He didn't seem interested in what the tourguide had to say. The earphones covered his ears, but whether the volume was up is another story. In his hands was his iPhone, thumbs tapping away at a game on the screen. He didn't hear the gentleman approach him. He didn't know anyone was talking to him until the gentleman touched his arm.
"Hi, I'm Congressman X. How would you like to join me and my staff on a Dome Tour?"
The boy backed away, probably only hearing "Hi, I'm Congressman X..." before thinking he was in trouble for doing something he wasn't supposed to. The boy found his mother in the crowd of tourists and quickly accepted the offer to climb to the top of the Capitol dome with seven other people he had never met.
It's the equivalent of 18 stories. Most of the tour is on old cast iron staircases. The first stop is on the windowed balcony just above the frieze. After a quick stop to look at the frieze up close and the Civil War graffiti scratched on one of the windows, the stairs lead inside the dome to the balcony just below the Apotheosis of Washington. Everyone is warned not to drop anything over the railing.
From the Apotheosis, it's a quick climb to the top of the dome. The door opens to a small walk just below the statue of Freedom. It's a beautiful 360 degree view. Magnificent on a clear day. Much better in the spring or fall than the summer or winter.
Standing outside at the top of the dome, the boy says that it is his first trip to the nation's capitol. What a story he'll have to tell his friends when he returns home!
All because there was an extra space available on the Dome Tour and the congressman didn't want it to go unfilled.
the serpent and the cross
1 day ago