on December 30, 2006
As we rode up the escalator from Capitol South station and into the fresh air, little drops of rain hit us in the face. Not a great start to the day, we supposed, but hopefully the rain wouldn’t get any harder. Worse than the rain was the 40 degree temperatures, which, me being from Texas and James from Queensland, neither of us were used to. Luckily, we had prepared on the second front and were very bundled up, although after five minutes we couldn’t feel our faces anymore.From Capitol South, we walked north on 1st St. When we reached Independence Ave, it was rather obvious where to go—towards the giant white building surrounded by cop cars and screaming school kids to our left. The kids were outside the booth where tours start, and they seemed like they were very antsy to find out about how the nation’s lawmakers turn bills into laws. I did not envy the teachers and chaperones trying to keep the masses under control; it reminded me very much of the group of kids I went to DC with during spring break of 5th grade. Those poor teachers.Eventually, after making a right turn, we found ourselves in front of one of the towering symbols of America. I don’t really feel the need to describe it, since it’s a rather prevalent icon and I have a feeling most of the people reading this have seen it, either in person or on TV, at least half a million times in their lifetime. It didn’t seem quite as imposing as it does with a blue sky behind it, since the white walls seemed to blend with the dull, light gray sky behind.We spent very little time actually at the Capitol. James wasn’t too interested in a tour, and I’d taken one before, so we took time for a few snaps and that’s about it. We created a routine for pictures during the day—there would be one of James, one of me, and two of both of us together, taken by me holding my arm out (two because the first one would invariably be an incredibly zoomed in shot of James’ eye). In most of the pictures, you can tell that we are shivering and wishing we had spent much more time in the warm confines of the Smithsonian, rather than freezing our butts off in front of a large monument to a president’s greatness.From there, we started walking towards the partially obscured Washington Monument—although at this point, it was still visible enough that we could see two glowing red eyes possessing the Washington Monument (or possibly just acting as a beacon for passing aircraft). We trudged through the mud a little to get a good shot of the entire building, rather than just part of the dome as we had on the stairs. Then, we took off towards the first source of warmth we could find—in this case, the US Botanic Gardens.
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