It was just beautiful.

Just below the windows of the dome, the entire circle is surrounded by what looks like carvings of events in this nation's history, but it's not.  It's a circular PAINTING.  (It totally looks like carvings.  I can't believe that's paint!)  You can follow the painting all the way around the room from the start of this great country all the way to the Wright Brothers' first flight.  It's amazing to look at the whole thing in it's entirety.  I love telling stories through pictures.

The real reason we wanted a tour was so that we could see the original of this painting.  This is a picture of those on the Mayflower who came to America through Plymouth Rock. . . the pilgrims.  The man holding the Bible is Trek's great. . . great. . . (lots of greats) grandfather William Brewster.  He's been working on the genealogy on that side of the family so it was really neat to see the original painting.

The entire dome room is surrounded by these famous paintings that depict important events that took place in this nation's history. . . The Mayflower, Pocahontas, Revolutionary War, Civil War, etc.

After the dome room, we went into the original room that our forefathers used to meet to make government decisions.  It was a beautiful room, again only lit by sunlight through the ceiling.  It's crazy to think some of the greatest men of this country met here to create the important laws for this country.  The room is acoustically amazing.  There is one spot in the room where one person can stand & speak & the sound will resonate around the entire room as if he were speaking into a microphone.  No microphones were needed.  It's crazy to think they thought that up way back when the capital was built.

This room now houses over 100 statues.  Each state has 2 stone statues in this room of important people from their states.  Brigham Young was chosen for the state of UT (I thought that was pretty cool) & there were a few others I recognized: Helen Keller, Robert E. Lee, & several others.


The tour guide we had really liked our kids & asked them if they wanted to see a super secret room that not many people get to see.  That got them really excited.  She took us to the original Supreme Court room.  It's TINY.  I can't imagine everything being decided by such few people.  It's amazing to see how times have changed.

We had a blast.  I really like it when we can take the time to spend an entire day in one place.  I like to really learn & explore these historical settings.  The kids love it too.  We had a blast.  

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