Monday, August 17, 2009
Concert at the Capitol
Living minutes from downtown D.C. has upsides and downsides. One of the major ups is the variety of fun and usually free activities and historical sites to see. Of those activities, this has to be one of my very favorites: the free concerts on the steps of the capitol building. The different branches of the armed forces each have a night, and we happened to go on Navy night. I ventured down there with my kids and parked right up close in front of the Botanic Garden where the spots are supposed to be reserved for members of Congress and such. I figure I'm a VIP too, and was fortunate not to get a boot on my car. Actually a security officer there once told me that evenings and weekends are usually ok for those spots-- it has been helpful information. We listened to the music from the ledge (photo above) for a little while, with the Washington Monument in the background. It was a pretty evening.
After a few minutes we moved up to sit on the steps of the capitol building so that we could have a better view of the different instruments. All 3 of my kids were really into the music, especially the lively patriotic numbers. The highlight was probably "Stars and Stripes Forever" and the piccolo players did an amazing job for their solo. Just as Matt (18 months old) was getting really wiggly, our friend and semi-relative Emily met up with us and saved the day with some candy fruit slices.
This is the view looking up from where we sat. Listening to the patriotic songs seemed even more meaningful watching from the place where our presidents take the oath of office and our laws are made. The older people who were sitting behind us said "you have well behaved children" at the end, which was a relief-- I was a little worried that I was the ruiner of their D.C. vacation while Matt was jumping up and down with glee during some of the songs.
Afterward, we walked around to the other side of the reflecting pond and there were gnats everywhere. I took a photo where the flash went off and it looked like it was snowing from all of the gnats. They are still visible in this photo but not as bad. So, we headed back home. I love the magic of good music, and I'm glad that my kids seem to as well.