28 October 2010

Autumn White House Garden Tour

The White House grounds are only open to the public two weekends a year, in the spring and in the fall. Fortunately for us, this autumn they were open on a day that we didn't have other plans, and it was a gorgeous day. Behind us is the lawn where the annual White House Easter egg roll is held.
Not very often you can get such close-up views of the front of the White House.
Below is a picture of the Rose Garden; I guess it was the wrong time of year for roses!

Below is the view you'd see out the front windows of the White House. Pretty sweet view, isn't it? That's the Jefferson Memorial on the right.There's a Children's Garden that has handprints of the children and grandchildren of the presidents. I'd just finished reading Laura Bush's biography Spoken from the Heart, and she wrote many memories of living in the White House--so that's who I thought of as we toured the grounds.
There were about 25 markers like the one below, most with pictures, showing which President or his wife had planted the trees on the grounds.

The picture below is of the Jacqueline Kennedy garden; not sure why she, of all the first ladies throughout history, gets a garden named after her. The gardens themselves weren't as spectacular as I thought they'd be, but the history that has taken place on the grounds was what made it so awesome to be there.
We spent less than an hour in the gardens, then toured the World War II Memorial with a guide.
After that we went to the National Archives to view the 1935 Nazi papers signed by Adolf Hitler, declaring that Jews weren't citizens and the list of things they weren't allowed to do. These papers were recently donated to the National Archives (Patton had brought them back to the states) and were only on display for ten days. All in all it was a very interesting day in DC.

18 October 2010

It's Grandparent Time!!

Lissa and Kiera came to visit us while Jason was away on a business trip to Singapore. We had so much fun with them, and wish they could have stayed longer. Here's Kiera using the new potty chair we bought for her.
Here's Kiera discovering Grandma's decorations on the porch.

I took Lissa and Kiera to Mount Vernon, since it's close and one of my favorite places. Here's Kiera shaking hands with George Washington.

It was a lovely autumn day, as you can see.
Grandpa and Grandma took Kiera to the grocery store, where she helped us pick out some peaches.
We went to a local pumpkin patch, where she rode a pony and spent lots of time playing in the sandbox filled with dried corn.

Of course Kiera was willing to help Grandpa with the chores in the yard, and Grandma and Grandpa took her on some walks. We took Kiera on a nice long walk on Sunday morning so that the house was quiet and her mommy could sleep in.

Their time was too short here, but we certainly enjoyed their visit!