Sunday, November 9, 2008

Mount Vernon.

Yesterday a few of us decided to use a nice fall day to finally hit up Mount Vernon - home of George Washington. It was absolutely beautiful out there, the pictures don't really do it much justice, especially the view of the Potomac from behind the house, a bunch of clouds decided to come by and screw all that up after we got through our tour of the inside of the house.

Anyways, here are some of the pictures:

Will, Sara, me waiting for the bus.

In front of the Bowling Green in front of the house.

Will and me waiting in line to go into the house.

Behind the house.

The Potomac again.

Cool little tree hiding place.

The three of us behind the house.

Back of Mount Vernon.

Fall is great.

Washington's Grave.

Just a couple bulls.

Just the General and me.

Waiting for the bus to take us back home.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008


My good friends from UVU came to DC to attend a conference and visit their Representatives about student needs. I had the good fortune to take a few of them on a tour of the Capitol. I gave Andrew my camera, and here's what we got!

Oh yeah, and I also got a picture of Andrew and I at Ben's Chili Bowl, right before I subjected my bowels to the tasty-yet-painful half-smoke.

You Can Vote However You Like

These kids are fantastic!

Watch the interview below as well... Seriously, these kids are my new heroes.

I know it's kinda hard to understand them, so I grabbed these lyrics off the YouTube description, think they're accurate enough.

Obama on the left
McCain on the right
We can talk politics all night
And you can vote however you like
You can vote however you like, yeah

Democratic left
Republican right
November 4th we decide
And you can vote however you like
You can vote however you like, yeah

(McCain supporters)
McCain is the man
Fought for us in Vietnam
You know if anyone can
Help our country he can
Taxes droppin low
Dont you know oils gonna flow
Drill it low
I'll show our economy will grow

McCain's the best candidate
With Palin as his running mate
They'll fight for gun rights, pro life,
The conservative right
Our future is bright
Better economy in site
And all the world will feel our military might

(Obama supporters)
But McCain and Bush are real close right
They vote alike and keep it tight
Obama's new, he's younger too
The Middle Class he will help you
He'll bring a change, he's got the brains
McCain and Bush are just the same
You are to blame, Iraq's a shame
Four more years would be insane

Lower your Taxes - you know Obama Won't
PROTECT THE LOWER CLASS - You know McCain won't!
Have enough experience - you know that they don't
STOP GLOBAL WARMING - you know that you won't

I want Obama
Stick with McCain and you're going to have some drama
We need it
He'll be it
We'll do it
Let's move it

Obama on the left
McCain on the right
We can talk politics all night
And you can vote however you like
You can vote however you like, yeah

Democratic left
Republican right
November 4th we decide
And you can vote however you like, I said
You can vote however you like, yeah

I'm talking big pipe lines, and low gas prices
Below $2.00 that would be nice

But to do it right we gotta start today
Finding renewable ways that are here to stay

I want Obama
Stick wit McCain you gone have some drama
Iran he will attack
We gotta vote Barack!

Obama on the left
McCain on the right
We can talk politics all night
And you can vote however you like, I said
You can vote however you like, yeah

Democratic left
Republican right
November 4th we decide
And you can vote however you like, I said
You can vote however you like, yeah


So there you have it! Nov 4th is almost here!

Sunday, October 26, 2008

The West Wing.

So yesterday I got to tour the West Wing of the White House. It was something I just kinda lucked into I guess... Earlier this week, one of the staffers in Bennett's office told me that she found out about some availability for a West Wing tour this weekend and asked if I'd be interested in going.

Absolutely I was.

So yesterday, one of the other interns and I were able to wander around the halls of the West Wing. It was pretty awesome... The events didn't exactly get off to the best start, you see, it was raining off and on most pretty much all day yesterday, and even though it was barely sprinkling when I left, I ran into store near the metro station to quickly buy an umbrella. This put me in a pretty sticky situation as far as time was concerned. I didn't have the best luck with the metro, and the information I received regarding the tour made it very clear that if you aren't there on time, they start without you, and then you're just outta luck. So when I got off of the Metro and saw that "barely sprinkling" had turned into a torrential downpour, I felt somewhat vindicated. Problem was, I was quite behind schedule, so I had to run the 4 blocks or so down to the white house - so while the umbrella kept my head quite dry, the rest of me wasn't quite so lucky. Fortunately, when I made it there, they hadn't started the tour yet, so it all worked out in the end. We met up with our group, which consisted of us two interns, a Pentagon employee and his date, a State Department employee and his son, and our guide - a Bush Speechwriter - and we got on our way.

