This is just a public service update to everyone watching
the infomercials the debates. I saw the dude on the right just a few days ago live, in person, no joke.
It all started with a trip to the White House gardens, where we were so close to the actual White House that the smell of Secret Service sweat permeated the air. (Or it was the presidential linden trees, no idea what those are supposed to smell like.)
Here are some facts we learned on our tour of the White House gardens:
1. The White House Grounds are the oldest continually maintained landscape in the United States.
2. The first resident of the White House was John Adams, and he lived there from 1800 to 1801, when he was voted out of office and replaced by Thomas Jefferson. He requested that a garden be planted on the grounds, and it was done!, but not before he left office.
3. Although located in the heart of the city, standing in the gardens one feels removed from the fast-paced life of the nation’s capital.
Facts, one and all.
The gardens are totally beautiful, and there were really nice posters of different presidents planting their trees. Did you know that (almost) every president (since 1870ish) plants a tree of his own? Unless he’s George H.W. Bush, in which case he plants three a year for the entire 14 years of his presidency. Seriously, if the White House-organized posters are to be believed, that man loved planting trees.
Here’s the thing about visiting a place that has become legendary through its treatment in popular culture and the distance you had to stand away from it to take the photo that proved you were a tourist in D.C. It’s not as big as you imagine. For example, I thought the Rose Garden would be like the Disney version of Beauty and the Beast, complete with the Beast lurking in the shadows. And it’s great… it’s just not as big as I thought it would be. No Belle, no Beast.
The vegetable garden was also smaller than expected but impressive. There were squash varieties I haven’t even seen as challenge ingredients on Food Network shows. That’s when you know it’s exotic.
Anyway, back to POTUS, who we saw, in the flesh, real-life, this is not a joke.
This is Simon, standing outside the Oval Office, convinced that he has caught a glimpse of Obama. I will admit, I thought he had to be mistaken. No way is Obama in there, says I, fool that I am.
Let us also take this moment to remember that Simon spotted Queen Silvia on the balcony of the Swedish Embassy, so… I should probably stop doubting him. He was so insistent, though, that I took a photo of the people inside the office.
And as you can see, there was a fairly distinctive ear silhouette. And then this happened…
And then this happened…
The crowd screamed as he walked by. SCREAMED. Just like you would imagine teenyboppers shrieking and losing it at a Beatles concert. We were all hovering, snapping photos, held in place by the imaginary barrier represented by the transition from walkway to lawn (and by the armed Secret Service agents lurking nearby).
So that was our encounter with my close friend and old buddy, good old POTUS Mo’bama.