Thursday, September 3, 2009

ToadMama Capitol Tours? Um, No.

If you read yesterday's post, you might have been expecting to see a very detailed post about our visit to Washington, DC. You know, where I show you a picture of a building and tell you all about its history, what goes on there, etc.

Well, sorry to disappoint you, but that's not what you're going to see. Because I know diddly about Washington, DC. I did take lots of nice snapshots, though.

Lucky for us, the weather was gorgeous. See for yourself in the pics posted below...

Annelies and Yves in front of the Washington Monument. I should have asked them how tired they were of my asking, "Do you want me to take a picture of the two of you here?" And saying, "Come on, this is the White House, the Washington Monument, the body of water where Forrest Gump was filmed, etc. You have to get a picture of the two of you in front of it."

They were actually very good sports. About the pushy picture thing and the fact that I really don't know much at all about Washington, DC. Despite the fact that, according to Google Maps, I live just over 31 miles, by car, from The White House. Pathetic eh? Wanna know what's worse? I am 42 years old. I have lived in Maryland pretty much all of my life. I like to travel and see stuff. Yet Tuesday was the very first time I EVER saw The White House in person.

It's a pretty building.

I am also 95% sure I'd never been inside the US Capitol.

We got lucky and happened into the Capitol a mere eight minutes before the last tour of the day. We actually got to go inside, stand in the rotunda, and look up at the underbelly of the infamous dome. It was magnificent.

And, as much as I hate politics and history (as evidenced by the fact that I didn't know if Ulysses S. Grant was ever a US president), it was really kind of cool to be inside the actual building where so much history has taken place. Where so many monumental decisions have been made.

The highlight of the day for me was the Library of Congress. As we were leaving the Capitol, Annelies either saw the sign for or heard someone mention a tunnel that takes you from the Capitol to the Library of Congress.

"Wanna go?" she asked. Neither Yves nor I really wanted to. After all, we'd already walked the 700 kilometers from the Lincoln Memorial at one end of the Mall to the Capitol (I'm an idiot when it comes to metric units of measure, too). But we agreed. And I am so very glad we did. I had no idea the place was so incredibly cool on the inside...

I mean, really. Look at this.

I have never seen so much colorful marble in one place in my life. And the ceilings and walls were covered with frescos and mosaics.

Just look at all the cool color and architectural details. Amazing...

There's Yves, on the bench at bottom center, waiting for Annelies and I yet again.

It really was a fun day. On the way home, we stopped at my favorite gargantuan liquor store. I just had to show them how ridiculously large it is. After that, we made a quick stop at the house to get Hubby then went out for a very tasty dinner of Mexican food. We all got fajitas. As usual, the service was poor, but the food was well worth it.

Hubby and I both really enjoyed having Annelies and Yves visit. Eric got to meet them both, too, and hang out with us two nights in a row while we chatted and laughed about various things.

Hubby couldn't stop saying nice stuff about the two of them. For someone who usually doesn't like people, that says a lot. He noted that Annelies and I are alike in a lot of way and said we could almost be sisters. He also pointed out that she and I both talk kind of fast. Yves and Hubby both talk sort of slow. As you can imagine, the boys had trouble getting those periodic words in while we chattered on and on.

All in all, it was a great time. We were all disappointed to see them go. I have never been so sad to see house guests leave before. Now we need to hurry up and plan a trip to Europe so we can visit them on their home turf.

To see the rest of my pictures from our visit, you can go to my Picasa picture sharing site.


  1. Well, since we live so close to DC I think we kind of take it for granted. People come from all over the US (and the world, for that matter) to see the Smithsonian or whatever, and we're like "Meh."

    But really? You'd never seen the White House in person? I've seen it a bunch of times, but in all fairness, I've never been inside the Capital or the Library of Congress.

  2. Both the Capitol and Library of Congress are quite impressive. After seeing the pictures, Dad wants to see the Library of Congress, too. I see a winter day trip in our future...

  3. Washington really was beautiful, even if we couldn't identify all the buildings we saw. :-)) The 700 km thing is still hilarious - my friends laughed themselves silly over that one.

    It's always fun to discover you have a sister across the pond... We have enjoyed our time with you guys so much, and we hope you will give us a chance to show you around Gent some time - our door will always be open to you and your kids (well, I should say "grown-up children," I suppose...)!

    And Mike, you were so much more outgoing than Kathy led us to believe! :-)

  4. I hadn't paid much attention to the kilometers comment until Annelies said something, but 700km must be, what, 350 or 400 miles? That's quite a walk lol.

    Also, I think that may be the first time Dad has ever been described as outgoing! :-)

  5. Yeah, Shan, the look on their faces when I said "only 700 kilometers" was priceless. I knew right away I'd said something wrong!

  6. Annelies, they may be grown-ups, but they're still our kids. (-:

    I bet your friends all got a chuckle about the distance thing. Metric measures (sigh).


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