My legs hurt so badly by Friday morning. All the walking on the hard cement. Geesh.
Anyway, the Capitol was first on my list after I made a pit stop at Starbucks for a cold coffee drink. I hopped on the Metro to ride to the other end of the city for my Capitol Hill tour. While waiting in line, an older indian gentleman approached me and said “Ah! We meet again!” I was completely lost, as I did not recognize him at all. He said that he had seen me in Starbucks that morning and suddenly his face became familiar. We began trading stories and D.C. experiences and suddenly the man says “You know why I remember you? You look like Jenna Bush!” I burst out laughing. Yes, with my brown hair and 5’2″ stature, I most certainly resemble the tall, blonde beauty. I thanked the man for his compliment and set to texting a friend to share the humor. Also in line was Betty from China. She was here as a student and loving the city. It was so interesting to see people from other countries and gather their ideas on my nation and it’s capitol. The general consensus was that America was beautiful and the people friendly.
Although I was unaware at the time, I was in the capitol as the drama began to unfold in the House and Nance Pelosi turned out the lights, microphones, and cameras in the House, announcing that the August recess would begin. The republicans were furious. The Energy Bill was being debated and voted on and the end was in sight. Cell phone came out and recording began. Visitors were pulled into the galleries and as soon as visiting hours were over, these visitors were invited to sit on the House Floor as guests of Congress. I cannot believe that I missed all of that. However, I was there.
I headed to the State Department to have lunch with my host’s roommate, Matt. He works there and asked me if I wanted a small tour. Of course, I said yes. The State Department was a lot further away from the White House than I thought and so even though I took the metro from the Capitol to the White House, I ended up walking several blocks and was more than a few minutes late for my lunch date. However, lunch proved to be yummy and worth it. There is a small food court in the State Department and I chose to eat pasta. After lunch, Matt took me on a small tour and I laughed when I saw that there was a gift shop on the bottom floor of the S.D.. I fell victim when I got Mom and Caroline gifts. Oops.
At this point, I was tired and I headed to another coffee shop where I waited for Matt to get off work so that we could catch the bus and head home.
Excerpts from written journal:
“Today’s thoughts not much different from yesterdays. This trip was wise and has given me a perspective on moving away and starting anew somewhere else. A small taste of the aloneness that come with a different city. I have come to see the futility of attempting to run away from the thoughts and memories that are ingrained in my mind…Being away from my comfortable, mundane, everyday life is helpful, but the thoughts are there and visiting a city where I was happy last time I visited is difficult in it’s own way…My thoughts on moving away from Columbus are more frequent…”
We went to Old Ebbit’s for dinner and that was pretty much the extent of the evening. I was so tired and bed sounded so nice.