If I thought I had seen it all on Monday, I couldn’t even have imagine what was in store for us when we walked out the door into Capitol Hill yesterday morning. The sun was shining it was a warm day, we were going to play the day by ear, bags in storage 💼 we would buy our train tickets home last minute. 🎟
First stop was the Russell Senate Building the day was young it was 10am.🕙
We went through metal detectors and set off down the marble halls… there is a directory in the lobby but we preferred just walking aimlessly and seeing who we were find.🎉 First stop was Senator John McCain from Arizona!
Coming off of our recent RV trip out West gave us a lot to talk about with the staff when we walked into the offices.💁🏽 Each office was unique and showed a different personality by representing their state whether it was the decor or food they offered or artwork in display.🆒
In every reception room we were greeted by young interns who seemed to be just as excited telling us their stories as we were to listen and ask questions about their senators and the states they live in! ♥️ It was easy to get sucked in and talk and discuss colleges they attended🎓, if they grew up in that states, if so where and if not what brought them to work for their senators and a lot of conversations about tourism in the state.
No matter what state we went into we were always made to feel very welcome and they were very happy and willing to answer every and all questions we had. 🤓Several staffers offered us tickets to the Congress and Senate galleries! 🎟🏛
Midway through the building we found the Russell Senate rotunda where we saw all the major news station set up to do interviews!!!!🎥🎥🎥
All I wanted was a good Manu Raju sighting 😩. By the time we completed the building 4 hours and over 3 miles had been walked, 🚶🏽♀️🚶🏽♀️🚶🏽♀️🚶🏽we were starved but completely on a high!🙋🏽 It was super cool to stop by our NY Senator Kirsten Gillibrand’s office and again we were welcomed in by friendly college interns!
Unexpectedly there were not a lot of food options nearby so we headed back to Union Station to the food court for a quick lunch because time was ticking rapidly. 🚝🍟 Whattya know I checked the map and CNN studios were located a few blocks away! Off we went, I had very very high hopes, I pictured myself yucking it up with Jim, and Wolf, perhaps one of the Brooke’s heck I’d take Jeffrey Lord I was so flipping excited. 🤞🏽🤞🏽🤞🏽My dreams came crashing down when I arrived at the building.
I was expecting this modern glass building, like something you would seen in Times Square. Perhaps see through where you can see them on the set. NO. Old brown brick building with an unfriendly guard. 😩I DID get to see on top of their roof the set they use when they want the Capitol in the background, that was enough of a win for me!🎊
Ok now here’s where the story takes a wild turn. Its 3:30 pm and I know most of you are thinking wasn’t that enough of a day for you Alethea!? No. When I set my mind to something I complete it. 💪🏽 Instead of rewriting the series of events as they unfolded I decided to Copy and paste my conversation with my husband that I wrote to him from the train ride home as I was high on life!
I first want to preface it by saying “There is no such thing as chance; and what seem to us merest accident springs from the deepest source of destiny.”
Ok so buckle up…
Craig I can’t believe what we just saw in the senate! YOU HAVE NO IDEA!!!It doesn’t make sense that I timed it. It was like a gift from God I asked in every single Senate office for times and topics of votes and no one could give me a straight answer
We were headed to the Capitol to watch the Senate at 330 and as we pulled up something told me to detour and I asked driver to take us to Longworth Congress House Office instead!
Craig it’s so crazy if If I didn’t make that last minute everything would not have fallen into place like thenperfection that it was! We wouldn’t have met the Puerto Rican Congresswoman. We went inside and introduced ourselves.
They spoke Spanish to my dad and we found out that PR has 1 Congress representative but she can not vote. The staffer also told us that they are voting on statehood in June. After a few minutes we thanked him and he took a picture outside the office for us. We were gathering our stuff to go and he pops back outside and asks if we would like to meet Congresswoman Jennifer Gonzales- Colon. We were so excited. She greeted us with hugs and kisses not a handshake because “that’s how they do in PR”.
We stopped by Rep. Kathleen Rice’s office and the staff again was so friendly and invited us in to see her office.
Stopped at Zeldin’s office!!!! I asked the girl, respectfully, if he was planning on holding an IN PERSON townhall anytime soon? She gave me the run around and basically said no. And I saw my way out.
