>My mom and I had passes to view the Senate in "action" today (we observed several Republicans - Frist, Specter, and Stevens - come to priase Sen. Byrd as the longest serving Senator), but we were unable to get passes to tour the Capitol building itself. This disappointed my mom a bit, as she was very interested in seeing the Rotunda. I decided that it couldn't hurt to ask a Capitol police officer if we could walk over to the Rotunda even though we were not part of any official tour groups. As I expected, he said no. Then he shocked us by offering to take us around himself. And did I mention that he was not just a Capitol police officer, but an extremely good-looking one? Oh, my mom and I were pleased. We giggled a lot.

We saw the Old Hall of Statues, the Rotunda, the Members entrance to the House Chambers, and the secret office of the Speaker of the House. He also tried to sneak us into a room to view the catalaph (I think I spelled that wrong, but it is bascially the thing that they put the casket of dead presidents on while they lie in state in the Rotunda), but discovered that some people were repairing it and he couldn't bring us in. At the end, we thanked him over and over again, and he flashed a brilliant smile of perfect choppers.

My mom said it was the highlight of her trip.