|Down at the end of the South Lawn.|
|Jack and a Model-T.|
After we settled in at our table, I took Jack to play with the giant beach balls strewn on the lawn. The President's Own Marine Band was playing in the background. We waited for the lines to die down before getting our free family photo taken in front of the White House, and in the meantime I got Jack his first balloon animal. The balloon animal artists (seriously, these people were ARTISTS) made some of the craziest balloon animals I've ever seen. There was a giant octopus, monkeys with bananas, mermaids, helicopters, adorable little balloon wrist-corsages (I saw a pig and a ladybug, as well as various flowers), a giant giraffe, and for Jack, a tiny little panda bear. It was adorable, and Jack thoroughly enjoyed it, until he ate its nose.
|Jack and his panda balloon.|
Obama spoke briefly, flanked by veterans who were being honored for their service. There was a receiving line after he spoke, but he didn't make it to the end where I was standing with Jack. John and I walked with Jack all over the lawn, and we finally made it down to the vegetable garden, which we'd missed during the Spring Garden Tour. Dinner was simple, and unfortunately not veggie-friendly at all, which was sort of surprising given Michelle's campaign for healthy eating. There were pre-made hotdogs and hamburgers (so we couldn't even make a meatless burger), grilled corn on the cob (tasty, but not the easiest thing to eat in polite company), a salad with candied walnuts and cucumbers, grilled chicken, and a potato salad that I didn't realize had large chunks of pork in it until after I'd put it on my plate. There were also watermelon skewers, and - thank goodness! - Dove ice cream bars for dessert.
|Obama, Michelle (to his right), and some very special American heroes.|
We camped out on the lawn after dinner, hoping to catch some of the concert before leaving, but Train didn't come on until around 8:30 (I'm guessing - we left at 8:15 so we could get Jack to bed at a semi-reasonable hour). We missed the fireworks too, obviously, which was a shame. Maybe we'll get to go back some year when Jack is older, but even without the "show," we had a wonderful time.
|Happy Independence Day!|