bout a billion years ago I became interested in politics. Then about four years ago we moved just about as close as we could stomach to the Nation's Capital. Not bad if you ask me. But I've never actually been to the White House. Never. Not once. Guess I'm not as much of a wonk as I thought.
The White House Easter Egg Roll never really crossed my radar because we would have had to wait in line a la FSU Football tickets when we were students, and that's just not something I was interested in doing. Some friends did wait in line in years past, but it wasn't for me. Last year I even blogged thanking the President for the opportunity to get tickets - one which we really didn't have up until then. I think that someone must have read that note - this year we got tickets. But instead of jumping up and down with joy and telling the kids, I thought I'd torture them a bit. Well, it turned out that it was more torture for me than it was for them (who knew that keeping this secret would be so hard???!!!). But they figured out that we were doing something special on April 5, that it was after school, we were taking the Metro into town, and then it took them 20 Questions plus a bunch of folks walking past with bags clearly labelled White House Easter Egg Roll before they figured it out. That's when I started to get excited. First, we had snacks on the lawn:
Then we waited in line, in almost 90 degree weather. It felt like it was forever, and it felt like the worst heat ever. Our blood has really thickened some since we moved here and we were sweating.
But the line eventually started moving, we were scanned, greeted, banded, given cold drinks, and shuffled back into a second line. And when that line started moving I found myself on the grounds of the White House's South lawn - a truly magical place. There were bunnies, people with water, eggs, more people with water, some Sesame Street folks on stage, even more people with water, and of course, people. Loads of people squeezed into what was seemingly a tight space, then spread out and while we waited in a short line here or there, they were all short. We were busy dying eggs, hunting for eggs, playing soccer, and planting seeds that we missed DJ Lance from Yo Gabba Gabba. Lucy still caught a glimpse and I was happy - he's one of her favorites.
We did also get to hear (and see) Justin Beiber, but no one in my family cared. The boys eventually ran off to play football and Lucy and I wandered through the forest of costumes characters. Duck from Word World, Dora the Explorer, Clifford the Big Red Dog, June from Little Einsteins, and then this big dog. Now, Lucy saw Dora and June, recognized them both, but tried to LEAP out of her stroller to hug the big dog. It turned out that it was Spot. (Guess he's almost as old as I am now!). Then we moved on to the actual Egg Roll.
Problem was, it was close to closing time, the volunteers were tired, and they were trying to get everyone through before they closed. One volunteer snapped at us for taking pictures and holding up the line (for a split second - how often do you get THAT close to the White House anyway?).
A second volunteer left Ian standing by himself while his brothers rolled their eggs. He didn't seem to mind but my perfect photo op was gone. And then there's the whole issue of the Egg Roll. I guess after seeing it on TV and fantasizing about what it would be, well, it wasn't quite what I imagined. Those little girls in their little Easter dresses must be SOOO much smaller and more delicate than my boys. Ian launched his egg prematurely and had to run after it once they got going. Max nearly nailed a volunteer in the eye with his egg, and Sam, well, Sam had fun too.
But for me, the best part of the day was when we were walking out, four hours after we started our grand adventure that led us literally to the back door of the White House, and Max asked "Mom, can we come back next year?"
Enjoy the rest of the pics:
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