Harry Potter, Padres opening day and dog park visits: How members of Congress spent spring break

What did you do on spring break? Some members of California's congressional delegation traveled the world, began campaigning in earnest for reelection or attended meeting after meeting back home. A few took the time to read a good book or stop by the dog park with a four-legged friend. One even made it to the new Wizarding World of Harry Potter before it opened.

House members are set to return to Washington on Tuesday after several weeks off for what they like to call a "district work period” -- no one likes the term "recess" -- which gives them an extended period of time away from Washington. The Senate took a similar break over the Easter holiday.

This election year, the House is scheduled to spend 111 days in session, (33 of which have already occurred) and the other 254 days of the year out of session. The next major recess is scheduled to begin in mid-July and end in early September.

In lieu of an essay, here are some highlights of what California's representatives did on their spring break.

Some members found time for a bit of fun

Issa's staff also took time during the break to get a beach-worthy haircut for chief of staff Veronica Wong's cocker spaniel, Truman. 

The congressman posted before and after photos on Instagram.

A chance to travel

Seven California members kicked off the break by joining President Obama on his trip to Cuba, the first time a sitting American president had visited the island in nearly 90 years. Rep. Xavier Becerra (D-Los Angeles) raved about the food and a baseball game. Rep. Karen Bass (D-Los Angeles) reflected on the many times she’s visited the country since the 1970s.^tfw

During the last days of the break, Rep. Devin Nunes (R-Tulare) joined Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) and other members on a trip to Israel and across the Middle East, where they toured Israeli security sites and met with government officials.

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-San Francisco) stopped in New York City to talk about pre-kindergarten education with Mayor Bill de Blasio. She was multi-tasking, of course: While in New York, Pelosi also helped raise money for vulnerable House members, an aide said.

So many constituent meetings

A list detailing what happened over break wouldn't be complete without a few examples of the dozens of meetings and events members attended.

Honoring high school artists

Several members used the break to select and recognize winners of the Congressional Art Competition. The winning artwork, created by high school students in each congressional district, hangs for one year in a heavily trafficked tunnel in the Capitol complex. Many offices are still soliciting original works for the contest.

Kicking off campaign season

Congressional recesses are generally a prime opportunity for members to campaign. Some California members kicked off their campaigns, raised money and knocked on doors. Others weighed in on the presidential race.

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Read more about the 55 members of California's delegation at


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10:09 a.m.- This post has been updated to correct the name of Rep. Darrell Issa's chief of staff. It was originally published at 7:39 a.m.

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