|Today after some discussion we decided to take public transit in. With five us there is no real savings (parking is $20.00 and a round trip for all of was $17.00), it is more a matter of the convenience of not dealing with parking the car. The bus ride was interesting, we are staying in a economically depressed part of town and the bus told the story. It was absolutely packed; there were babies in strollers, people in motorized wheel chairs and many people who did not appear on their way to work. We were obviously tourists (for one thing I took lots of pictures), but no one minded, in fact people were helpful. The bus dropped us a mile from our destination and rather than wait for the cross-town we hoofed it. Man, DC gets the heat, it was only 9:30 but it must have been 95F. Our tour today of congress was fascinating, a great opportunity to observe democracy in progress. Despite the fact that congressmen are actively conducting the business of the country the public is welcome to visit. . I even saw the back of John Boehner’s head (current speaker of the house) as he rushed through. There we were walking the halls guided by an intern from Jill’s Congressman’s office. He was well informed and gave us lots of insight into the workings of congress. Congress was in session, and after a long wait we got to watch from the gallery. This was a disappoint moment for me. Clearly, our system needs revamping. We watched a virtually empty room, manned only by the congressmen required by the rules of the house to be present. There was a single Congressman speaking impassionately to this empty assembly (to the cameras really). When he was finished he left immediately, as the next impassioned Congressman rebutted his comments to the same empty hall. We will never solve our nation’s problems if those in power have no interest in listening to one another. This was a joke to witness and the low point of my day. Next we toured the Library of Congress, a fascinating resource with an incredible collection. Once again as citizens the vast majority of its works are available to us. Even the building itself is a treasure decorated in opulent style. We broke for a rest after this tour, walked the mile back to our bus stop and caught the 92 bus to “Good Hope Road” where we were staying and had dinner. After dinner we headed out for round two. This time we took in the Washington Monument, the World War Two Monument and the Lincoln Memorial. It was well after 10:00pm by the time we returned. A whole lot of learning going on.