Dedication to Being The First

Dedication to Being The First

On October 8th and 9th, the White House opened their gardens to the public. Everybody was able to enter them for free and experience their lawns, fountains, and vegetable gardens up close. My Belgian friend and I did some pretty crazy things that day to get as close to Obama as possible. Keep reading for an ‘how to be the very first to step foot into Obama’s gardens’-guide.


1. Wake up early.

And by early, I mean very, very early. As early as 4.40. Yes, this is called dedication. We both got up at that time to take the bus at H street at 5:30. We then arrived, still in the dark, at the Ellipse Pavillion Visitor Center at 5:50. Guess what: we were the first ones. No wonder since it was practically still the middle of the night and oh so cold. However, we didn’t know if were at the right place since no one was there. So we we explored a little bit to finally agree we were on the right spot seeing that three other crazy people had arrived. Taking our first spots in the line. Competitive and determinate as we were, we wanted to be the first ones to set a foot in the gardens that day and so we did. In the meantime, more people started to come and the line was getting so long that we couldn’t even see it anymore.


2. Run as fast as you can

We finally got back in line first, after punching some people in the face (just kidding, but I would have if it would come down to it- dedication). When they started to hand out tickets at 8:30, we got ours and just ran really fast to Hamilton place to wait again in line until 10:00 am to be able to enter. As we were running like crazy and insane people, others in line started to encourage us by screaming ‘woohoo, you go girls!’. Very ridiculous, but again: dedication. Of course, we were first in line again in the 10:00 am line. We couldn’t have been happier and we were oh so excited.



3. Run as fast as you can again

By 10:00 am, when they opened the gates, we had already been waiting there for 4 hours and again, we ran as fast as we can. We were so motivated to be the first ones and we were! Because we ran like idiots, we were able to take a picture with the White House (Obama’s crib) with no one surrounding us. A few minutes later however, a massive amount of people started to arrive and you would have to wait in line again to get a picture. So I can only advise to run as fast as you can to get that awesome picture without a crowd around you. You’ll look like a fool but hey, this is just called dedication.



4. Obama, where you at?

Not only dedicated to be the first ones in the garden, we were also dedicated to see Obama. We asked 10 different secret service agents whether the president would be there or not. They all gave us mixed messages but we were so sure about him being there. There was a band playing and every time they took a break, we were convinced that he would show up and wave. We had never been so confident about anything before. But alas, we stood for an hour listening to the band and the president showed up at the balcony



My friend and I had a really awesome morning and we would surely recommend this to everybody. Get up as early as you can, put on warm cloths, run like an idiot, be the first ones in the garden and take an incredibly awesome picture!


Your Extremely Dedicated European Fan,


Read Eline's previous blog posts

Experience a Day in the Life of an Intern at The Washington Center

Learn More