What I call the President..
A couple weeks ago I had the pleasure of calling our President by his first name and eating about 50 mini french macaroons in the company of my fabulous boyfriend. A month or so ago, we were saying our goodbyes on the train platform in DC - I was headed to the airport and Luke back to work - when he casually asked if I wanted to go to a party at the Whitehouse. I laughed (tried not to cry) and said "Sure babe, whatever you'd like," thinking he was kidding - as this seems to be a part of our strange life that we occasionally joke about. Well...two weeks later I was walking along that same platform, trailing Luke pulling my suitcases towards his DC home. We got a few days together and then headed to the Whitehouse for the White House Press Pool's annual Christmas party.
One dotted black dress later and a red, dotted necktie and we were hopping out of the town car to wait for party time. After a slew of security and list checking, we walked into the side of the building, checked our coats and got to start viewing the trees. Amazing. How did this all happen? Luke is working on contract (again) for the New York Times and is often working in the Whitehouse or on the hill. It was a really fabulous, lovely time. So elegant, very surreal, great to meet all of Luke's photographer friends I've heard so much about and surprising to be standing back-to-back with Gayle King, Steve Harvey and Bill O'Reilly at times.
The party was cocktail-esque...I say esque, because the food was amazing and much more ample than the normal cocktail hour. Lamb shanks, stone crab claws, cheese n' crackers (y'all...I love some cheese - so great!), mac n'cheese, new potatoes, shrimp, clams, salmon, potato latkes and so much more. This'll be no shocker....I spent about 10 minutes staring at the gingerbread Whitehouse - gingerbread veggie garden, too - all while secretly eying the dessert table. Oh. My. Goodness. Mini french macaroons (my fave!), coconut cake, yule log, sugar cookies of Bo Obama (their pup), pecan pie.....went on and on, as maybe did my trips to the table. Was awesome.
After some champagne and 10 macaroons...this isn't a joke, we headed back downstairs for our photo with the President and First Lady. They roll you through a myriad of hallways and such, we picked up our name card and waited in the map room. A kind military aide escorted Luke and I into the Diplomatic Reception Room, two steps in front of Steve Harvey, and the Obamas were prompted with our name. The President shook Luke's hand and said "How are you, Luke." He then stuck his hand out and said "Good evening, Elizabeth," to which I replied - "Hey Barack!" Yep. That's right. What does a fun, Kentucky gal do when the President calls her by the first name? Reciprocates! So that's that. He smiled, Michelle giggled, shook my hand and we were prompted to have our photos taken and move back to the party.
And I proceeded to have a few more macaroons, another tour of the rooms and trees I'd missed out on, then we exited, listening to the awesome Air Force Academy choir and checking out the wreaths in the hall.
Surreal and blessing are the two words I'd sum it up with. Surreal to be in the home of our President and all the Presidents who have come before him and such a blessing for Luke to have work that has allowed us a year of fun adventure in our Nation's Capital. That's that. I called our President by his first name and had my share of dessert on our tax pennies or millions, depending on which end of the spectrum you are. Enjoy!