Tour 1: The White House
I have heard mixed reviews about visiting The White House. The negative points were, “We only saw two hallways,” and “It was really nothing cool.” However, as everyone should do, I wanted to form my own opinion and have the opportunity to say I set foot in The White House. I walked up to The White House (very excited, by the way) and went through security very quickly. FYI- You really should contact your congressional representative’s or senator’s office at least 6 months before you come to DC to make it MUCH easier to get a tour. I contacted my office about 2 months in advance, and although I got a tour set up, it was a difficult process.
Once inside The White House, I began a “self guided tour.” I liked the idea of going at my own pace, because I was able to see all the pictures, without being rushed, and I was able to appreciate my time in The White House. There are several rooms that visitors are allowed to see, but the West Wing is off limits. I know that everyone wants to see the West Wing, but that is not available on this tour. There are many original furnishings in the different rooms. One of my favorite antiques was tea urn that President Lincoln and his wife used during his Presidency. Overall, I was very pleased with the tour around The White House. It is nice to see some of the Presidential Portraits, and to look out the window at all the tourists looking through the black gate far, far away, and think, “I have been there before.” After Visiting The White House, I went across the street to The White House Visitors Center. All of the background information from how the White House architecture was selected to what the children in the White House did for fun was in this building. Compiling the history behind The White House with the history in The White House made my tour AMAZING!
Tour 2: The Pentagon
Once again, I heard mixed reviews about taking a tour of the Pentagon. The same, “You only go down one hallway” line arose, and I ignored it because I was determined to see the 9/11 memorial inside the building (one thing I knew I would get to see). I went with the Business and Information Technology (BIT) program from TWC, and we met at the front doors of the Pentagon. When our entire group arrived, our tour guide, an active member of the Honor Guard, escorted us around the building.
We received a few lessons about some of the historical paintings hanging in the building. You need to go to find out what it was, but one of the “historical facts” was that Thomas Jefferson had a haircut that screamed, “Business in the front and party in the back!” Our tour guide was very tall and very funny. He took us to the 9/11 site and gave us all the unique facts about the attack...like how out of all the offices in the largest low-story building in the world, there were only 2 offices open on the side that plane hit because that particular side was under construction. Because of this fact, the casualties were much fewer than they would have been if all the offices on that side of the building were functional. The tour was interesting and I am very glad that I went on it. I know that this was set up by TWC, but if you are interested in a tour all you need to do is call the Pentagon and set up a time. I don’t know how far in advance, but you do not need to be part of an organization to go. All of this happened during the week, and yet I was still able to get some work done!
On Saturday, my roommate Alex and I went to the zoo. It was very hot, but we were excited to see all the animals. Right now there is construction going to many of the exhibits, and the animals are in their habitats. We were a little disappointed, but we did get to see elephants, pandas, zebras, and a cheetah.
Entrance to the zoo
They are so LAZY
Just swinging along
After all the excitement this week, we took Sunday to rest and have a roommate brunch. We enjoyed nice French cuisine at La Madeleine’s, and bought some freshly baked 7-grain wheat bread for sandwiches this week. It was a perfect end to a busy week!
Even with all I did this past week I have made it my personal mission to get everything on my list done during the last 2 weeks I have here.