Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Heading North

I'm sitting in a motel room in Pottersville, NY, about 90 minutes from the Canada border, asking myself "what were we thinking?" Somehow it's comforting to know that it's below freezing back home in Chapel Hill as well right now (30F, -1C). But right now, Montreal is our destination, and it is -2F, -19C! I lived in Canada for almost 6 years, so I felt tough and used to the cold. But it's quite a shock to the system to go from unseasonably warm weather in NC (I packed the car in a tshirt and shorts) to a full throttled Canadian winter in just 2-3 days. I knew it would be bad when I felt overwhelmed by the cold around DC, just four hours into trip. NYC got hit with a pretty crazy storm just before we arrived, which made driving around trickier. Luckily we missed the storm and everything had been cleaned up already, so the roads weren't too bad. But our poor car seems to be adjusting to winter as well and gets foggy windows. Before leaving NYC we decided to have a mechanic look at our car to make sure it was ready for serious winter weather. They didn't get back to us until 12:30, meaning we weren't on the road until 1pm yesterday. We got stuck in some serious traffic, causing it to take almost four hours just to make it to Albany (2 hrs north of the city). Olivia made it clear it was time for a break and a diaper change, and by the time we were back on the road it was dark. Sarah did really well, but once we got further north and there were fewer cars on the road, we decided to call it quits. So here we are, at Lee's Corner Motel in Pottersville, NY. We're actually having quite a bit of fun, it's great not having to go to school or work until January 12th! I think the drive south is going to feel like a relief, though I'm really glad we made the trip and can't wait to see our family.

Sarah just got out of the shower, so it's time for me to start getting ready for the fina stretch.

Monday, December 15, 2008

Monday, November 3, 2008

Inside the West Wing

Last Saturday Sarah, Olivia and I drove up to DC to get a private tour of the White House and West Wing from my old college buddy Stephen. Here's a picture of the three of us on Pennsylvania Ave.

Above is a picture of Pres. Eisenhower in the Indian Treaty Room of the Executive Office Building giving the first televised Presidential address. Below is Stephen, Sarah and Olivia in front of the same window, as well as me and Stephen posing at a podium in the same spot where Pres. Bush is pictured speaking.

A unique view of the White House, from the Eisenhower Exec Office Building, with the West Wing in the foreground.

Olivia getting her diaper changed in this historic room.

Some of the more beautiful features of the EEOB

Another ceiling

The above picture is Pres. Nixon in his private office away from the oval office. Below is a picture of Sarah and Olivia in the same room, and on its balcony.

The four of us in front of the west entrance of the West Wing. Sorry, no photos were allowed inside, though we did go to the Cabinet Room, Roosevelt Room, and Oval Office, as well as the Navy Mess and outside the Situation Room.

Here we are in the Collonade connecting the residence and the West Wing.

Here's the view from of the West Wing from the Rose Garden. The windows are to the Cabinet Room, and the Oval Office is on the corner on the left.

Here's the view of the Rose Garden and residence from the West Wing. This is the view Pres. Obama will have when giving his Rose Garden speeches.

Here are a couple of pictures of us in front of hte main entrance of the West Wing.

The walkway along the north side of the house, walking towards the press briefing room from the outside.

A few shots of us in the press briefing room. It is a lot smaller than I thought it'd be.

Our last stop on the tour was the area in front of the house where reporters keep their cameras set up so they can start reporting in a moment's notice. This is the view you always see of the White House. All the equipment are covered under the green tarps.