My parents were down for a visit this weekend and I took them on a mini tour of Washington DC. We took the metro into town and got off at Union Station to begin our day.
We walked down 1st street passing the Supreme Court building on our way to the Library of Congress.
I've worked with the Library of Congress for a few years now as a consultant - doing their HR software - and I've been to the main building several times, even though I usually worked in the James Madison building across the street. It was nice to be able to show my parents some of the places I've worked.
The interior of the library is just gorgeous. There is color everywhere!
From the stained glass ceilings:
To the murals on the walls and ceilings...
We were able to peek into the "reading room" but alas no pictures were allowed. Here's a picture from the LOC website:
The next stop was the US Capitol building.
We walked through a tunnel to get to the Capitol building directly under 1st street from the Library of Congress. I hadn't been to the Capitol since I was in the Girls Scouts many many moons ago. Since that time - a new underground visitors center has been built. When you start your tour - you are shown a movie about the history of the building and the people who created this masterpiece. After the movie - a tour guide takes you to the famous Capitol Rotunda.
The painting in the dome is The Apotheosis of Washington by Brumidi.
Those of you who are Dan Brown fans may remember this as the location of the opening scene of The Lost Symbol where Langdon finds the severed hand on the floor pointing up at the painting. It was actually kind of funny how many people were pointing out that spot rather than looking at the art around them!
As we were leaving the capitol the sun was just starting to set behind the dome.
The Capitol building was backlit with a beautiful warm light.
I took advantage of a recent HDR class and snapped some shots using "bracketing" and then processed the pics using Photomatix software.
As we turned to leave we saw that the lovely warm light looked amazing on the Library of Congress too!
After a lovely dinner at McCormick and Schmicks we headed home exhausted after a busy day!