Sights in the City

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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! :D

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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 $$$!)

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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!!!!

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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. :D

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!

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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!)

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We saw Cross Hall which Obama walked down to announce the death of Osama Bin Laden,

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the Red Room, which has for decades been a favorite entertaining spot for First Ladies (and holds the White House Christmas Tree!)

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and the State Dining Room which, despite holding a table with seats for 120, seemed surprisingly small!

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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!!!! :D

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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.

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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!

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Ahhh, seriously the best day ever! :D

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Oh, honorable tourist-activity mention definitely goes to the Newseum!

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“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.”

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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.

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Exhibits featuring sections of the Berlin Wall,

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Hurricane Katrina,

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and 9/11 seriously WOWED us.

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If you’re going to DC, you’ve GOT to check it out! :D

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Ahhh, and so ends my DC vacay recaps!

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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. :D

Regular programming to commence tomorrow!

Other DC recaps:

IGE in Washington DC

Sips in the City

Sweets in the City

Steps Outside the City

The Best Dining in DC

~~~~~

Where was your last vacation at?

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Comments

  1. I also just recently came back from DC and loved the Newseum! We spent about 4 hours there and it was amazing, I also like that your ticket is good for 2 days in case you want to split it up.
    Another favorite tourist site of mine in DC is the Library of Congress – I totally geek out over it and like to imagine I would study and read books there all day long if I were to live there!

  2. Renae 05.25.2011

    I was in DC 2 summers ago and now want to go back – so much to see! Thanks for sharing!

  3. erica 05.25.2011

    wow. this has been a great trip recap series! i enjoyed every post!!! (and i love your jacket!)

  4. AKastler 05.25.2011

    Our last vaca was in Maui. Fab to say the least! I would love to go back to DC again though. We went way back when in 8th grade. I distinctively remember the holocaust museum…

  5. The Newseum is absolutely amazing! The view from the balcony is the absolute best and they have some great exhibits. Not gonna lie, I’m a bit of a wuss and the Pulitzer Prize gallery had me tearing up a bit.

  6. Emily 05.25.2011

    as much as I love DC, yay for regular programming !

  7. Maggie 05.25.2011

    I live in the DC area, and I’ve never been in the White House, or to the Newseum. Now I want to go to the Newseum.

    And I knew the Monument factoid!

  8. Emily 05.25.2011

    These posts have been making me so sad!! Just moved back to the midwest from DC….I miss it!!

  9. Courtney 05.25.2011

    Loved the recaps!! I’ve never been there but it’s on my list! Thanks for sharing! My last vacation was in Arizona and I loved it!! We went to Phoenix, Scottsdale, and Tempe. Even drove up to Sedona which was amazing!! (Sedona recap here: http://cntcookinuplife.blogspot.com/2011/03/days-3-and-4-in-arizona.html).
    By the way– craving sushi since seeing your post!!

  10. Megan 05.25.2011

    I went to the Newseum two summers ago–the 9/11 exhibit literally had me in sobbing, uncontrollable tears by the end. I’m so glad you guys went to see it–we spent an entire day walking around it! Soooo good.

  11. Mac 05.25.2011

    Wow the newsium looks awesome! The last place I went was New Orleans actually, so I’d love to see the Hurricane Katrina stuff, my boyfriend told me a lot about it since he went down there to teach right after it happened, but the images take my breath away every time!

  12. Valerie 05.26.2011

    I saw Netanyahu’s line of cars pass the Newseum from the top deck of the Newseum when I was there two years ago. Love DC!

  13. Megan 05.26.2011

    I’m so glad I’m not alone in the Nerd World! I would have TOTALLY geeked out if I got to go in the White House!

    My last vacation was Disney World in March. I seriously can’t get enough of that place! It truly is the happiest place on earth!

  14. Hope 05.26.2011

    That White House tour sounds amazing!! It is definitely on my list of must-do’s next time I’m in DC! The Newseum sounds like an awesome place to visit too! I was in DC a couple of years ago and I definitely missed seeing a ton of the places you mentioned. Now I have an excuse to go back! :)

  15. My last vacation was in Iowa! Haha. I grew up there and live in NY now, but I was just back last week to visit family and friends.

  16. Jal 05.26.2011

    Sounds like you had a great time! I live in DC now and decided to do some touristy things this week for my birthday. I also checked out the Newseum (3rd time) — the Katrina and 9/11 exhibits are heartbreaking. On a lighter note, how great was the presidential pictures exhibit? Next time you come back you should also check out Maine Avenue Fish Market for some crabs!

    • Jal 05.26.2011

      Oh and the last place I went to was New Orleans, which is actually how I first came across your blog because I was searching for something NOLA related!

  17. Katie D 05.26.2011

    I loved Newseum when we were there a few years ago. I think DC is a place you can visit often, and every time it is going to be a new experience! Such a great city with so much to see, do and eat!

  18. Daisy 05.26.2011

    you will actually LOVE (or maybe HATE) me because my last vacation was New Orleans! It was a 4 day girls trip, so we went all out. you should check out my recaps, I even went to NOLA Restaurant on yours (and a bunch of others) reccomends!!! so thanks for that :)

    I have been loving the DC recaps, you did an amazing job photographing the city.

  19. CH 05.26.2011

    As New Yorker, I always thought DC would be boring and stuffy, but you just made it sound insanely fun! Glad you had such an awesome time! I have never heard of the Newseum but I will have to check it out some day!

  20. Wow. Looks like a great day! I’ve been to D.C. but it was such a short time there that I didn’t really get to experience it. I’d like to go back!

  21. Deanna 05.26.2011

    Great trip! Love your jacket…where did you get it?

  22. Katie 06.01.2011

    That’s so awesome!! I must sound like a broken record, but SO jealous of your WH tour. Those are ridiculously hard to get into. If you’re ever here during the holidays, you should try to go again, they do it up seriously for Christmas!

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