Oh say can you see......by the dawns early light.....
02.10.2015 - 02.10.2015 13 °C
Today is our last day in Washington and our second last in the USA, our trip has gone at a nice pace. It seems like ages ago that we arrived, it has been nice to experience so much of the American culture in the time we have been here.
This morning we had a great buffet hotel breakfast, then made our way to the Capitol Building for our tour. It is wet and cold in DC today, so a cab was the best option for the short trip to the Capitol.
The building is under repair, so sadly there was a lot of scaffolding around, this impacted on us being able to see the beautiful architecture and art in the rotunda. Did you know the Statue of Liberty (without the base) can fit in here?
The tour explained some facts regarding government in the USA. The Capitol building is like Australia's Parliament House, the senate and House of Representatives meets there to pass bills and make decisions about the running of the country. All 52 states have a representative, however there is an interesting practice that the President must be invited into the Capitol building. As they are not impartial in regard to decision making, they cannot come and go as they please, the Vice President yes, but not the President.
We also learnt on this visit the history of the USA, how they became independent from British Rule, and were at war with the British around this. It then explained the civil war in the USA was about the states fighting against other states within the USA. It was very interesting and educational.
After the tour back to the hotel for Starbucks, packing and then off to the airport for our flight to LA.
While we were waiting at the airport, Virgin America were decorating the gate with red, white and blue stars and stripes decorations, and we welcome our war veterans signs. We learned that just after we left a plane load of war vets from WW2 and Vietnam were arriving for a tour around Washington. This is organised by an organisation that provides this trip to them for free, and provides each one a volunteer to accompany them, and assist them. It was really great watching the enthusiasm of the staff, they were dressed up in clothes from that era, with music playing - such as 'bugle boy' and their hair done. What a great thing to recognise the service men and women of past wars.
Touch down! We arrived in LA, after a long shuttle ride we collected our hire car. Now I have been a bit nervous about driving in the US on the opposite side of the road, without my husband there to take the lead, and me have a little go!!!
However, I did in fact do very well with no mishaps, and surprisingly remembered how to go about driving on the right. A car is definitely needed in LA, it is such a big place, without the accompaniment of a great subway system (or grid design) like in NYC.
We arrived safely at our hotel, only to be upgraded to their largest room with 4 beds and 2 bathrooms for 3 of us! Yay! That was nice, such a shame we won't be in it for long! We all slept very well in those large beds that night.