Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Tourist Delight and Lobbyist Fright

OK, yesterday we got up early and went to the International Art Gallery and the Smithsonian Museum of Natural History! Wow! I mean wow!!! To see original, paint-layered-to-texture-originals, was an incredible experience!! Rembrandt, Van Gogh, Monet, Van Dyke and so many others! Not to mention the beautiful sculptures and the flowers gardens and water falls in between each gallery. Oh, indescribable! The Natural History Museum is awesome. I saw some really cool stuffed animals---no not toys--the real deal. The elephant, giraffe and walrus were my favorite, but, the hope diamond was quite a novelty! Then we went to a 4 1/2 hour meeting to learn about how to lobby for Fragile X Syndrome. For me, being a first timer, I was very interested--I learned a lot. But, for me, the best part was when Mississippi Congressman Greg Harper. Why was that so important? Well, he has a son with Fragile X Syndrome so he knows how we feel. And he has made amazing progress in getting the word out to the House and Senate here in DC! He was interviewed for an hour for an article on his son and Fragile X that was published in the newspaper "The Hill" which is a newspaper circulated only on Capitol Hill. We then went to dinner in groups and had a good time socializing and comparing Fragile X stories. The dinner I ate wasn't so good, but, hey, the company was good. Then we got up this morning at 5:30 am (and that is after we were up until 12:30 being goofy) and got everything packed and ourselves ready, ate breakfast and were in a cab by 7:15 am to get to the capitol by 7:30 am for a FXS group pic on the steps of the Capitol. Then Congressman Harper joined us for pictures and we got a private tour of the Capitol--but, the coolest part was sitting in the seats that the House and Senate fill on The Floor--you know the one you see on TV where the President gives his address... ya, really cool! then he took us to the Hall of Statues, the Crypt and the Rotunda. Wow!!! Then we were quickly off for our first appointment at 9:15 am with Congressman Matheson. He was awesome and we think he recieved our lobbying well. We got a pic with him. Then we went to Congressman Chaffetz office a little early for our 10:30 appointment. We only had a meeting with his communications director/legislative aid, but he just happened to walk down the hall and saw us out there and wanted to meet with us personally and hear our cause--he is such a great guy--we were really impressed with his desire to hear our cause and his seeming support of it. Then we ate lunch and went on to meet with the Senators' aids and that went well. We were very tired physically and mentally--it's a lot of walking and a lot of nerves. We also had time to hit the Library of Congress--awesome!!! I mean it was awesome. We were able to see the special displays of Jefferson's Library and Lincoln's display. We are thorougly worn out and are ready for our big tourist day tomorrow.

These pictures are in ramdom order. Burgandi was good enough to let me steal her laptop for a while as I tried to load all this and I am not great on laptops or PC's so this is what you get:

Library of Congress

Hall of statues--yes, that is the real me--not a beautifully sculptured statue molded to look like me!

Kathy, Burgandi, M, Congressman Chaffetz, and me

Hope Diamond

Me kissing and otter! (smile)

me and the giraffe at the Natural History Museum

the walkway between the East and West art gallery buildings

Elephant at the Natural History Museum

DANIEL and Rachael in the Lion's Den...

5 remarks:

wendy said...

I am seething with jealousy. You herd it right. M has been helping with 9 and his homework. She seems to find it more important than her own. What a poop! I'm am glad she can help.

wendy said...

P.S. From here I can see that your house is still standing. Go Marc.

Suzy said...

Sounds like a great and fun vacation/learning experience/lobbying adventure! Good luck!

Annie Valerio said...

wow looks like you had fun and visited a lot of places that's so neat!!!

Heather said...

You are so amazing, I don't know how you do all you so?! You'll be/are such a credit for FXS.