Tuesday, April 12, 2016

White House Easter Egg Roll 2016 - Part 2

After lots of preparations, commuting into the city, parking, trekking to the security checkpoint, waiting, going through security, waiting and some more waiting.... we were finally headed into the White House Easter Egg Roll!

Doesn't matter how many times you attend a White House function.... this view never gets old!

As we rolled onto the south lawn right at 12:15pm with the rest of Group C, we knew right where we wanted to head... to the actual egg roll!  Since we headed there first, there was absolutely no line and we were able to walk right up to the roll.

Tip #5 (review) - Wear layers!  Nick and I both started off with blazers on that AM and Georgia had on a jean jacket.  Three minutes into the event and we all were sporting short sleeves!

When we received the schedule of events for our time slot, we noticed that Idina Menzel (yes, Elsa!!!!!) would be singing down at one of the stages.  We decided to head there next when THEY were spotted.  THE PAW PATROL!!!!!!!

Georgia waited in line so patiently and then ran right to them.

She promptly told me, "We can leave now!"  Yes, Georgia's life was complete in that moment.

However, she quickly recovered and ran to the next friend down the line, a pink care bear.

Tip#11 - If you are looking for a specific character, hang out up by the entrance to the Easter egg roll.  The various characters come/go from their prep tent throughout the time slot and hang out in that specific area.

As we headed towards the entertainment stage, we got distracted by the obstacle course and Georgia wanted to give it a shot.  Her "interpretation" of what she needed to do on the course and with the football was awesome (she ditched it instead of running with it) and she had all the volunteers cracking up.

As we approached the music stage, I heard the unmistakable voice of Idina Menzel singing Broadway hits from "Wicked."  She absolutely sounds amazing in person.  After singing "Defying Gravity," she launched right into some hits from "Annie."

Idina was still singing while Georgia wandered around exploring some of the other activities in the area.  She dyed eggs, made some crafts, checked out the First Lady's vegetable garden, and explored the butterfly/bat/bee exhibitions.

Note the tights are LONG gone at this point!

As we walked around, Idina wrapped up her set by singing the song everyone was waiting for... "Let It Go."  Hysterically, she apologized to all the parents before starting.

Tip#12 - Take advantage of all the water stations.  It warmed up pretty quickly and we grabbed lots of free water bottles and refilled them throughout our time on the lawn.  There's not a lot of snacks distributed (I spotted some Chobani yogurts), so if you've got little ones, make sure to bring a snack or two!

We are huge fans of Good Stuff Eatery (the shakes are to die for!) and Chef Spike Mendelsohn from "Top Chef," so we had to swing by his cooking demonstration to see what fun recipe he was whipping up.  He made a fun fruit sushi roll and distributed the recipe to all the visitors.

Right after Chef Spike finished, Sunny Anderson from one of our favorite Food Network shows, "The Kitchen" came on stage for her demo too.  

Tip#13 - Pack sunscreen!  It was around this time that I applied some sunscreen to Georgia's face.  However, I didn't put any on me.  BIG mistake!!!  I was hot pink on the back of my neck and on my forehead for a week.

Georgia was super excited to participate in the hula hoop party.  She grabbed a hoop and went to town with the rest of the kids!

I love that her signature move is throwing her hands up in the air!

We had about 30 minutes left in our time slot (aka - before they kick you out), so we decided to join the long line for the egg hunt.  It moved quickly-ish.  I also remembered that I had thrown some bunny ears into my bag that morning, so that entertained us for awhile in line...

Unfortunately, Georgia didn't find the golden egg (which rewarded the finder with a beautiful Lands End official White House Easter Egg Roll tote bag), but she still had fun collecting eggs...

On our way out, we stopped by the character spot again and saw the Easter bunny, some friends from a dinosaur show and an angry bird.  But, Georgia was losing steam and the characters were all trying to wrap it up to change shifts for the next incoming crew of families.

We finally got a family shot before we headed for the gates...

We had just made it out of the gates and were walking into lunch when we received word of the shooting at the Capitol.  Nick and I's phones both lit up with friends/family trying to get in touch with us.  Luckily, most of the chaos in the city was apparently down at that end of town because all was quiet at our location.  But, thank you to everyone who checked in with us and made sure that we weren't near the Capitol at the time of the incident.

In closing, a few other quick tips:

Tip#14 - It's a LONG day.  Even if you think it's just a 2 hour time slot, you end up spending the majority of the day downtown, so plan for it!  Snacks, drinks, clothing, walking shoes, camera, battery packs for phones, fully charged devices, etc.

Tip #15 - Don't forget to pick up your commemorative wooden egg on your way out.

Georgia was excited that we got the light blue one for our collection

Tip #16 - Pick up your free treats on your way out too.  Chobani, Annie's, and Peeps were all giving out free snacks and goodies on the way out.

We're so thankful to have had the opportunity to attend our second Easter Egg Roll as a family.  It's definitely a fun (and exhausting) event.  If you are local to the area, throw your hat into the ring and try to attend next year.  We'll be aiming for #3!!

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