Sunday, April 22, 2012

Saturday Afternoon in the White House Gardens

A few weeks ago, we entered the lottery for the White House Easter Egg Roll. Much like the Mega Millions drawing, we didn't have a winning ticket. Lea found out that First Lady Michelle Obama's Let's Move initiative (a fantastic effort to promote heath, nutrition, and exercise) was sponsoring a TweetUp, so we tried again. Unfortunately, we didn't make the cut on the TweetUp either.

Fast forward a couple of weeks and we were planning a weekend jaunt to the Spring White House Garden Tour. Tickets were free, but you had to line up early to get them. On Wednesday, however, Lea received an email from a White House staffer coordinating social media. She liked Lea's entry in the TweetUp and offered us tickets for Saturday. We were so excited to have our morning free and our passes to the Garden Tour without standing in an extra line to procure tickets. On top of that, we would have gone on Sunday due to Carter's Saturday morning soccer game, and it rained all day Sunday. So, it worked out perfectly!

The weather was glorious - sunny skies and warm temperatures - and we joined hundreds of people in spring attire wandering about the White House grounds. The experience was wonderful, and one that we will remember for a long time. Below you will find photos taken by Carter and Erik with some comments on a great Washington DC event. Lea's photos can be accessed via her Twitter feed, @leamarie.

After passing through the obligatory security line, we entered the  grounds. We passed by the verdant Kennedy Garden en route to the south entrance to the White House.  

Kennedy Garden

At the Rose Garden (above), we chatted with a friendly and enthusiastic staffer who told Carter all about White House history. We learned about several modifications that presidents have made along the way, including the Oval Office's move from the main building to the West Wing and finally to the exterior (so that FDR could have windows - see below). We heard about - and later saw - the putting green, the pool, and basketball court as well. The main surprise about the Rose Garden was how few roses were actually planted there.

After thanking the staffer for answering so many questions, we moved past the Oval Office to Malia and Sasha's outdoor play area. It was at this point that Carter expressed his disappointment that he does not currently reside in the White House. We explained that he could live there as an adult, but he was concerned that, as president, he would not have time to take advantage of the amenities of the White House. We told him we were sure the president would have some time to play. We also told him another option was to be married to the president.

Sasha and Malia's Playset

View of the Washington and Jefferson Memorials from the WH

Lea and Carter on the Grounds

Panorama of the South Lawn

On our stroll, we paused to listen to the US Army Band and take some photos. We explored the White House Kitchen Garden and beehive - a highlight of the tour - pausing to chat with the helpful US Park Service Ranger, who confirmed that there are no beets in the garden.

Beehive (with bees)

Kitchen Garden

The lettuces and other vegetables looked delicious and we loved how the red and green lettuces were planted. We were grateful for another lovely day and fun adventure in DC. 

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Carter's Post

Carter received a great camera for Christmas and has been taking lovely photos all over Washington, DC. In this post, he describes his experiences and pictures.

Before the cherry blossoms were gone, mom and I went to see them.

Some of the pictures have the sunset in them.

 Mom and I found some ducks. I wanted a picture of a duck looking at me.

 Mom and I were walking to the Hirshhorn.

The Hirshhorn is having a temporary exhibit with a screen around the Hirshhorn. It goes from sunset until midnight.

On mommy's birthday, we went to the American History Museum. On the way we saw some flowers.

 Next we went to the kite festival.

Next we went to people drumming. It was a Japanese drum show.

It is fun to take pictures!