Thursday, December 09, 2010

A Failed Whitehouse Bid

Now I know how Hillary Clinton must feel. If only we wanted it more.

OK, maybe not.

Last night, a friend of ours invited us to join her on a White House Holiday tour. Apparently, it's like the regular White House tour (which I've never been on), only with festive decorations you're encouraged to snap photos of. Sounded like fun to me.

After standing inline for an hour or so, in what felt like sub-arctic temperatures, we were informed that the list of people for the timeslot we were in got hosed. They weren't able to verify our names and birthdates and such. Bottom line, our tour group wasn't going to happen.

So, the closest I got to the White House was the treasury building. Which was dressed up nicely for the holiday season:

I also grabbed this snapshot of the monument, which I can only assume, testifies to the long American tradition of standing around in DC freezing your butt off while waiting to get through a security checkpoint:

The nightly was hardly a bust. Besides getting to spend some quality time with our friend Lauren, we also go to experience that special joy of going from being an absolute popsicle to warming up at a Cosi with with hot chocolate and tomato soup. You've got to reach a certain level of cold before the experience really has any meaning - and I do believe we were there.

We also had a chance to tackle one of those great traveling mysteries: how would you go anywhere with a 15 month old, without bringing a bag full of stuff? Sure, traveling the world without luggage is easy, but try that with a baby.

The problem was, the White House has extremely strict rules about what you can and can't bring on the tour. Strollers, bags, purses, food, drink are all forbidden. Heck even pens aren't allowed. They also make it clear that there's nowhere to store any stuff you bring along, so bringing a diaper bag and leaving it in a locker wasn't going to work either.

Here's what we ended up bringing along - which managed to work well:

  • A single diaper in a zip lock bag
  • A Ziplock bag full of graham crackers, with the expectation they would be thrown out to get through security
  • An 8oz bottle of soy milk, again, with the expectation that we'd be asked to dump it before the tour
  • The famous Moby Wrap - a stroller was out, and our little guy isn't so little any more. While he's a little big for the Moby Wrap, it did the job really well: I was able to more or less wear it under my coat when it wasn't in use, and when we did need it for the metro ride home, it was there

It was just the absolute basics - something I wouldn't normally want to depend on. But, it's good to know, that if you needed to go baggless, it would be possible.

Luckily, we don't have to wait 4 years before we try again - hopefully we'll have better luck next year.

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