Did you miss this picture of Hailey?
and they laughed
And he stopped us
Shook our hands
And he said where r u from? I said Roslyn and we’re in Congressman Suozzi’s district He said how about this “Take this pic and send it to Suozzi and tell him I’m recruiting his voters!”I asked what part of NY he represents and He said Staten Island and some Brooklyn! And we were like “wow that’s so cool thanks for your service”
Lol. That’s cool
And we walked away And googled him Republican haha 😂
Oh that’s funny was he nice?
Ya he was. Then we walked thru each floor quickly Like not Obsessive just casually Maybe half of each floors offices we saw and just took pics either outside the office or went in for quick chit chat. Every time we found a staircase we took it down until we arrived back on 1st floor.
And then I was like “ok let’s head to senate maybe they will Still be there voting” because even after asking every office we still didn’t have a clear idea of timing….
Your gut is good
Ya I know it is. So right as we tucked under to the visitor center I Snapped this pic of the Capitol with the sun peaking behind…it should have been a sign of good things to come. Maybe it was and that’s what drew me to take the pic!
I don’t know it was weird. Maybe because it was late in the day and people didn’t realize. I asked guard I was like “excuse me are they still voting?” He was like yes scheduled for 515 we had no idea what that meant
To a small room of people
And we were like wow at least we saw that!
So we were Ready to leave
Nothing was going on
I got up to ask guard
“Are we gonna be able to see any senators today?”
He looked at me like 🤔
He goes well that’s a few of them right there in middle I was like “oh! Cool! Sorry I Didn’t recognize”
So I sat back down
Then they started taking roll call
10 names go by
But we still got excited hearing their names especially since we just passed several in the buildings earlier today. The names started slowing down
And then long pauses
So I got up again. Impatient.
“Excuse me why are they taking long pauses”?
“Bc they are announcing names either as they walk in or vote”
“Oh ok thanks”
sat back down
At that point How many people are u with?
Um 12 most
2 teens from missouri next to me
And 2 other groups
How did the Dutch get in?
1 of them were from cali
And few others Anyway soooo then
Craig remember when we were little and would watch WWF when they announce the wrestler and the curtain flips open and they appear
And the crowd goes wild
All of a sudden doors started opening and closing
And 1,2,3 at a time they start coming in
And the rules were You have to be silent, no waving, yelling names or throwing money…
All of a sudden
BERNIE…omg he’s so cute!
SCHUMER…in the flesh!!!
GILLIBRAND…wow she’s here!
MITCH…the Senator majority guy!
COLLINS and MURKOWSKI…you know the female Rep senators that often votes with the Dems!
Like announcing the Mets lineup?
WARREN walks up to the desk gives a 👎🏽 sign BOOS AND WALKS OUT
we were silent cheering
It. Was. Ridonkulous. Roll call continues…
BOOKER…only African American I think
MENENDEZ…oh he’s NJ
RAND…with his gelled curls
Eww. Look atchu! You think you know it all!
Haha! I’m trying to think who else
FRANKEN…was so exciting
GRAHAM…he’s been speaking out against DT
HIRONO from Hawaii!
SASSE…he has a new book out!
WYDEN…his voice so cute
I mean Craig we were like hitting each other, and grabbing each other’s legs! Hailey was just as excited!!! It made me so happy!
It was so hard to contain excitement
We kept looking at each other saying OMG OMG if the family only knew what we are witnessing right now they would go crazy for us!
Did hailey know the names?
Yes of course! So many
Bc we had walked by almost all
Of their offices in the last 2 days!
Nice I’m proud of her!
So they literally vote and split
Walk in one door and right out the other.Some Stayed to Mingle…
Totttaaally gossiping I bet
Did you/them even have the Comey memo story yet?
Im guessing Probably not because it was shortly before 6. For the most part Dems wore blues ties And theReps wore red.I was able to mostly predict their votes based on tie and knowing their faces.
If a blue Tie walked in I would point them out and say this is gonna be someone’s name we know I bet
And then they would walk up and give their vote and then announcer would say COTTON NAYE
MCCONNELL YAYE and we could put a face to a name.
Can you believe this?
They just kept getting better and better
Schumer was in and out the quickest
By the time I pointed him out they saw the top of his head slipping out of sight I was so upset
I was like how did you miss Schumer!
But couldn’t dwell on it Bc other high rollers were pouring in. Then suddenly the Gavel! 52 to 46 confirmed Assistant Director of Transportation for Cabinet
Wow that’s a Close vote!
