Two weeks ago my son’s and I had an opportunity to tour the East Wing of The White House along with my best friend and her family who were visiting from Rancho Cucamonga, CA. The mini men and I took the Amtrak Regional Rail from the Wilmington station at 7:04 am and arrived at Union Station in DC an hour and a half later.
It was another warm July morning so it was a pleasure, albeit a bit costly to catch a cab from Union Station to the White House instead of walking the 1.6 miles. I was thankful to my best friend’s son who had invited us to take the tour with them, however, we didn’t get the memo of the prohibited items so my sons and I ended up walking at least 5 miles trying to find a locker to store my purse and camera.
Unfortunately, I never found one and thought I would have to miss the tour, but fortunately, Noah’s office was close enough that he could store it there until we completed the tour.
Prohibited items include, but are not limited to, the following:
Handbags, book bags, backpacks or purses
Food or beverages, tobacco products, personal grooming items (i.e. makeup, lotion, etc.)
Any pointed objects
Guns, ammunition, fireworks, electric stun guns, mace, martial arts weapons/devices, or knives of any size
Obviously, there were several security checkpoints to clear before we were actually inside The White House, but once inside we were able to take our time on this self-guided tour. Thanks to the change in the “no photo” policy we were also able to take a lot of pictures and if you follow me on Instagram you probably saw a few of these.
The tour began at the Visitor’s Entrance where you are welcomed by a recorded greeting from the President and First Lady Obama, and the self-guided tour gives you plenty of time to check out the various rooms and portraits. We were also fortunate in that we were treated to a musical performance by the Drama Kings and Queens, a Los Angeles Speech and Language Therapy Center, Inc.
Through the windows you can see carefully landscaped gardens and grounds and floral arrangements brighten some of the rooms. The carpets are rolled back and the rooms are roped off, however, you can get a good view of the Library, Vermeil Room (gilded silver), China Room, The Diplomatic Reception Room, The East Room, The Green Room, The Blue Room, The Red Room which was my favorite and The State Dining Room.
I was really fascinated by the Red Carpet, it’s the one that President Obama walks on during his major announcements. The President and First Lady were in Philadelphia for the DNC Convention so we didn’t get an opportunity to see them in person.
However, we did see a lot of pictures and the China Sets from each of the various administrations. We stayed on the main floor as the second and third floors are used exclusively by the Presidential family and guests.
It was a once in a lifetime event and I was glad to be able to share it with not only my best friend since 4th grade but also with my sons.
After the tour we had a quick lunch together and then said our goodbyes at the Metro Station. They headed to the airport and the mini men and I took the Metro to the National Air and Space Museum where we hung out to stay cool until it was time to head back to Union Station and catch the train back home.
Have you ever taken a tour of The White House? If not, and you want more information on how to request one, click on this link