This last summer, I had the chance to go to the Library of Congress and #NationalAuthorsDay is the perfect day to blog about it! I’ve always wanted to go there… I mean, it’s the library of libraries being that it’s the largest in the world!
AND, I wanted to make sure to go “inside” the Main Reading Room like in the movie “National Treasure,” when the treasure hunters are looking for the infamous “Book of Secrets” that holds all of the U.S. presidents’ secrets from alien autopsies to the truth about the JFK assassination, as well as the location of buried treasure. Of course, we know that’s not true, but the Main Reading Room does exist!
And let me tell you! Getting into the Main Reading Room is similar to a treasure hunt!
TripTip: In order to go into the Main Reading Room, you first need to have a Library of Congress library card. And, of course, it’s not easy to get one! First, you have to fill out an online form before your visit (found on their website). Then, you have to go pick up your library card in one of the nearby Library of Congress buildings. Here they confirm you are who you say you are using your Driver’s License, take your photo and Voila! They make your library card while you wait.
And, in order to get into the Main Reading Room once inside the Thomas Jefferson Building, you have to go to the first floor, walk through this winding hallway under the Main Reading Room, then back up one floor, to the entrance, where you sign in, walk through a detector and you’re in!
Yes, it is like all libraries, quiet! However, I felt like every whisper echoed off the walls!
Worth every effort to experience being in the “big room.”
You aren’t allowed to take photos inside the Reading Room, but they have an overlook, which is where these photos were taken.
Enjoy these photos!
P.S. On this #NationalAuthorsDay, be sure to purchase some books by your favorite author to support them!
Below are photos taken from the second floor looking into the Main Reading Room.
If you find yourself driving along the Great River Road along the Mississippi River, there’s a quick stop you must see. The Rock in the House on the north side of Fountain City, Wisconsin.
For $2.00 a person from 10-6pm, you can see where a 55-ton boulder rolled down the cliff and crashed into a house on April 24, 1995.
It’s amazing that no one was hurt when this boulder rolled down the hill and crashed into the house. The people who owned the house on April 5, 1901, weren’t so lucky when a 5-ton boulder rolled on to the house (where the garage was in 1995), killing Mrs. Dubler, but missing her blind husband who slept next to her in the same bed.
This past weekend, we stayed at the Hawks View Cottages and Lodges, which is tucked away on top of the bluffs along the Mississippi River in Fountain City, Wisconsin.
Getting up to the cottages is, let’s say, a steep encounter. We brought the Jeep for the steep drive up, then schlepped our things up about 85+ steep steps. The Redtail Cottage we stayed in was cozy and offered an amazing view of the Mississippi River between the tree branches.
#TripTip: Book early! We booked in March for October. We wanted to book the Coopers Hawk Cottage at the very top, but it was already booked. We also hoped the fall leaves would still be changing colors, but we missed the peak fall colors by a few days.
One of the most well-known landmarks in Minnesota is Split Rock Lighthouse located on the north shore of Lake Superior.
Just south of the lighthouse is a state park for hiking and camping. Hands down, cart-in camping spots #19 gives the best vantage point from atop the bluffs. The second best cart-in spot is #18. You have a gorgeous view of the lighthouse. And, in the morning, it’s just a quick walk down to the small bay where you can capture sunrise photos.
To snag either of these campsites, you need to book a year out, so plan early!
From her toes to her crown to her torch, Lady Liberty has many messages of freedom. And what better day to celebrate freedom than July 4.
During our recent trip to New York City, we snagged “crown” tickets to the top of Statue of Liberty. (Trip tips: You need to purchase those tickets early, at least six months in advance since they only let about 100 people go to the crown each day. Go early in the day to beat the crowds!) There are 377 steps (equal to 20 stories) to the top… with the very last steps winding through a very tiny spiral staircase that has one side going up, the other going down.
The messages of freedom from the Statue of Liberty ring true for today:
Broken shackles at her feet signifying escape from tyranny
A tablet of law in her left arm bearing in Roman numerals the date of the American Declaration of independence – July 4, 1776
Crown’s of seven rays represent a sunburst spreading enlightenment and reason throughout the world
And, of course, the most significance of all, her torch and flame symbolizing truth and justice enlightening the world