I know I feel this way almost every night lately, but watching the news tonight and the Sally Yates interview has really been unreal
I Feel like this will be memorable day
And I was there!!!
Wait let me Continue craig Your gonna flip
Bang bang everyone leaves
I’m like should we go?
But we sit
Mitch McConell walks back in
I think he’s one step from deaths door You couldn’t even hear nor understand him Sounded real elderly Old
Bc He really represents the pulse of the America people…
Ha I know right? Before Mitch spoke
A senator spoke under us hidden in view. He wanted to discuss that the newest form of threats/attacks is something very dangerous it’s called
he discussed all forms of fake news and the dangers of it
I announced to the remainders that ahem, I recognized him by voice alone!
Who was it?
Big fan big fan
I always told u that I love him because he always has the right words to say. You know, the one with the slight lisp…Ron WYDEN! Anyway the room went quiet again
All of a sudden Schumer walks straight in the door and straight out another door.
We get so excited!
In my head I’m like ok now we can leave! Bc they got to see him! I say let’s move up a few rows Bc People start emptying out
We moved to front row
I notice that they are preparing a podium
I deduce that McConnell just spoke from the left center podium- senate majority leader
They are setting up right center podium
I’m like FTC IS COMING TO SPEAK!
Fake tears Chuck coming?
I announce to the crowd it’s gonna be FTC I just know it
Bc now peeps are asking me questions
Yup I said standby it’s gonna be Chuck everyone lets wait
People getting antsy
Where’s FTC 🔦🔭
I turn to Dutch and I say
And she’s like why
I said “he’s getting briefed on something It’s taking too long it doesn’t make sense”
This is around 605 pm
I say “you never know with this breaking news who knows what we will come out to when we leave this chamber!”
And she laughs
He comes in
Takes a deep breath
And we are grabbing each other’s knees
Chuck has arrived!!!
He takes out his paper
Places it down
Turns on his mic 🎤
Addresses the President of the room? House? Senate? Gallery? I can’t remember what word he used…
Who is presiding you ask?
LITTLE MARCO, stone cold face 😐
FTC READS 3 paragraphs:
Summarizes the past week, shocking revelations and ends with “HISTORY IS WATCHING”…
Mic drop 🎤
walks out slams door
We run to security and grab our phones I text you guys soooo excited!
That history is watching quote made the rounds
Oh did it? And we ask if house is still voting They said yes at 615. We snap a quick pic outside House Gallery and hand in Phones
I ask for bathroom
Forget it I don’t wanna miss it
I get back up
“Excuse me will there be a few Congressmen that we get to see today?”
“Ma’am this a a vote today”
“Ok on what”
“I’m not sure ma’am Something maybe about cyber security”
“Ok cool. So will several be here?” “Ma’am it’s in the Constitution they are required to vote in person.”
“WAIT WHAT? The entire Congress will be here?”
“yes ma’am it’s a vote”
“Ok thank you”
Run back to seat
THE WHOLE freaken CONGRESS IS ON THEIR WAY IN????
Lol. Ma’am it’s in the constitution 📜
All of a sudden
Doors start opening
The room lights up
All of a sudden on the fabric walls
You see 435 names
The wooden moldings turn into a tv
Craig like an illusion
Clock gets set at 15 minutes and the countdown begins
And I’m like what’s going on
Green Yayes start going up Next to names. There’s 6 doors
It was MAYHEM!!!
You’re trying to watch the doors your trying to watch the clock, the vote, the tally, you’re looking at small names Which confirms they are in the room and have voted!
10s, 50, hundreds are piling in
Can u imagine???
I whisper to my mom look ITS JAMES BROWN WIG! Remember that Congresswoman that he made fun of? It was so exciting to see her! She was a great speaker!
435 people really is a lot
HAILEY SCREAMS ITS PAUL RYAN
IM LIKE OMG ITS KENNEDY
HAILEY SCREAMS OMG SUOZZI JUST WALKED IN
I’m like OMG THATS ELIJAH CUMMINGS
If we blinked we would’ve missed her! Kathleen Rice enters sticks her card in, a green goes up next to her name and she walks right out. Her constitutional responsibility fulfilled in 7 seconds!
Never to be seen again!
