Scott, Aubrey, and I went on a White House Tour today. Unfortunately, Tom (who had arranged the tour) was unable to make it, due to Portuguese classes starting today.

It was a great tour, though I don’t have any photos of my own to show of it. Photography was not allowed, though apparently during the holiday season, photographs are allowed (thanks to Deborah’s Journal for the photos below).

I was disappointed to see that all of the Christmas decorations had already been taken down, even though it’s only Jan. 3, 2012. Apparently, the decorations were beautiful, again as shown from these photos on Deborah’s Journal.

While it was too late to see the Christmas decorations, we still enjoyed the rooms that we got to see.

Visitors are not able to go up to the second or third floors, but get to visit the public floors, which are striking. As we walked inside and were looking at the Christmas cards that had been sent through the years, I heard a dog walking behind us, but didn’t turn. My mind registered the sound, but I didn’t give it another thought. Then I heard Aubrey and Scott say, “Hey, that was Bo!” Yep, he walked right past us on his way for his outside yard visit. And I never saw him! Snooze, you lose.

We got to see the Red Room (where the First Lady typically entertains the spouses of foreign leaders during meetings), the Blue Room (seen in many photo shoots of presidents and dignitaries), the Green Room (with its washed-silk walls), the Library (my favorite), the State Dining Room (which can seat up to 140 people is round tables are used), and all of the other rooms shown in the illustration above.

My favorite was the State Dining Room, with the wonderful painting of Lincoln that hangs above the mantle. After his death, there was a contest to see who could do the best official portrait of Lincoln. This one didn’t win, but it was the first choice of the Lincoln family. This was donated to the nation by Todd Lincoln’s widow.

The White House Tour was a quick, self-guided tour, and next time I do it, I’ll know to slow down. It’s not a long tour, and we kind of just drifted through it, not realizing how few rooms we actually got to see. Next time, I’ll stop and really soak it in. Everywhere we looked, there was beauty, whether in the artefacts in the room, or the views through the windows.

And just think, we OWN it!