Since I’m sitting here waiting for my flight to SFO at Dallas Love Field Airport, I might as well kill some time and tell you about my short trip to the District of Columbia.
On Wednesday evening, my daughter and I took a red-eye to Dulles International Airport in Virginia. Not sure if I mentioned it in a previous blog entry, but did I ever tell you about my fear of flying? I know it sounds super ridiculous due to the fact that I just flew to New York City a couple months ago, let alone to Virginia two days ago. It is getting easier, but I just hate dealing with turbulence. The flight here to Dallas was brutal even though I sat in the 4th row closest to First Class. One of these days, I’m going to find a professional hypnotist to help me get over this fear.
Moving forward, we picked up the car rental at Alamo Car Rental, then I drove directly to The White House. I couldn’t sleep during the entire flight so can you imagine how physically and emotionally drained I was.
We arrived at the Ronald Reagan Federal Building Parking Garage. Let me tell you, that building is creepy looking. Before entering the garage, the security guards searched my car. After being cleared, I drove down about 3 levels until I finally found a parking spot in a dark location. 😐 It didn’t feel safe, but it’s a Federal Building and the security probably saw me scratch my head on the security cameras.
Our check-in time at the White House was at 7:00 am. We arrived at 8:30 am only to find ourselves in a long line wrapped around the street corner. At that moment, I was desperate so I stepped out of line and walked towards the front. I asked the Secret Service Agent if it was still okay for us to go on the tour even though we were late. He greeted us with a smile, opened the gate, and lead us straight to the first security check-in. Phew!
After three security checks and being sniffed by a dog, I found myself surrounded by decades of history – I couldn’t believe that I was inside the White House.
Sometimes I question myself, like, did I really deserve this?
The first thing I noticed when I walked into the East Wing was this portrait of President John F. Kennedy and his children. 💙
TIP #1: The tour is FREE, however, BOOK IN ADVANCE! To book a tour at the White House, it requires advance planning. You will have to contact your local member of Congress no less than 21 days prior to your visit (click here to find your local representative) I booked my tour 6 months in advance and didn’t get accepted until a week prior to my visit!
TIP #2: DO NOT bring a purse, a tote, or a backpack. They will not let you in. All I carried were my car keys and wallet.
TIP #3: Follow the rules. There is no ifs, buts, substitutions, or maybes. I mean, come on! You’re at the White House. This specific house has top notch security!
Photo: The Blue Room is the center of the State Floor of the White House. This room has been the traditional place for president’s to receive guests.
Photo: Located on the ground floor, the Vermeil Room serves as a display room or for formal occasions. The painting shown in this picture is of Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis by Aaron Shikler 1970.