Vote keeps going
another 10 mins go by
And we’re up to 420s
They were voting on HR 1616
King and Zeldin appear on screen with green
Where are they?
No where to be found. They must have slipped in and out.
Scanning crowd furiously
Who else do we know do we know?
If only we could take a pic! Dutch asking me how many more votes
I said like 5 or so
Where is Pelosi??? where is she?
Her name is empty
Ryan is suddenly gone
His name empty
Little by little the Repubs trickle out
Half of Dems stay
Bang bang times up
Order in the room
A White haired dem stands up and starts reading
Private conversations continue
He keeps reading
Another white haired man stands up and yells at the other side of the room towards the republicans
It’s getting heated
And motions to guy in charge to get order in the room Bc people are so rude. Me and Hailey look at each other and giggle. It’s getting good
Room goes silent
Guy 2 sits down guy 1 proceeds he ends. claps. Then Silence. We don’t recognize many anymore. Hailey spots Suozzi still in the room and pats herself on the back.
Kennedy walks in and I joke that I’d like to run my fingers thru his curly
Red hair because it looks so soft
One guy leaves in a wheelchair
Another Congressman walks out with prosthetic legs
That’s an example of when a chat timing goes wrong
Assuming I’m the weirdo?
Yes. U are
About Running hands thru Kennedy hair. Nice Non sequiter
Ok so Congressman with the prosthetic legs walk out and I see him leaving just in time to tell Hailey he lost his legs in battle but don’t know his name. Hero
I check the clock 710 no Nancy Pelosi. Decide Nancy not coming, our desk pic will have to do. I say this is our cue guys.
I say it’s now or never if we are getting on the 8pm train. So we Have to cut it short, and end on a high note. Grab our phones and start running to bathroom. Check schedule send out my sos to you guys
Hail a cab, cab to hotel, grab bags get back in his car drops us at Union Station it’s 730 sun is setting on Washington
Amazing that you pulled this off Hailey and your parents
I take a last look at the Capitol and head inside.
Story not over yet
But it had such tear jerker of an ender
Head to counter buy our tickets and then we find a restaurant to eat at. Turn the news on for the FIRST TIME all day
I didn’t understand what you were saying earlier in our chat in between the Senate and House 2 minute break when you texted me
I say WHATTYA KNOW!
It all makes sense now. The news had broke about the Comey memo around 6pm…
Schumer’s delay (exact timing of release)
Ryan disappears for vote
And now here the heck I am on the train going in the wrong direction Instead if hanging around for tomorrow cliffhanger!
When you texted I didn’t understand the gravity of the situation until I was trapped on this train
I could have sent hailey home with my parents
It will be fine at home. You Need to be in front of tv
my story and I’m sticking to it
And here I am exhausted
You can sleep in tomorrow
To think…How I walked in and asked if t was possible
Like as if I was asking for a piece of gum
Hi do you have a piece of gum? Hi would we be able to see her office?
I forgot the BEST MOMENT OF THE DAY
ohhhh myyyy goddddd
We walk into Longworth Congress building
I can’t even type the story it’s awkward
Are u ready
We walk into elevator
And as doors close
We notice a bank of telephone booths
And we’re laughing
And the last one says “charge calls”
I’m like who is charging phone calls these days
This can’t be
They must be defunct and people are making calls in private behind closed doors
The door closes But reopens again
So catches us off guard as we’re discussing
So I say “OH! Excuse me do you work here?” (Was gonna ask about pay phones)
And she looks perplexed
And I say “here like as in this building”
And she says
“Uhhh…yes? I’m. A. Member. Of. Congress!”
Neither of us knew how to recover
It was THAT MOMENT
That u will never forget
The one that got away…
And I stood there stupified and confused.
She gets off at her floor
And we all look at each other
And say wait what?
Was she a Congresswoman?
Did she say she worked for Congress?
And ping we arrived on our floor
And we just all got off like in a daze
Trying to process the opportunity that we just missed
Who was it
We will never know!
And then that, my friend, brings us back to the beginning of our story which was…omg Craig you will not believe how our afternoon unfolded and the crazy timing of events and the amazing people we spoke to and met today… I can not believe what I witnessed and how lucky Hailey was at her age to not only see it all with her own eyes but to love it and enjoy it almost as much as Me.😃😄🇺🇸💙❤️💁🏽🙋🏽
Thanks lover…baaaack to NY 😩