It’s been nearly a full week since Ben, Sigourney Weaver and I hopped a plane bound for DC, and only a full day since we’ve been back. I already miss it so much, but luckily these recaps are helping me relive all my favorite times.
To finish them off, I’m taking you through my #1 tourist geek-out moment – a tour of the White House!
Now Ben’s family visited DC a zillion times growing up, and I’d been once before when I was young, so we all felt like we’d been there and done that when it came to the monuments (although I did learn a fun fact about the Washington Monument – the reason why the stones are two colors is because construction was halted in the middle due to the Civil War and lack of $$$!)
For some strange reason, I don’t remember seeing the White House on my previous trip and, given my childhood obsession with working there, it was at the tippy-top of my must-see-in-DC list this round. I nearly died when my in-laws told us that not only would we be seeing the White House – we’d be seeing the White house - from the inside of the East Wing – wheee!!!!
Obama was actually in da’ house at the time of our visit (with Benjamin Netanyahu, no less) so the West Wing was closed – but the East Wing, where the family’s living and entertaining quarters are, was all ours.
We found our way to what I always think of as the back of the White House, which is actually the front, and threaded through school groups and security check points before we found ourselves inside the White House – ahh!
It is more fantastic than I could have ever imagined. Shining crystal chandeliers and ornate vases chock full of fresh flowers anchored the dozens and DOZENS of rooms on each floor. Books, china sets, portraits, artifacts and vintage furniture gave us so much to look at in each room, it nearly made my head spin! (ps camera’s aren’t allowed inside, so all these photos are courtesy of the White House Museum!)
We saw Cross Hall which Obama walked down to announce the death of Osama Bin Laden,
the Red Room, which has for decades been a favorite entertaining spot for First Ladies (and holds the White House Christmas Tree!)
and the State Dining Room which, despite holding a table with seats for 120, seemed surprisingly small!
The visual stimulation was seriously off the charts, and I did my very best to take mental HD photos so I’ll never forget all the, for lack of a better word, SWEET things I saw inside. It was seriously so cool!!!!
After tumbling out the front doors, we walked around the house to check out the view from the outside. One of my favorite things was seeing the White House Kitchen Garden.
Thomas Jefferson was the first president to plant a vegetable garden in 1801, but it took over 200 years for it to receive the attention it deserves as one of Michelle Obama’s pet projects of providing fresh seasonal produce for her family, and teaching children around the country about living a healthier lifestyle. Cool!
Ahhh, seriously the best day ever!
Oh, honorable tourist-activity mention definitely goes to the Newseum!
“The Newseum — a 250,000-square-foot museum of news — offers visitors an experience that blends five centuries of news history with up-to-the-second technology and hands-on exhibits.”
The newseum is consistently rated as DC’s top tourist activity and has dozens of exhibits regarding the most newsworthy events that have taken place in the US over the last 300 years.
Exhibits featuring sections of the Berlin Wall,
and 9/11 seriously WOWED us.
If you’re going to DC, you’ve GOT to check it out!
Ahhh, and so ends my DC vacay recaps!
DC was everything I thought it would be and so much more. Dining, shopping, recreation, history – what more could you really ask for? I can’t wait to get back and need to give a SERIOUS shout out to my in-laws for their hospitality and showing Ben and I one HECK of a good time.
Regular programming to commence tomorrow!
Other DC recaps:
Where was your last vacation at?