White House Christmas Tour
The Capitol is right next to the Botanic Gardens
(I didn't know that cacao pods grow on the trunks rather than the branches.)
9 Dec 2011
Today we went with a small group of people from our community to see the White House — plus, a couple of other sites in D.C. The weather was beautiful. Nippy in the morning, but warming to a very pleasant day later on.
I hadn't been in the White House since I was 17 years old, and it was interesting that the rooms seemed smaller than I remembered. :-) Of course, my experience with houses was very limited the first time I was there, so I'm sure everything seemed enormous compared to what I knew then.
The security is significantly different as well, and, there aren't as many rooms open for viewing. (I remember getting to see the kitchen pantry and, at 17, was awed by how big it was! At that point in my life, I'd never seen anything like it.)
Of course, every room we saw today was beautiful!! Lots of the decorations were made from paper or felt, and most of the trees were decorated in just one color - usually gold or silver, with clear, crystal-like ornaments as well. Most of the rooms also had some representation of the family dog, Bo, among the decorations. Mostly, those were made from paper, but the one I liked best was made with buttons.
We enjoyed hearing a high school chorus from Orlando, FL singing Christmas Carols near the back foyer. (I guess they have several different groups perform each day.)
When we finished our tour of the White House, we went to Union Station and ate at the food court and did a tiny bit of shopping. We also got to see an electric train exhibit that was temporarily on display.
After that we had a wonderful time at the U.S. Botanic Gardens. The holiday displays were gorgeous! And, they also had trains. Lots of Thomas the engine as well as some adorable little "bug" trains. There was a delightfully playful exhibit of fantasy houses (made for fairies or for various animals) — all made from natural materials. They also had larger displays of famous D.C. landmarks, made-to-scale, from natural materials. They were amazing! We didn't have a lot of time there, but enjoyed every minute of it.