Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Post-Birthday Bash

(I apologize in advance for the amount of photos of me in this post.)

The birthday is over. The Beach house is now quiet. Thank you all for your great participation! It was a really fun party for me to host! Y'all are great guests!

So I bailed earlier than I expected Friday evening, but with good reason. My husband threw me a huge surprise party. Though I expected to take a brief blog break for dinner with my parents, it turned into a weekend-long celebration.

For the last year he has been plotting this party, which, until I was thrust in the middle of, I had not even the least inkling of. I went, unsuspecting, to dinner at my parents' house. I walked in to find a room full of some of my most favorite people in the world: people who live all over the United States, some of whom I haven't seen in years.

That's right. He gathered my best friends from the past 30 years in one room for my 40th birthday.

So Friday was dinner and catching up with friends. Until 4 in the morning. Saturday we were up early for brunch, and then into DC for a late lunch on the Potomac. The day was incredible. 78 degrees, sunny, a warm breeze. It was the absolute perfect day for sitting out eating crab and watching sailboats and windsurfers and airplanes landing at National Airport. Here's the hubs and me:

After that, we headed downtown for a private tour of the West Wing of the White House. Does it get much better than that?? I can never get used to the connections he has. He will always be that army tanker I fell in love with 17 years ago.

We started at the Old Executive Office Building: a gorgeous old building where most of the staff of the White House works, along with key personnel, as well as the place many of the president's meetings take place. (The White House, and in particular the West Wing, is actually pretty small, with only two small meeting rooms).

Here is my husband and I on the balcony where a very famous photo of President Roosevelt was taken. I have a photo of the photo, but I thought I'd spare you that!

That balcony is right outside of this room:

If I have the history right, this room used to be the Vice President's Office until just recent years. During the Johnson and Nixon years, it was also used by the President instead of the Oval Office for daily use, the feeling that the Oval Office was too ceremonial and formal. It's now used as a meeting room.

The architecture is incredible. I have lots of photos of incredible hallways and intricate hinges and ornate moldings, but this is my favorite: a grand four story circular staircase that ended at the top in a fantastic dome.

You take these stairs out the OEOB:

and across the alley to the back entrance of the West Wing:

I am sad to say my photo tour ends here, as cameras aren't allowed in the West Wing. But we got to see the Situation Room, which was beyond cool, and the kitchen, as well as the two meeting rooms which I recognized from every movie every made that involves the President.

We saw the Rose Garden and, of course, the Oval Office. Amazing, really, is all I can say. The hubs told me to drop my earring so he could hunt around the Resolute Desk for the hidden panel, but we didn't get that close to the famous desk. :) We did see the photos of the Obamas on the credenza, though.

Oh, and the Obamas. All four of them. Walking the dog in the Rose Garden.

As soon as allowed, the cameras came back out. Here we are at the other entrance:

We were allowed to have cameras in the press room, though. That figures, eh?

And here is my favorite man, looking ever the part of the president:

From beach house to White House. What a way to bring in a new decade of my life.


  1. That was so fun. What a great 40th birthday. Your President hubs really could fit the part. And I loved the bit about the earing and the resolute desk. Happy birthday. (Oh, crab on the Potomac? Yummy.)

  2. How absolutely amazing! A surprise party and a White House tour, what more can a girl want?

    I've got me BA in History, so I'm totally jealous of the White House trip. I once found myself alone in DC, and spent two days wandering around the city, just soaking in the history and magnificence of it all.

  3. not just gold star, but handsome too!

    And funny- I snickered at the part about looking for the earring.

    Such beautiful buildings... so different from the ones in our parliament. Just different. Someday I really would like to do the DC tour.

    Thanks for the pix of your incredible DC birthday weekend!!

  4. Holy crap, what a great time you had.

    That is amazing for your husband to throw that party for you. I don't know that I could pull that off.

    Awesome photos from the White House. Did you tell Obama I said hello? We're best friends, you know. :)

  5. Jessie - not just crab. crab dip, crab soup, crabcakes..... they had hamburgers and steak and such but really?? I'll take some of every crab thing on the menu, please!!

    MeganRebekah - you'll have to come back. I grew up here so it's my favorite place! I'll show you around sometime!

  6. Heidi - he has a little less hair on a guy than you like, eh? :) Those Army years aren't very good for growing the locks!

    Paul - I actually didn't close enough to talk to the Obamas, sadly. They don't let you get anywhere near them. We were lucky to even see them, I was told. Security, as you'd imagine, was tight tight tight.

    I kept ribbing my husband about it though. Exactly how good are his connections if he can't even get my a Happy Birthday from the pres?? :)

  7. What a fabulous husband, sounds like you had a great great time.