The evening before, we stopped at Crystal City underground mall for some dinner, and so the girls could experience the mall. Of course, they would have liked to stay at the mall forever, but we did go back to the townhouse fairly early because the next morning, we needed to be at the Bureau of Engraving and Printing very early for our scheduled tour.
We packed very, very lightly for the day. We put our passports, cards, and money in our pockets because we had been warned that security was going to be the tightest we had seen when we went to the White House later that day.
We had a great time looking at the money presses and hearing about how money was printed and distributed. I do want to point out that the picture is from the visitors center, not from the actual process of money making. There’s nothing like a speech stating that, “If you even so much as take your phone out of your pocket you will be arrested and your phone will be confiscated!” They did not want photos taken, and trust me, none were!
After leaving that tour, we walked some distance to the White House. Although we had driven past it several times, and even walked past it once, it is hard to see since it is tucked back amongst some trees. We were eager to get inside and look around, and felt blessed to have received tickets, as they are very hard to get.
The walk was lovely, and the cherry blossoms were such a gorgeous sight.
Michaela was extremely interested in Abraham Lincoln during this entire trip, and was delighted to find a statue of him at the White House. Alissa, on the other hand, was starting to feel sick to her stomach.
Although we had been warned numerous times about the fact that there are no available bathrooms, no drinks, no eating or drinking, etc., etc., etc., she felt badly enough that her mom finally asked an attendant if there was any restroom nearby that they could go to and come back. Boy, oh boy, those secret service men and women sprang into action. Before we knew it, my aunt, Ja’Ana and I had been sent on to look at the green room, red room, blue room and dining room, while Alissa, her mom, and Michaela (who plaintively said she wanted to stay with mama), were all whisked away to a hidden bathroom. After some time, Alissa felt well enough to continue, and they were escorted to where we were hanging around upstairs. Later on, the secret service woman tracked the girls down, and gave Alissa and Michaela little metal badges and told Alissa she was sorry she had such a hard time during her visit. I though that was so nice of them.
In the meanwhile, we saw the upstairs several times, and even got to listen in on a man who was obviously giving a tour to a bunch of schoolchildren, and learned a lot about the dining room.
You may notice that the rugs are rolled up for all of us tourists. When they want to use these rooms, they take away the barriers, roll out the rugs, and have their party/event. It was made clear to us that if an occasion arose, all tours could be cancelled with no notice. I’m glad it didn’t happen to us. We loved our self-guided tour.
Of course, I had to admire their piano. I wondered if it sounded good, but didn’t play it. Obviously. But, it was lovely.
After our tours, we went back to the townhouse so everyone could rest. Along with Alissa not feeling well, Ja’Ana had been fighting with a low-grade fever, headache, and stuffy nose all week. (It turned out that she had a sinus infection the whole time! Poor kid) So, we rested for the remaining part of the afternoon and evening, in preparation for our tours and outings the following morning.