My Debut as First Lady

As promised from my last entry, this week I will talk about my trip to our nation’s capital! If you are new to my blog or need a refresher, this past summer my boyfriend and I took a week and a half road trip on the east coast. First, we drove to Philadelphia and then New York. And for our third and final stop, we went to the beautiful Washington D.C.! 
 
The first thing we did was check into the Omni Shoreham Hotel, which from the outside seems like paradise… 
Ok, yes. It is still paradise on the inside, too. The only downside was the price of the parking. After coming from Philly and New York, in which we had contributed more than enough money to each state just for parking…this was the final straw. So, we scooted our Kia right out of there, leaving the valet dazed and confused. You’d be surprised how creative you can get, moving your car to all kinds of places at 7 a.m. So, for all you travelers pinching a penny (or just to test your will), street parking can be done. 
 
The first area we headed to was by that big house painted white (which takes 570 gallons of paint to cover)! 
 What's worse than the duck face? Photo bombers.
This was about as close as we could get to it. But I guess for your average plebeian with an iPhone, this is pretty stellar.
Something I must share with you that I shared with Jared — In Kate Andersen Brower’s book The Residence: Inside the Private World of the White House, she revealed that Inauguration Day is, as you can imagine, very hectic. As a family goes out and a new one comes in, so does the furniture. At 11 o’clock in the morning, the two first families leave the White House for the Capital, forcing America to divert its eyes from the chaotic moving process. The staff has until 5 o’clock in the evening to make the switch. They do everything they can for the incoming family, redecorating each piece of furniture to their liking and unpacking all of their belongings. The Obama’s actually shipped their furniture to the White House, per the Bushes request to make the transition easier, but the staff still hid it from the existing family. Chief Usher Stephen Rochon said they didn’t want the Bushes to feel like they were trying to move them out. 
 
A fun fact I found interesting: no outside help is allowed, meaning that all residence workers act as professional movers(!!!). Talk about dedication. 
 
As we were cheesing in front of the White House, the Obamas could hear our stomachs growling. So, we did a little yelping and chose Copycat Co, an authentic Chinese street food restaurant.   
We ordered chicken and beef skewers, chicken and mushroom potstickers, and beef and veggie boas. Nom.
On the second day, we walked 11 miles (or what seemed like it, my feet told me) around the National Mall. We started at the Lincoln Memorial and made our way to the U.S. Capitol.
 
Did I mention it felt like I was in a boiling pot of water? The whole summer, I managed to avoid a flip flop tan line. All it took was one August day in Washington D.C. I kid you not, I still have that tan line — it’s now February.
Good ol' Abraham Lincoln, the 16th President of the United States. 
He has a great view of the Washington Monument. Thanks for sharing, Abe!
 It's even more impressive up close. Totally worth the 0.9 mile walk despite how much I complained (word to the wise, wear sneakers)
The Thomas Jefferson Memorial! He is much taller in real life. 
What's worse than photo bombers? Tourists taking selfies with everything in sight, heh.
In between our journey, we stopped at the National Museum of American History, the National Museum of Natural History and the National Air and Space Museum (free admission all around — applies to all Smithsonian Museums in Washington, including the zoo). 
 
The National Museum of American History 
We probably spent the longest time in this museum. There are three floors filled with the heritage of the United States in the areas of social, political, cultural, scientific, and military history. 
The First Ladies over the years! Who doesn't belong here? Hmmm. Correct answer: Barack Obama 😉
George Washington Statue: This statue has caused a lot of controversy, as many have found a half-naked Washington offensive. Some even joked that Washington was desperately reaching up for his clothes. Because of this disapproval, this statue has been moved several times.
Vietnam War Exhibit
 Peep the $10,000 bill....chump change. 
My all time favorite from the National Museum of American History. Bart: "Lisa, I like that mustache even better than the one you usually have." Lisa: "Listen, bonehead, experts say calcium helps prevent osteoporosis. So have a cow, man." got milk?
The National Museum of Natural History
This museum is the third most visited museum in the world, containing over 126 million specimens of plants, animals, fossils, minerals, rocks, meteorites, human remains and human cultural artifacts. We learned about all kinds of creatures here! 
This 14-feet tall African Elephant is 12 tons! 
The famous Hope Diamond!
The National Air and Space Museum 
NSAM holds the largest collection of historic aircrafts and spacecrafts in the world. Everywhere you turned, there was a great machine dangling from the ceiling. 
 The first thing we saw entering the museum. 
 
 One of those dangling machines.

After walking throughout the museums, it’s safe to say we were ready to drop. But we did finally end up making it to the U.S. Capitol! 

Totally worth it to see this brace face.
Alas, every good trip must come to an end. The U.S. Capitol was our last stop before heading back to North Carolina. Thanks for the mems, D.C.!
  
If we had more time/more money used on parking, I would have liked to visit:
The Newsuem – an interactive museum that promotes free expression and the five freedoms of the First Amendment to the United States Constitution, while tracing the evolution of print and electronic communication from earliest days of the United States to the technologies of the present and the future ($24.95/adult)
 
For 48 hours, I felt like we did and saw a lot. I will definitely be back to our nation’s capital soon! 
As we were leaving D.C., we saw this random mural on a side of a building. We couldn't resist snapping a pic. Kudos to the artist! 

Thus concludes our summer road trip! Thanks for reading!

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