Taken A Tour Of The White House

"The White House is the finest prison in the world."
Harry S. Truman

This morning, J and I went on a tour of the home and office of the
President of the United States, the White House. In the past, this wasn't such a big deal, but in the post 9/11, heightened security world we live in, the procedure for getting a tour is a bit of a longer process.

Almost six months ago, I wrote the office of my Congresswoman,
House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, and requested tour access. After months of not hearing from the office, I thought we weren't going to be able to go on the tour, but while we were on the train, we found out we were granted access.

The tour was for this morning at 7:30. When we arrived, there was a lengthy line at the entrance gate.

On all the security documentation, it said cameras weren't allowed on the tours but cell phones were (but NO photography). After a couple ID checks and a security stop, we walked into the house. Inside the house, we were happy to discover that there was a sign that said we could take photos today.

Painted portraits are all around the White House, including this Woodrow Wilson one in front of the library.
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Down the major hall of the ground floor, there are photos of the current and past First Families.

A cabinet in the hallway stores a bunch of china that past presidents have received for their service.

The Vermeil Room was once a billiard room, but now it houses a collection of silver objects. Portraits of recent first ladies are also displayed here.

The China Room stores the collection of the White House state china.

From here, we went upstairs to the State Floor. The first room in the area was the East Room, where state dinners and receptions were once held.
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The Cross Hall is used for receiving lines, but it was also the hallway J and I remembered President Obama announcing the death of Osama bin Laden earlier this year. (Official White House Photo below by Chuck Kennedy)
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Thomas Jefferson used to host dinners in the Green Room, but the room has been used as a parlor since James Madison's time.
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The Blue Room is an oval room that has been used as a reception room.
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The Red Room is also used as a parlor room.

The last major room on the tour was the State Dining Room. As many as 140 can be seated by using round tables.

After hanging around the Cross Hall for a bit, we got to exit through the front door. Afterwards, we went to the front of the house and took a few pictures of the lawn and the building.

Even though there was no access to the West Wing with the Oval Office, I was extremely excited to take the tour and was glad to see all the cool decorations, especially during the holiday season. This was really fun, and I recommend it if you know you're going to be in the DC area a few months in advance. Unfortunately, my birthday buddy didn't get a chance to come down to see us (both President Obama and I were born on August 4), and I was entirely too busy to wait for him. Maybe he'll catch me next time....
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