First and foremost, I would like to thank the employees of the White House Visitor Center who informed us about this Garden Tour. I appreciate your enthusiasm in helping tourists like us who visit Washington, D.C. Thank you! 🙂
I’ve read of the White House Garden Tour while I was researching about Washington , D.C. prior to our 2014 US-Canada Road Trip. But never have I thought that I would be so lucky enough to be able to become a part of it! Being there at exactly the right time was a long shot. Let alone score a free ticket to get inside The White House Lawn! Oh yes, imagine the grin pasted on my face the whole time. ha ha
Okay it wasn’t easy. We were told to come to the Visitor Center early because 2,500 tickets will be given to the lucky participants. Needless to say, I pestered the hubby to accompany me. I’m so glad that he said yes, despite his adamance. Honestly, if he said no, I would have taken a taxi on my own just so I can join the event. That’s probably why he said yes. To make sure that I safely get there… LOL
So after an early breakfast at the hotel, we boarded a taxi going to the White House. I should have known, the roads will be closed for security reasons. But well, I didn’t think that far ahead. 🙂 John knew , of course. So we walked a few blocks before we found the visitor center. The line was long. Very long. So we had to wait quite sometime for our turn. After an hour or so, we finally got our tickets!
We were scheduled on the 10:30am tour. We had to join another line and waited for our turn again. Then the White House photographer came out and started taking pictures of the participants. Since I was infront, I waived at her and told her that I’m from the Philippines. I don’t know why I said that, but I guess it was the excitement talking! ha ha She laughed and said – this is for the White House newspaper. ha! 🙂
As we entered the gate, we were given a thorough check up. Like being in an airport these days.
Then we were handed this booklet –
With a welcome message from the First Lady, Michelle Obama. 🙂
Reading the above message, I learned that The South Lawn is – a) where the President departs in Marine One; b) thousands of families hunt and roll easter eggs; c) the President greets Foreign Heads of State; d) the Kitchen Garden of the First Lady is there; e) the Magnolia Trees planted by Pres. Andrew Jackson can also be found at the South Lawn and f) The Kennedy and Rose Gardens are there as well.
Cool right? 🙂
So let me share with you more photos of this wonderful experience. Click on them if you want a bigger copy.
The South Lawn: where the Marine One departs with the President.
The hallway leading to the Oval Office.
The Oval Office.
The White House with the Fall Garden Tour Participants.
The Picture Frames on the ground.
The Beer Garden. 🙂
Malia and Sasha’s Swing Set.
The Kitchen Garden.
The Fountain with the Washington Monument at the background.
Of course, I had to pose! 🙂
Not just one… but more!
And more… ha ha
Photo below – That’s a real secret service agent behind me. 🙂
One more, before going out! 🙂
And here’s the United States Marine Corps Band, beautifully serenading all of us.
I have been spending my birthday week in America the past years and each time, the experiences I had in different states amazed me. But this one tops it all. Being able to get inside is almost impossible. Therefore, I feel so blessed for having been given the chance to get inside.
Under normal circumstances, this is how it is with visitors:
Yes, one takes a picture outside the fence.
So I will really treasure this memory for the rest of my life. 🙂 Thank you Lord for this amazing journey. And thanks to the hubby who is always so patient in accommodating my craziness. ha ha
Lea C. Walker