Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Another Washington Arrival

Today is a historic day for America. I don't know about you, but I have been glued to the TV for every moment. Whether it's the White House luncheon with the five past, present and future presdients, or the "We Are One" concert on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial. And I certainly plan on watching Obama place his hand on Abraham Lincoln's bible and take the oath of office on the steps of the U.S. Capitol.

My first day at the White House. (11/03/1998)
My first day at the White House. (11/03/1998)

In fact, seeing all these events at these historic places makes me think of another notable arrival in the nation's Capital. This one goes back a few years, and although it lacked the pomp and circumstance of the ceremonies welcoming President Barack Obama, it was nonetheless a very memorable event for me.

It was 1998 and Tim and I were visiting our friend Steve who lives in Arlington, Virginia, just outside of Washington DC. It would have been a perfect trip were it not for one thing: Tim and I each caught a terrible case of the flu.

The White House the day I almost threw up inside. (11/03/1998)
The White House the day I almost threw up inside. (11/03/1998)

The flu dampened our trip, but we made the best of it. We still managed to make it to the National Archives, The Lincoln Memorial, the Jefferson Monument, Arlington National Cemetery, the Vietnam Memorial, the National Cathedral, the U.S. Capitol and three Smithsonian museums (including the Natural History museum where Tim passed out from exhaustion). But the most memorable moment, for me anyway, was the Guided Tour of the White House.

The golden ticket to the White House.
The golden ticket to the White House.

It was on November 3 — Election Day, no less. Tim was far too sick to go, so he stayed in bed that day. I was also too sick to go, but I wasn't about to pass up the rare chance to tour the White House. I had requested the tickets through my Congressman months before (thanks Hank), and I knew there was no way I'd have a second chance anytime soon. So come hell or highwater, I was determined to go.

Tim in front of the U.S. Capitol. (11/1998)
Tim in front of the U.S. Capitol. (11/1998)

Despite my ass dragging, Steve and I made it in time for the tour. Unfortunately, I was so sick, I couldn't enjoy it as much as I would have otherwise. I remember feeling so hot and stuffy, that I could barely stand any longer. I so wanted to sit down for a moment, but we weren't allowed to sit on any of the furniture.

The Lincoln Memorial as we first saw it. (11/1998)
The Lincoln Memorial as we first saw it. (11/1998)

I was so miserable, that during one point of the tour, in the Red Room, Blue Room or Green Room (I don't remember the color), I nearly threw up. Seriously. I think it was the closest I ever came to throwing up without actually having done so. It took everything I had to keep it down.

I made it through without incident, but now that I look back, maybe it would have been a better story if I did throw up in the White House. How many people hold that claim to fame! I think even President Clinton, who was in residence that day, might have heard about the tourist who tossed his cookies all over the White House floor.

Steve in front of the White House North Portico. (11/03/1998)
Steve in front of the White House North Portico. (11/03/1998)

Let's just hope the newest arrivals to the White House have a better experience than I did their first day in the White House. Gobama!

4 comments:

Loren said...

If you threw up in the Green Room, then, perhaps nobody would have noticed. ;)

Sounds like a fabulous trip...and, yay for you for getting a pass from the Waxman. LOVE HIM!

I wish I had the opportunity to go to the White House. Last time I was there, they weren't allowing tours there. I did get a nice tour, though, of the Capitol. But, I'd have been like you -- I'd have braved the flu to see the White House.

ScottInTheOC said...

I miss Washington DC so much! I lived there for many years. I was in DC when President Clinton was elected and attended the GLBT Inaugural Ball..I wish I was in DC today...

And guys...why am I just learning of your blog??? :)

beastandbean said...

OMG...awesome pic of the Lincoln Memorial. So glad they didn't let you sit down in any of the furniture...can you imagine breaking a chair and throwing up? Yikes...what a scandal that would have been! :)

But I'm with you on the flu front, I would have totally gone too...I don't care how hot and feverish you feel, how can you miss out on the freaking White House?

TIM said...

I was sooooo freaking sick that trip. We almost didn't even go because I felt so poorly before even leaving California. I think Steve ended up taking me to the Emergency Room that night too. Yeah, you're right, I should have gone to the White House...