Last week, as I was sitting in front of my computer wondering why I couldn’t get an internet connection, I started thinking about how glad I will be to get out of here; I will be glad when I can return to Illinois. As is usually the case when my thoughts go in a direction that isn’t helpful, I caught myself; what’s the point of such thinking anyway? Then I had to admit to myself that I’m probably not doing a very good job of taking advantage of the opportunities that living in the Washington, DC area offers… Later that evening, She Who Must Be Obeyed came home with tickets for the White House Garden Tour, and we spent last Sunday afternoon in the gardens of the White House.
It was one of those afternoons that the Chamber of Commerce loves, for it was a glorious day; sunny with a few puffy clouds, a breeze with a hint of Fall and beauty all around. Over the years, I have been fortunate enough to have seen the White House both inside and out, but the one thing I’ve never had the opportunity to do is to walk around the South Lawn… until now. They let everyone in at the southwest gate, and though the ever-present security was all around, it was not at all ominous, in fact it was almost friendly, with both attendants and guards welcoming you to the White House as we entered. Yep, I must give credit where credit is due, the folks at the White house did a great job with this year’s Garden Tour.
One of the first things you see is the east garden…
To the right is the East Wing where the First Lady has her offices, directly ahead is the east colonnade, first built by Thomas Jefferson in imitation of the colonnades of his home at Monticello. The White House itself is out of view to the left.
From the South Portico of the Residence(shown at the top of this post), the President has a fabulous view of the Washington Monument.
From the portico, you continue walking to the west, and pass by a nice spot where the President and First Lady can enjoy some shade on a sunny afternoon and a quiet moment together, and perhaps a nice glass of iced tea.
Continuing on, we reached the famous Rose Garden where so many Presidents, from Herbert Hoover onward have made so many announcements and speeches (particularly when their poll numbers are low).
The colonnade on the right is where the President walks each day from the Residence to the Oval Office outside, and in which the Press Room is located; the West Wing is to the left. The red building in the background is actually across Pennsylvania Avenue.
Now, with an unobstructed view, we can see the Oval Office, those long windows you see straight ahead are the ones behind the President’s desk. I doubt that guy would appreciate it if we went up to have a peek inside!
A little further along to the southwest is the famous putting green. If I remember correctly, President Ford put it in. I know President Eisenhower practiced his putting in the Rose Garden…
I once heard a story about President Eisenhower’s putting practice, and it was a lesson is restraint. It seems that he had a few golf balls around the garden when suddenly a squirrel scampered along and grabbed on his balls and raced up a tree. In frustration the President was heard to say that he wanted every one of those stupid squirrels out of his garden. A week or so later, he was back out there with his clubs when he noticed traps all over the placed and asked a Secret Service man who had authorized them. The man replied that he had given the order himself!
The President had them removed…
Well, that’s about it for this post. I only wish that I had brough a real camera along Sunday; cameras in phones just aren’t quite up to snuff, but I hope you enjoyed this little trip anyway. I have lots more pictures that I’ll be posting on my Photo Vistas blog in the next few days, so if you are interested, you might have a look.