My sister Becky has entered the White House Easter Egg Roll lottery for the past seven years in hopes of taking my nephew Nate with no luck. I entered this year to give them another chance....and won. #firsttimesacharm
So yesterday we drove into DC, had a brief moment of nail biting driving to find a parking garage, and landed in line at the recommended 45 minutes prior to our scheduled session. If you have seen any of the cynical posts about the Egg Roll, you'll read that the event isn't even worth it due to the endless lines and short time on the White House lawn.
But this is the WHITE HOUSE EASTER EGG ROLL. A free pass to hang out with 35,000 other kids and parents on the south lawn with the Washington Monument in one backdrop and the White House in another. A presidential tradition in its 138th year. Of course there are lines. But we decided our adventure was in the experience itself and left our expectations wide open for the day. And we found everyone around us to also be excited and we instantly made friends with a family from California who flew in the day before and were doing the typical DC touristy things.
The best advice we heard: Don't try to do everything. Pick a couple of activities (of which there are many, many options from the egg rolling, characters to take pictures with, cooking demos, sports, crafts, music, etc.) and then add as time allows. We took the advice of another blogger and saved the Egg Roll till the end as the line tends to start out really long and shortens as the session goes on.
We boiled our expectations down to simply: Take a picture with the storm troopers and Darth Vader... because priorities.
After that we listened to Robin Roberts read "If You Give a Mouse a Cookie", made a glider craft, listened to music, and lastly rolled an egg. Then we were shuffled out through a gauntlet of free, healthy samples... (We secretly hoped the hard boiled eggs on sticks were actually cake pops :o) before Nate received a commemorative egg and we landed back out on the street with several thousand of our now closet friends feeling disoriented, but content with arms full of yogurt, zollidrops, juice pouches, and egg shaped sidewalk chalk.
We spent last night looking over the social media posts from the day and laughing about ALL the celebrities we didn't see. You know, like Beyonce in asee through top, the cast of Blackish, Christian Bale, Michelle Obama, Shaq, etc. We could hear Idina Menzel sing Let it Go while we stood in line right outside the entrance, but by the time we got to the music stage she wished everyone a Happy Easter and walked off... :o( When we were line for the Egg Roll, Becky caught a glimpse of Obama as he walked out one door of the White House and back through another....Nate and I were too slow to catch on. Then another man of similar stature, build, and skin tone came out of the White House and everyone around us went crazy.....until they realized that the man was not the President. :o) I affectionately like to think of him as the Obama Decoy.
We did see one of the Real Housewives of Atlanta in line for the Egg Roll behind us...so there's that.