when my lovely friend ying asked me if i wanted to spend the 4th of july at the white house, i said, why yes, i would. this, the day after purchasing a patio set for my balcony to watch the fireworks at the park across the street from my condo. while i really wanted to spend the 4th with my new neighbors at this bbq potluck, i had to break the news to them and let them down easy. needless to say, they were understanding.
the journey there was not as smooth as one would hope (my connecting flight to dc from dallas was canceled due to the tropical storms so i was stuck in dallas for a night), but it was all worth it. and yes, i did see the president! granted it was from a distance while waiting for popcorn without my camera or phone, it happened in a split second (okay, a little bit longer than that). i could see him wearing white and waving at us. it was quite exciting. the celebration was a lot of fun and i think we all felt very patriotic.
there was beer, wine, ice cream, popcorn, cotton candy, and of course, commemorative cups! that was the best part. we got one of each color (blue & red) but i could see others totally hoarding them. i think i saw 20 cups at one table! as a government employee, she could only bring 2 guests and her office wasn't invited last year so chances are, she won't be invited next year. the security wasn't bad considering the scope of the event. even the transportation home wasn't as bad as we thought it would be. we took the metro and didn't make it into the first train but with some forcing and squeezing our way in like sardines, we made it into the second train. after a few stops, the train emptied out.
the next day, we headed into dc to have brunch with my friend stephanie and see her two babies. i think the last time i saw her was at her wedding back in 2008! i hadn't realized it was 6 years ago that i was last there. i used to visit more often.
anyway, there was the annual folklife festival that weekend. it was actually the last weekend for the festival so i lucked out. they highlighted two countries, kenya and china. showcased at the festival were food, culture, and their respective performance arts. there was a stage in a tent for each country with singing and dancing. it was fun and educational!
when asked what i wanted to do on my last day there, i looked up "things to do in manassas." and what was the #1 thing to do? the battlefield of manassas. why yes, please. it was fantastic! out here in california, we have missions to visit. on the east coast, they have battlefields! apparently, there were two battles at manassas. the history there is amazing yet unimaginable.
i had so much fun! and i hope to be back soon!