Saturday I got the chance to go to the White House! For all the time I’ve lived in DC, the closest I’ve come is the White House press briefing room back in 2008. It was a pretty cool experience then but I’d never done the Christmas tour.
Thanks to Back on My Feet, I got to go this year. One of our volunteers (I believe) helped us get entries so we all met up at CSS to walk over to the White House. It was exciting!
BoMF Volunteers: Rebecca, Tracey, Evi, me, Carol
It was pretty warm out for December — as it has been all month. It was about 1.5 mile walk to the White House and the weather felt great. We waited in long line outside the White House for about 45 minutes and then went in for the 6pm tour.
I really didn’t know what to expect. I was excited to finally go in and do something Christmasy for the season. Of course everyone always wonders…could it actually be possible to see the President or the First Lady? I knew that would probably not happen but hey, you can hope!
Collage of a few of the trees I saw in the White House
After being ID’d twice, sniffed by a drug dog and going through a metal detector, we were finally allowed in. Basically, they have this whole wing of the house decorated. There are multiple rooms done up with beautiful Christmas decorations and table settings.
First we passed Christmas photos from the White House in years passed, then the rooms. There were facts about each room — like “Lady Bird Johnson purchased the china that is on these tables” and things like that.
For me, one of the best parts of the evening was listening to this high school choir sing Christmas carols in the main room. They were all full of joy and just going at it Glee-style with their songs. I stood there for several songs just listening and smiling. I was sooooo in the spirit!
I have to say, I was hoping there would be more lights or maybe…more to the whole tour…but I’m glad I finally went to see it. And it was special to go with my friends from BoMF. One of the guys I run with a lot, Larry, even decided to write a letter to President Obama “just in case.” I told him, you just never know!
So, I proofread the letter and we got it all sealed up in the envelope. He found a mailbox inside the White House to send it! Larry recently celebrated his first full year of sobriety and has worked very hard to get his own housing and make a living as a carpenter. His perspectives always make me think and he is one of the reasons I have gotten so much out of doing BoMF. Larry and I:
After winding our way through the many, cheerful rooms, we were directed outside to the back of the White House, where we got to view the huge, white columns up close and personal.
It is pretty cool living in Washington, DC sometimes. We strolled back to CSS after and as I walked through the streets of DC, I thought about how random it was that I ever even moved here. How I never once dreamed of being here but now, here I am. It’s crazy where life takes you sometimes — but if you let it lead you, you may end up somewhere great.
Don’t want to leave anyone out, so here are a few more photos from the night: