Wednesday, Michael went with the three older boys (Sean, Henry, and Edward) to the State Capitol for 4H Day. Here is there account of the event:
After fighting traffic on IH-35, and eventually just driving through part of the city to escape said traffic, we made it and found a parking place.
After checking in, we donned our new shirts and headed up to the rotunda for a group photo. People must have thought we were in charge, because they kept coming up to us to ask where to check-in. After the photo, we had time to go up to the 4th floor and check out all the portraits of the various governors and presidents of Texas, which was quite interesting. Then we made our way to our assigned spots in the House of Representatives.
For us Aggies, there was a special treat. Johnny "Football" Manziel, the freshman quarterback of Texas A&M was being honored for his outstanding season and being the first freshman to ever be awarded the Heisman Trophy. Even the t.u. fans in the House wore Aggie Maroon that day.
Afterwards, the House introduced a resolution honoring all the 4H members in attendance before returning to regular business. This ended about an hour earlier than our schedule showed, so we had time for a long lunch, followed by a walking tour of the Capitol grounds. Here we found a hidden treasure, the Capitol Visitor center, formerly the General Land Office of Texas. There were several neat exhibits in there, especially dealing with the renovation and restoration of both the Capitol as well as the Governor's Mansion, which had been damaged by arson in 2008. The famous short story author O. Henry had worked there as a clerk, and we discovered that several of his stories had been set in that very building.
After lunch, we went headed back downstairs to meet with our State Representatives and State Senators. We were early, and so we found a group of Jaycee's that had come to the capitol about the annual Rattlesnake Roundup. They had brought several rattlers in, and the boys had a chance to see them up close and touch their tails.
Then it was time to meet our reps. Unbeknownst to the boys and I, the meeting times and locations had been changed, but we did make it to all the meetings, and were able to participate in discussions and pose for photographs with our elected officials.
It was a good experience and we look forward to doing it again in two years.