Driving in to Washington centre from Arlington was a bit of a killer (DC traffic sucks), but we made it in in time for a tour of the Capitol building. It really is an impressive structure, with a long history and plenty of interesting contents - from a hundred statutes of various important Americans (two from each state) to a tomb designed for George Washington (but never used, at his request). The Senate was sitting while we were there, and we got to watch a bit of debate and a vote on a prescription medicine bill, which included some celebrity senator spotting (John Kerry, John McCain, Harry Reid). There was part of Obama’s Jobs Bill going through that day also, but we’re glad we didn’t stick around for that as they didn’t get around to voting until many hours after we left.
We had just enough time to breeze through the Library of Congress (the largest library in the world, and an exceptionally ornate one as well) before making it to the start of our DC Segway tour - a highly anticipated trip activity! None of us had ever ridden a Segway before, but after getting over the shaky start, we were zipping around like pros pretty quickly (apart from when Gavin started attempting some sweet-ass stunt manoeuvres and fell over. Twice.) The $70 would have been worth it for 3 hours on the Segways alone (they’re fun!), but the tour itself was excellent, as we took in the Capitol, various parts of the Smithsonian, the Washington Monument, the Lincoln Memorial, and the White House.
We finished off the day with dinner and drinks at Churchkey, one of DC’s many cool bars, sitting amongst interns and public servants kicking back after a long day keeping the country running.