Today was the earliest start in a while because we had to be at the White House by 9.30. The security was pretty tough – Cindy had a small bag with her and they wouldn’t let her in! Luckily she had been before but it was still a shame. We had our passports checked twice and weren’t allowed to take anything except some money and a phone, which had to be turned off. The tour itself was self guided and we got to walk through the whole of the downstairs which houses a lot of history. We saw where press conferences take place, where the president entertainments his guests, and lots of photos and portraits of presidents and their first ladies. It was weird seeing people like Bush and Clinton painted given we normally only see photos.
After we returned home for a bit of a break and then went for lunch with Cindy. The restaurant was a chain called Hamburger Hamlets which did a really good hamburger – highly recommended!
Later we headed back down to the Smithsonian area to visit the American History museum. This was exactly as it sounds and we saw some interesting pieces. These included Lincoln’s originally top hat, a 5,000 and 100,000 dollar bill and Judy Garland’s actual ruby shoes from The Wizard Of Oz.
In the evening we went to the JFK centre (spelt center here!) for the performing arts. This is a huge new building near the Potomac river. We started by seeing a free show at 6pm on the Millennium stage. Every night 365 days a year there is a free show on the stage to promote the performing arts. Tonight it was an Eastern European piano player who was clearly very talented but we only stayed for about half of the set. After a disappointing cold cafe dinner (the main restaurant was closed), we headed to our show called Shear Madness. It was a comedy whodunit where the outcome is decided by the audience. Very clever and very funny – highly recommended!
Photo of the day: We’ve photographed most of the sights now so not much today. This 100,000 bill was one of the highlights though!