It's a White House tradition that when you stop working there, you get to take a photo with whoever you worked for. Since my sister worked for both Obamas, she got to schedule an "exit photo" with each of them. The great thing about an exit photo is that you can bring your family along when you take it. So, a few weeks back the whole August clan headed down to Washington to have our photo taken with the Obamas.
Our first photo was with the President in The Oval Office. Meeting the president was pretty cool but to me, the more surreal thing was being in The Oval Office which we've all seen a thousand times on television and in movies. We spent about five minutes with the President, grilling him on when he's finally gonna close Guantanamo Bay. After we solved that issue, we talked a little bit about the new National Geographic series Nova and of course how wonderful my sister was. Shayna was on her best behavior with the President and was nice and calm during the photo. My favorite things that happened while in the Oval Office were:
1. The president's secretary shaking a box of White House M&M's behind the photographer to get the kid's to smile.
2. My nephew Cole walking up to a bowl of apples and stealing one. The President saw him do it and said, "Take one. That's what they're there for."
3. Leaving The Oval Office and Huyen saying, "I just stood next to the President." I mean, Huyen never imagined visiting America when she was growing up, let alone being at The White House. Seeing the look on her face was by far the best thing that day.
After meeting the President we headed over to the East Wing to meet The First Lady. We waited for her in "the map room" which gave Shayna some time to run around and play. When The First Lady came in, she immediately started to chase Shayna round the room. It was very cute. We then spent about ten minutes with FLOTUS who also had some great things to say about my sister. After our photo (which Shayna was not so good posing for) FLOTUS said goodbye and started to leave. My nephew Cole chased after her and The First Lady picked him up and disappeared down a hallway. After about a minute my niece was told she could join them in the hall where the three of them pet the Obama's new dog Sunny.
The whole experience was obviously a once in a lifetime event. Unfortunately we weren't able to use our cameras when meeting the Obamas so we don't have the photo evidence yet. The official White House photographer who took the pictures should be sending them to us in the next month or two.