Monday, November 23, 2009

Our nation's capitol

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.

union station

We walked down 1st street passing the Supreme Court building on our way to the Library of Congress.

Supreme court

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.

Library of Congress

Library of Congress

The interior of the library is just gorgeous. There is color everywhere!

From the stained glass ceilings:

Library of Congress ceiling

To the murals on the walls and ceilings...

Library of Congress

Library of Congress

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.

US Capitol

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.

US Capitol dome

The painting in the dome is The Apotheosis of Washington by Brumidi.

capitol dome2

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.

US Capitol Dome

The Capitol building was backlit with a beautiful warm light.

US Capitol at sunset

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!

Library of Congress

After a lovely dinner at McCormick and Schmicks we headed home exhausted after a busy day!


bySarah said...

Your photos are AMAZING!
I totally want to blow that library of congress shot to WALL SIZED. JUST BEAUTIFUL!!!

Joyce said...

Thanks dear for showing us all around. We really enjoyed the day. We are impressed at how well you know the city. love mom

Ruth's Place said...

Your photos take my breath away! DC is one of my favourite places and I just loved seeing your picks.

Anonymous said...

Gorgeous photos! I've never been to DC but I wanna go now. The architecture is amazing. They put a lot of effort and creativity into those buildings.

Lisette M said...

Wonderful pictures Jody!

cici said...

great capture of Wash, DC. Your photos look like they are right out of the book! Have you started your own book yet??? you totally could♥