D.C. Notes: The White House (and parking)

The White House

  1. Oh, the White House.  Tip #1: Put your name in for a tour the moment you think you’ll be in DC.  You probably still won’t get one if you’re going in the summer, but it’s worth a chance.
  2. Your Secret Service check-in may be interrupted by oh, say, the Russian delegation arriving for a meeting with the President, but the Secret Service personnel are pretty cool as long as your name is on the approved list.
  3. If you think you have a White House tour but you never turned in all personally identifying info (name, SSN, passport number, DOB, etc.) you don’t have a tour.  Period.  We saw several people sadly turned away because they had a confirmation number but hadn’t been screened.  Don’t believe your tour company if they say it isn’t necessary.

Parking in DC

  1. This sounds banal until you drive in DC, want to get out to see a national treasure, and need a place to leave your car.  Try the Mall (not the shopping sort) and the Tidal Basin for cheap or free 2- and 3-hour parking.
  2. Beware of broken meters.  If you see a spot that looks too good to be true, it probably is.  I don’t know the DC police policy on broken meters, so maybe check that our in advance… All I know is that our fourth parking spot finally worked right around lunch time one day.
  3. By way of follow-up to #2, don’t try to park at lunch time.  Low blood sugar + stressful situation makes a challenge into, well, an opportunity for the will to override emotions.  That sounds nicer than reality.
  4. Read parking signs CAREFULLY.  The rules for parking spot will likely change from hour to hour, and you will get a ticket.  Don’t ask me how I know that.
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