Saturday, May 12, 2018

DC Trip 2018 - White House/Bureau of Engraving/Jefferson Memorial, Etc

Our long awaited White House tour was scheduled for Friday morning, the 11th by the Tour Coordinator in Senator Pat Roberts' office.  Philip also wanted us to see the Bureau of Engraving and Printing and you can't get those tickets online or in advance.  To make that happen, he (and Keenan also decided to go) headed downtown to get to the BEP ticket booth at 8 am.  After securing tickets they rode the DC circulator around the tidal basin to visit the FDR and MLK Jr. Memorials.  The other two kids and I met them downtown around 10 am.  We walked around part of the Ellipse and ran into the wife of Philip's former squadron commander (from over 6 years ago!) who was also taking their two youngest children on the White House tour shortly after ours.

Keenan and FDR

Looking at the South Side of the White House

General Sherman monument (you can now only get this close if you have a White House tour)

After this we went through many rounds of security screening where our reservation was confirmed multiple times.  I'd forgotten to bring any ID (since you're not allowed to bring any bags, full size camera, or even a purse on this tour) but thankfully Philip had our passports in his pocket.  Once we cleared security they encouraged picture taking (no flash) and so we had a ton of phone pictures.  I was so glad to have my new phone with a much better camera.  We entered through the East Wing and quickly moved into a corridor connecting to the house decorated with art and many pictures of the President and their families, pets, weddings, state dinners, etc.

This goal probably belongs to Baron Trump and not the President ;)

Caleb and Abraham Lincoln

Moriah and I with a photo of First Lady, Barbara Bush
(the Lilacs on the table were Amazing!)

The rooms were So beautiful!

Vermeil Room


China Room (displays of formal china from previous administrations)

The other wall of the China Room

We then headed upstairs to the East Room

Presidents Lincoln and Kennedy both laid here in state after their assasinations

East Room selfie!

The had rolled-up the red carpet for us

Keenan and President Kennedy

Green Room

The flowers throughout the house were Gorgeous!   How fun it would be to be the White House Florist!

One of the staircases leading up the residence on the 2nd and 3rd floor

The South Lawn where Marine One lands

More beautiful flowers

The South Portico

Blue Room

Red Room

Looking out over the South Lawn to the Washington Monument

State Dining Room

Ronald Reagan

Look at that piano!

Heading out the front door
(It was strange looking OUT of the house at all the people in the distance looking At the house)

This light (often seen in photos) is actually Huge!   

The flowers outside were gorgeous as well

The Old Executive Office Building where the Vice President and many others in the Executive branch work

Selfie in the North Portico

Visiting dignitaries typically enter the White House here

Beautiful fountain on the north lawn

Oh, just strolling on the grounds of the White House

Almost all of the Secret Service agents gave Keenan a hard time about his choice of an FBI shirt when touring the White House.  However, these two allowed the boys to take a picture as we were leaving the grounds.

One even let Caleb hold his badge!

The North Side (showing the front door we had just walked out a few minutes prior!)

Squinty selfie

When Philip first visited DC as a kid you could still drive on Pennsylvania Avenue in front of the White House.  When we last visited you could still go right up to the fence.  There are now barriers keeping everyone a few feet away from the fence (likely after a few nuts jumped the fence a few years ago).  We then walked back to the White House Visitor Center to get a couple of new Junior Ranger badges for the kids (since the White House is a National Park Service Site).

Anyone can get the President's Park badge by completing activities in the visitor center and publicly accessible areas of President's Park (like the ellipse).  You can only get the White House badge after you complete the tour.

Looking at a scale model of the White House to show the kids our path through the building

We returned to the food court in the Reagan Building to get lunch while Philip made a round trip to our rental house to get the camera bag, sunscreen and few other things we would want for the rest of the day that we couldn't take on the White House tour.  After lunch we walked across the National Mall to the BEP.

One Million Dollars (in tens)!

The rest of the tour was strictly no cameras allowed but you can see the printing presses in action churning out new money.  In the gift shop you can purchase uncut sheets of legal tender bills.

Notice they marked the price up for these sheets! :)

We the boarded the DC Circulator for a tour of the major monuments around the National Mall

Jefferson Memorial

Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial

A Caleb and Mommy selfie with the Jefferson Memorial in the background

Korean War Memorial

Caleb drawing one of the faces from the memorial for his Junior Ranger assignment

Lincoln Memorial

Family shot with the Washington Monument and Reflecting Pool working as intended

Us with Abraham Lincoln

Vietnam Veteran's Memorial

Constitution Gardens
(How adorable are these ducklings!   There was only one adult duck with them all, but I can't imagine they were all hers!?)

A family of Canadian Geese with some adolescent young

World War II Memorial

What a busy day that was!   We were all hot and tired and ready to head home to Dupont Circle!


Mom W. said...

Wow, that was quite a tour, one I have never done. Looks like a great thing to do though!!! Very educational for your kids!!!

Anonymous said...

Wow, wow, wow!!!

I remember reading up about how much work it is to get a tour through the White House, and I don't even thing Canadians can do it unless you're going through with Americans? I forget... Anyway, that's absolutely awesome!!! I love the thought that you were looking out at people looking in at you. And then the picture looking back where you'd just been. It was so cool to see pictures of the inside, but it must be so awkward living in a place where there are so many people and tourists walking through. It would be an odd life for sure!

Thanks for sharing all these fun posts, and I'm so impressed by how well you're doing at keeping up with your posts!

Love you,
Rebekah :)