|Cooling my feet in the park's stream|
The first couple days were spent near Dulles, where I relaxed while my traveling partner worked. I didn't bring any business clothes so couldn't sneak into happy hour networking even if I'd wanted to. Instead I hung out in a nearby park :)
Then on to DC proper, where the hotel was next to the convention center. This was during the Congressional Black Caucus--good vicarious fun. So many people happy to see each other, talk about issues important to them, and most importantly to party! At the end of the CBC convention, President Obama spoke at a dinner. I was able to see him leave the venue!
I very much enjoyed the National Gallery of Art. My Flickr album has some terrible photos of my favorite paintings.
I highly recommend taking a Capitol tour through your Senator's office. It started by riding the special Congressional train linking the Congressional office buildings to the Capitol building. Then a tour around the public areas of the Capitol, along with some history.
Afterward I sat in on a House debate--lo and behold, they were discussing defunding Planned Parenthood. Let me tell you, being silent was a real challenge! Debbie Wasserman Schultz earned my respect that day.
On the last day I saw a couple more Smithsonian museums, then walked back to the hotel. I got lunch takeout in Chinatown and picked up a few kitschy souvenirs. After that it was time to catch the airport shuttle and head home.