The Library of Congress

Originally, the Library of Congress wasn’t on my list of places to visit while we were in Washington D.C., but the moment we walked past it, I knew I would have to see the inside!

It really is like a cathedral for books. The architecture is impressive, and the artwork in the building is absolutely stunning. I thought the Central Library in St. Louis was a big deal (and it is), but this is just so much more!

The big attraction, though, is the overlook above the Reading Room. I’ve seen it in pictures and movies, but that is nothing like seeing it in person. And the glimpse through to even a small section of the shelves that house the books is overwhelming!

It’s such an amazing facility!

I’m really glad that we added this to our vacation “to-do” list at the last minute!

Markels Making Magical Memories–Day Four

Washington D.C.; 13,283 steps

Our second day in Washington D.C. was much less frenzied, which was probably a good thing, because after walking almost 17 miles the day before, our feet were tired! We did get a slightly earlier start heading to the now-familiar train station, and this time, I really noticed stuff as we passed by…I especially liked the mid-century design of the airport:

The reason for our early departure? We were scheduled for a tour of the Capitol, and we wanted to make sure we were there with plenty of time!

It was amazing to be in the building. I’ll share full details of the tour later, but for now, here’s a peek at the grandeur of the Rotunda:

We learned that every state gets to donate two statues to the Capitol statuary collection, and we found one from Illinois in Statuary Hall. It’s of Frances Willard, and was the first statue of a woman added to to the Capitol collection, which I think is pretty cool!

Proof we were all there:

After our tour, we headed across the street to the Library of Congress. The sheer magnitude of the building is dizzying!

We walked past a protest outside of the Supreme Court on our way to the National Portrait Gallery (and we were all thankful that no major decisions were made while we were still in town!).

Our main purpose at the Portrait Gallery was seeing the pictures of the presidents (the other gallery we were interested in visiting was closed for renovations, which became a common theme for our time in D.C.).

I don’t actually know what this is called, but it looked really cool!

There was a train station right across from the Portrait Gallery, which was good news for us, because we were kind of over walking at that point. We had originally planned to visit Arlington National Cemetery that afternoon to see the changing of the guard, but there was a lot of construction which made us too late to really see anything, so we settled for a glimpse of the Pentagon on the way back to our hotel, where we read about the Unknown, the meaning behind the changing of the guard, and the Arlington Ladies.

Up next: A visit to George Washington’s Mount Vernon before the next leg of the trip!