26 September 2009

WAY Cool Things I did in DC This Week

Weeks will go by and I won't go into DC, but this week I went in twice. On Monday some friends from the ward had extra tickets to visit the Capitol building, so I tagged along.

Tickets to tour the capitol are available from members of Congress. We picked up the tickets at the office of Sen. Orrin Hatch from Utah.
The tour wasn't until 3pm, so we saw a few other sights before. We toured the Supreme Court Building and the Library of Congress.
This pictures was taken on the steps of the Supreme Court building, overlooking the Capitol.

I'd toured the Capitol six years ago when we lived here, but now there's a newly opened visitor's center. Unfortunately, I didn't have time to take many pictures. We were in a hurry since the Capitol closed at 4:30pm. This statue of Pres. Reagan is the newest addition to the statues in the Capitol. It's only been there since June of this year.

We were able to go into the room where the House of Representatives meets, which I've never done before. We were the last group admitted into the chamber at 4:15pm, but the room was empty. It was smaller in real life than it looks on TV.
Today I went to the National Book Festival. It was founded by Laura Bush in 2001, so this was the 9th annual festival. I went with Jane Rasmussen, pictured with me at the capitol building in the above photo. Kent works in DC every week day, so he's not that anxious to go back in to the city on the weekend. Here are the authors we were able to see:

John Grisham. You all know who he is!
Paula Deen. There was a large and loving crowd to see her
Shannon Hale. Sweet BYU grad who has written several juvenile fiction novels. My favorite is Princess Academy. If you haven't read it, go check it out! She talked about how many times her writing was rejected before she finallygot published, but she just kept trying.
Kate DiCamillo. I didn't recognize her name, but recognized the books she's written. Because of Winn Dixie and Tales of Despereaux. It was fun to hear her inspirations for her stories and characters.
Rick Riordan. He was the rock star of the teen set. His five-book series about Percy Jackson and the Titans, starting with The Lightning Thief, is very popular. There was a tweener girl standing behind me who kept screaming enthusiastically during His presentation. I thought I was at a Jonas Brothers concert!

I have no idea why the video I took today is sideways when the ones Kent took last week weren't Sorry! In this video clip he's reading the beginning of his newest book that will be published next May. He says it was the first time he'd read it in public.

The festival had lots of free activities and things for children to do. It was wonderful to see so many people out to honor reading and treating authors like celebrities. I had a wonderful time and wished my daughters had been there with me to enjoy it.

20 September 2009

Dinosaurs visiting Dinosaurs

Elaine and I went to a show yesterday called "Walking with Dinosaurs". We had watched a special on PBS about how the dinosaurs were created, and Elaine said she'd seen in the paper that the show was in Washington, DC at the Verizon Center this week. As soon at the TV special was over we went online and bought tickets for the Saturday morning show.

Here are some action scenes....

Of course, the above videos were animatronic dinosaurs.

The real ones are below :)