Friday, April 1, 2016

White House Easter Egg Roll - Part One

I've registered for the White House Easter Egg Roll since Munch was 2 years old.  It's always been a very calculated dance for me.  I registered as soon as the lottery opened, using my and others' email addresses, and I always felt the odds were in my favor.  This year was the first year that I registered on the last day using my email address only.  I registered with no hope of selection; it was more out of obligation and tradition really.  You know, check the box, say you tried, and prepare to pump your fists in Mr. Luck's face that you weren't selected.

A few weeks later, on a random day, it hit me that I hadn't checked my email for confirmation...  again, another step in the dance I've performed for the past seven years.  Islanders, imagine my shock when I saw this in my inbox:


OMG! OMG! OMG! OMG!

I got 4 tickets - for Munch, MaseFace and their mommies.  Ryan and I planned outfits for the kids to coordinate and shared the excitement with family.  OMG OMG OMG!  The excitement was barely controllable when I received the tickets for entry.


It was official!  We had access to the South Lawn.  OMG! OMG! OMG!



It was a cloudy and damp Monday morning.  Oh, you didn't know?   The White House Easter Egg Roll is hosted the Monday after Easter every year.  There were tons of firsts for all of us but the FIRST of many is captured in this photo:


- MaseFace's first trip to Washington, D.C.
- His first ride in the stroller like a big boy!
- His first time wearing yellow pants!

Yes, the cousins were coordinating in their yellow and, yes, they looked adorable!  As we neared the festivities, volunteers were positioned on each corner with aprons and directional signs:


We noticed that one corner had an entrance for pass holders.  Who were pass holders, you ask?  That's the Egg Roll's code for V.I.P.  As we crossed the street, a black sedan pulled up and a family hopped out.


Ryan recognized him immediately and identified that bearded man holding the baby as Christian Bale.


.... As in Batman?!  How frikkin' cool!



Once his son was situated in the stroller, the cute little guy locked eyes with Mason.  They exchanged grins and baby signals before the Bale family was off to the event for a day of fun.  We knew from that moment that it would be a super-awesome-cool day.  We walked a few blocks before finally making it to the event field for entrance.  If you're planning to attend this event on the South Lawn, take these tips into consideration:

- Wear comfortable shoes that you don't mind getting dirty
- Stop at a restroom before your arrival
- Dress in layers (it was chilly when we arrived but quickly heated up as the day progressed)
- Think amusement park lines... you aren't allowed to bring tablets or large electronics inside but download some games on your phone if your little one will get antsy in the lines

We arrived at the first entry point.  It was a field with multiple lanes for ticket scanning.  We were issued our bracelets for access and, in order to get the commemorative egg, everyone needed a bracelet, including the baby.


MaseFace is teething so we put his bracelet around his ankle. 


Can you see that mud in the top left corner of the above photo?  It wasn't pretty on the lawn leading to the White House due to the spring showers.  With our bracelets, we crossed another field and, similar to the airport security checkpoint, we chose a line.  We almost didn't make it through because of the breast pump.  Another first for the books: MaseFace had his first security scan:



You wanna talk about cute? Not even the Police Chief could resist the yumminess of MaseFace!



Back in the stroller and we were off!  No food or drink were allowed inside but once through security, there was a drink station with unlimited water, Powerade and juice boxes for attendees.  There was music and temporary tattoos, activities and photo-ops.  We almost spent too much time in this area as if we were confused that it was part of the main egg roll.


We stood in line for about 30 minutes.  While I adjusted Munch's hair and tried to contain my excitement, MaseFace gnawed on his mommy's necklace:


The sun started to come out as we approached the South Lawn.  Then, it happened.  We were there.


There were people everywhere.  Lines were ridiculous.  The crowd was constantly moving.  It was organized chaos.  It was crazy.  But. We. Were. There.


The lawn was divided into quadrants: performances, food and demos, arts and crafts, story time and activities.  We decided to head to the food and demos first because, with all the lines, Munch worked up an appetite.


Chobani's tent was awesome.  The staff passed out your choice of yogurt flavors and invited you inside to partake in the parfait fixin's.  The best part of the tent was the calf at the end of the buffet.  It was friendly but shy and a great site for the kids to see!


Noodles and Company's tent was themed 'Use Your Noodle.'  In addition to providing some delicious freshly-made noodle stir fry, the kids received free chopsticks, brain games and lessons on how to properly hold chopsticks.


There was an adorable lemonade stand and, when your kid has on a LEMON dress, you clear the way and take a pic!  We quickly learned, however, the owner of the stand, 11-year old Mikaila of BeeSweet Lemonade, was also there and get this!


The girls were twinning!  If you don't know, Mikaila was a hit on ABC's Shark Tank.


Yes, that is the same lemonade stand on the set of ABC Shark Tank that Munch stood in front of earlier this week.  How awesome, right?!  Even more awesome were the squeals and smiles the two girls shared when they realized they were dressed alike.  It was so cool and great for Munch to see that there are girls with big dreams that are coming true!


Mikaila landed a $1M deal with whole foods!  She also served her lemonade to more than 35,000 attendees at the #whitehouseEastereggroll2016 and she ran off stage to meet and giggle with Munch before her big demo on the White House South Lawn.




Powerful things happen when you acknowledge your internal magic!  Right after this moment, I heard a familiar voice from afar; it was the sound of our President and First Lady!


If you followed Munch's and MaseFace's Instagram Takeover, you saw this post:

How amazing!  We got in line for the Easter Egg Roll and got as close to the White House as we've ever been... We were *like* RIGHT there.  I asked Munch to pose for a picture but a magical moment happened and I had to capture it!


The day was chocked full of magic and, Islanders, there's more magic to be shared!  Come back tomorrow for Part Two of the Easter Egg Roll fun!

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