Blitz Tour of the Capitol

Doug Washington MonumentMark in Front of Capitol BuildingClare In Front of Capitol Building
On Wednesday, we had a long break for lunch, so Doug, Mark, and I decided to take a tour of the Capitol area. We hopped in the rental car, with a vague idea of a plan. Mark was very familiar with the area, so I felt confident we’d have a good time.

When we arrived downtown, we quickly realized the crux: Parking! Finding parking down there is like a finding a needle in a haystack. We drove around for 20 minutes, and finally scored on a space in front of a coffee shop. Whew! When we got out to pay the meter, we were a bit dismayed to find it was only a 1 hour meter!!! We were parked about 1 mile from the Capitol building, so our lunch turned into a BLITZ tour.
Backside of Capitol Building
Mark was a wonderful guide, he quickly escorted Doug and I around the maze of stark white government buildings. He knew exactly where we would be able to go with our allotted time, and made sure we maximized our experience.
Capitol Building Frontside
O’bama was to give the State of the Union address this very evening, so in addition to our scurring around, news media camera crews were doing the same. A drove of security in just about every manifestation was out in full force (cops on horseback, motorbikes, bicycles, cars, and unmarked suburbans). This was quite fascinating in and of itself.
Supreme Court Building
Since it was a Wednesday and it was ~40dF, so we did not encounter many tourists. We had many of the sites all to ourselves, so I was able to capture quite a few nice pictures.
Native American Musuem
Our time was up, so we rushed back to the car. Then, we drove back to the Conference, making it just in time to see one of our colleagues give a talk.

Doug & I saw a fascinating talk about tissue regeneration, and I was amazed by the advances in medicine. For example, with burn victims, they can use existing cell tissue to grow new swatches of tissue. The grafts do not take as much time to heal, and the process is much less painful as the traditional methods. There were many other more complex repairs, and Doug got a little queasy at some of the pictures presented!
Chart House Dinner
Later that evening, we had a group dinner at the Chart House in Old Town Alexandria. I had been wanting to meet some of my colleagues who work in our sister branch in Falls Church, and this was the perfect opportunity to bring everybody together.

The food at the Chart House was delicious, and I had a sampler platter. My dinner came with a grilled salmon flank, Shrimp on a Skewer, a Crab Cake, and a huge mound of fresh steamed broccoli. Yum!!! For dessert, I had a slice of key lime pie-which we split 6 ways, because it was huge!

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