The tour was fantastic, we were only able to take pictures in a couple designated areas, so I'll just have to talk you through it until those pictures come up...

I was practically awestruck to walk through the hallways and look through into the rooms where some pretty important and pivotal decisions have been made throughout history. We started out the tour by checking out the dining room, then walking outside the Situation Room (which we weren't able to look in, we stood outside of it for awhile hoping that someone would walk in or out of it so we could peek in, but no such luck), then we went and peered in the Cabinet Meeting room. The tour was then supposed to go outside to the Rose Garden, but that portion was closed off due to the weather, so we got to peer outside the window at that part.

As we walked through it, the most surprising part of the West Wing to me was how small it was. Not just the wing itself, which isn't all that big, but the low ceilings and doorways, and the narrowness of some of the hallways, it all just had a very cozy feel to it, I really liked it.

Next up after the Rose Garden was the Oval Office.

This was one of the few exceptions to the "smaller than I expected" rule. It was a very impressive looking room, and like most of the other rooms, quite warm and inviting as well. Definitely the coolest part of the tour. We wrapped up the West Wing by looking at a couple of the other conference rooms, the waiting room, and then we walked outside to one of our few allowed picture taking places.
The Door to the West Wing waiting room.

The front entrance to the West Wing.

Okay, I'm still standing right in front of that door from the pictures above, that's the Old Executive Building behind me, but I wanted to get a picture of that Secret Service guy over my shoulder.
Here he is a little closer, check the guy out. Wouldn't want to mess with that guy and his awesome gun. (hopefully you can see the gun, it kinda blends in with his shirt, but yeah, it was awesome.)

Next we walked down to the Press Room, any time you see a press conference at the White House, usually with the White House Press Secretary, it's in this room.

It was another acceptable picture taking place.

Just sitting in the press seats - the kid chillin there with me was on our tour with us.

We then crossed the street over to the Old Executive Office Building. We got to see Secretary of Defense Robert Gates' motorcade parked out front, so apparently he was in the building. And yes, motorcades are awesome.
Old Exec Building.

The Old Executive Office Building was pretty cool, photography was allowed inside, but the pictures I got inside there were all pretty lame. We looked inside of the Indian Affairs room, which was pretty cool, as well as the office Richard Nixon used as president (which is now a conference room), as he was the only President who didn't use the Oval Office for anything other than ceremonial purposes. We finished up with the speech writing office, and that was the end of our tour.
I did snap the above picture from the window of the Indian Affairs Room. You can see the White house in the center, then the skinny red roof coming off of it towards the front of the picture is the top of the Press room portion of the West Wing, with the West Wing itself there in the bottom right corner of the picture.

So there you have it! Pretty awesome stuff, I must say.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

On Top of the Dome and Lookin Down on Creation.

On of the most elusive tours in Washington DC is known as "The Dome Tour" - On paper, it doesn't sound like anything terribly unusual or extreme, it's pretty much just a tour up into the top of the Dome of the Capitol Building, yes it's pretty up there, and the view is FANTASTIC, but what makes it so elusive is the fact that in order to get one you have to have a member of the House or Senate take you. As you may imagine, this is no simple task... I've been crossing my fingers that I would somehow stumble into a Dome Tour in my time here, and it just so happens that I did just that this week.

Saturday we were running around town, and in the course of our adventures we ran into Congressman Chris Cannon and his son. With Intern Dave working with Congressman Cannon's son, and Lauren working in Cannon's office, I guess Dave felt comfortable enough just asking the Congressman directly for a Dome tour - Bless Dave and his bluntness, cuz it scored us a tour.

Tuesday a handful of us met in Cannon's office (you're only allowed to take like 6 or 7 people), and up we went. I'll let the pictures do the talking:

Our Tour Guide... She was in a big hurry.

Just getting started going up the dome.

Lauren and I switched cameras, I started to get impatient with her (as evidenced by my face) when she started using my camera to take pictures like the one below

Will's butt.. Courtesy of Lauren Barksdale.

The Apotheosis of George Washington

Looking down into the rotunda

The view.

Dave, Me, Lauren at the top.

That's just the Supreme Court and Library of Congress back there...