I have a friend who works on The Hill (anyone who lives in this area for any length of time does, you know). This one works in a Senator's office. She was kind enough to arrange for a tour of the Capitol building for us while my mother visits. We took off a day and dragged The Caterpillar out there this week. I've been to The Capitol many times but I have never before gotten to ride in this:

The tram that runs in the tunnel under the Senate office buildings to the Capitol building. This was, perhaps, the most exciting part of the entire tour and The Caterpillar hung her head out into the wind like a pet dog on a car ride.

Why do I not have one of these at my place of work? How convenient would that be? I want mine to go from my office door to the bathroom. That would have come in handy back when I was pregnant; I seriously considered moving my desk in there.

Here are some other photos of note:

The Caterpillar standing at "the place of power," the center of the foundation, at the center of the building, at the center of the city, in the Capital of the country (which, is not, incidentally, in the center of the country, so there's where the metaphor breaks down). Wonder twin powers, activate!

I was trying to take a picture of the dome from directly underneath, but kept getting edged over by tourists. Turns out I like the optical illusion of the off center photo better.

This is the frieze around the dome of the Capitol. There were three artists who worked on this piece of artwork. The first, fell while painting it and hung off a scaffold for fifteen minutes while others tried to get him down without killing him. He was unable to finish the piece because of the injuries he sustained. The second artist, hired to replace him, painted the section here. But he was fired because he chose to paint himself into the frieze.

See? The face in the base of the tree above the fern. Apparently, the powers that be felt it wasn't dignified and they uninvited him to complete the rest.

This is a cool chandelier I just liked. I have no interesting anecdotes about it. All I got from our tour guide was that it takes a long time to clean one.

One of the Brumidi corridors.

I took this for my brother. The Challenger crew.

More gratuitous brother shout outs.

Snazzy mosaic pattern on the floor somewhere in the bowels of the building. Do you think I could reproduce this on my kitchen floor for under $300?

The biggest perk of being named Chief Justice is getting your very own coat hook.

Cool sculpture in the Senate Hart Office building.

Which, apparently, is breeding.