Wednesday 10.22.14 The DC trip Part 3
It was now Friday, October 17. We were ready to see the White House, for real this time. Once again, I left my camera in the apartment as they are not allowed. We cabbed back over to the white house, got in line and waited. The line was long today. Eventually, one of the Secret Service people came down the line and stopped at us. She notified my daughter that her purse would not be allowed in. My daughter suggested that the purse was not very important and she could just toss it in the trash… I guess the contents would fit in her pocket. The Secret Service woman told her that if she did that, that would shut the whole block down and no one would get into the White House that day. We could take it down to the Museum of American History, a couple blocks away, and put things into a locker. After, we could get back in line.
We did all of that and were back in line. Another Secret Service man learned we were with the 10:30 group and moved us ahead. We were almost there… almost. When we arrived at the next checkpoint, Max and Lindsey made it though just fine but there was some mismatch of information regarding my date of birth. I would have to go to a special area and wait. A trench-coated lady with shiny cop glasses came over and took my ID. It would be a few minutes. Then a few more minutes. Other “detainees” came into and left the special area. I waited. She returned my ID and said it would be just a minute. Finally, I was allowed to continue but I would have to tell the next checkpoint guy that I was on the re-screened list now. I did that and went to the next area where there are people every few feet using a “halt/come forward” hand motion to process you along. The last hurdle was going through a small hallway where you walk past a dog who is obscured on the other side of a wall. Of course, when I walked past the dog, he got excited about something and I was asked to step back. I think the dog just knew I was a cool dude. I was allowed to pass. I liked the Red Room.
On the way out, a crowd was gathering and the traffic was stopped. Several squad cars were moving into the area. We waited with the crowd and watched the Presidential motorcade drive onto the White House grounds. I saw the back of a woman’s head in one of the limos… not sure who it was.
We went back to the American History museum to look around and collect our things. We saw a variety of things including Dorothy’s Ruby Slippers, Archie and Edith’s chairs and a circa 2004 IPod. I think I have lint in my pockets older that some of those things. Then on to lunch. The e-device told us there were 14 locations close by. “Close by” actually means several blocks away – uphill.
This time it was the Capitol City Brewing Company and once again we had a great meal… as well as a glass of “Prohibition Porter.” We continued on though China Town and then decided to go back to the apartment, grab my camera and come back for a bus tour. Eventually, we would make it over to the Lincoln Memorial… a stop that Max did not want to miss.
We hopped on the bus at Union Station and were informed that this was the last “day” trip. If we got off anywhere, there would be another bus in 20 minutes and that would be all. We were good with that.
Our first stop was the Capitol. The dome appears to be under some kind of renovation at the time.
I suggested that Max go in and pick up a couple of bags of freshly made cash…
We Looked at the Washington Monument and the Jefferson Memorial…
We noticed that Marine One was heading somewhere…
And then made our way to the Lincoln Memorial, where we got off the Big Bus. We would have a quick 20 minutes to check things out and make it back to the last Big Bus of the day…
We managed to pack the Lincoln Memorial into our 20 minute window and then waited for the Big Bus to come pick us up to continue. The Big Bus never showed up. After waiting for some time we called a cab and headed back through Friday evening gridlock to our apartment. I had noticed a “more than normal” amount of sirens and emergency vehicles on the road. Later that evening I would find out that there had been an Ebola scare at the Pentagon.
So far, minus a couple of glitchy little things with the White House, the DC visit was going very well. The weather had turned nice and we still had a little time on Saturday to explore before we had to head home.