Our big day on the Hill started before dawn! We had to be up, dressed, fed, and out by 7am to catch the bus!
What a day! What…a…day. My phone fitness tracker tells me we walked NINE MILES today!! We had meetings in two Senate buildings and three Congressional buildings, all clustered around the Capitol. It took FOREVER to navigate them all, and let’s just say I think three of us have nice blisters now.
But it was so much fun! Theo got total VIP treatment from the staffers because it was his birthday and because he charmed the pants off of them. I had him do the talking for the drop-offs, because I thought it would be a good experience and the staff would get a kick out of it–which they did. (I filled in bits he missed here and there and obviously introduced myself!) During the actual meetings, I talked, and then at the end gave Theo a chance to talk. He did AWESOME! He decided he wanted to speak about inclusive education, so he did. And the staffers were so gracious with him.
We got to meet two Congressmen: Mark DeSaulnier (our representative for our town–oddly enough, his congressional district is HUGE, but he lives walking distance from our house!) and Eric Swalwell. They were both terrific! We only got a very brief moment with Congressman DeSaulnier, so I couldn’t get a picture–he had to run off and vote. But we were able to spend a bit more time with Congresssman Swalwell and got this great picture!
And this not-so-great one–ha!
Congresswoman Maxine Waters gave me the award I was accepting, and she was so kind and wonderful! I wish I had a good picture of her, but I’m afraid all I got was this one–oops!
She was in the middle of a passionate speech…
Hey look–a Kennedy! I thought it was pretty cool to be sitting feet from him. (He got an award at the ceremony too.)
Aside from Mark DeSaulnier, I was most excited to meet Senator Kamala Harris. Alas, she was not able to make our meeting–but the staffer who was there was fantastic! And due to a scheduling glitch, they kept us waiting an hour…but felt so bad about it that they arranged a VIP tour of the Capitol for us tomorrow. Woohoo!! Now if my feet can just survive it….
One thing I couldn’t believe was how nice everyone was. People could not have been more warm and welcoming, and I had been expecting a rather cold, formal atmosphere. It was really a nice surprise! And really an odd experience to literally run into senators and Congresspersons just wandering around the hallways or in the elevators. Amazing!
Early morning at the Capitol:
Congresswoman Barbara Lee’s staff was so nice! They gave Theo a tour of her office and an autographed picture!
Congressman McClintock’s staff let Theo sit at his desk to practice for his future!
Sean from A&E’s Born This Way was on our team! He and Theo really hit it off. What a nice guy he is!
Theo in the Senate building:
Congressman DeSaulnier’s staff was so nice–they gave us a tour of his office!
Mid-afternoon…starting to get tired:
The California team outside Senator Feinstein’s office: