Sunday, April 20, 2008

first lady's luncheon

well, i wasn't very good at journaling about all the fabulous "stuff" we got to do as kids to a congressman, so i'm trying to be detailed in this experience so that i'll have something to share with my posterity of my experiences with the government "perks".
so, every year in april, the congressional club puts on a luncheon for the first lady. anyone who has ever been in congress (or married to a congressman) is a part of this club. my mom has been to this luncheon several times, but it has never worked out for my sister and i to go. it was easier this year since i'm in ohio, and my sis-in-law, sarah, is in virginia, and kate had to be flown in from good 'ole utah.
we all anticipated this event for many months and each of us got a new dress for the occasion, and thanks to jergens sunless tanning lotion (it's the best one out there b/c it doesn't have that funny smell), i got a tan! my wonderful friends agreed to watch my kids for 2 days while matt was at school, and i was off!
we drove into d.c. (about 40 min from my parents house) and arrived at the hilton where the luncheon was being held. it was a site to see when we walked into the hotel, hundreds of women all dressed up for the occasion as well, many were wearing big fancy hats too! it was fun to see all the spring suits and dresses adorned on a variety of women. we purchased cook books with some of the first ladies' recipes in it (Jacquie Kennedy's spinach quiche looks super YUM!) and mingled with ourselves as my mother ran into an occasional acquaintance or friend.
when we walked into the banquet hall, it was absolutely lovely from floor to ceiling. the tables were decorated with colorful floral table cloths, flowers, and center pieced with a metal dress form (that we bought so I could use it in my next craft show). there were 2 sets of forks, 2 knives, and a desert spoon and knife. the meal was absolutely divine too. The menu read: Spring Southern Salad (with roasted sweet potatoes, glazed pecans, red beans, green roasted tomatoes, & pumpkin seeds), Spicy Shrimp and Grits (with roasted sweet potato, caramelized lemon, green tomato compote), Bread presentation to include (sourdough rolls, seeded flat bread, jalapeno corn bread), Peach Sunrise (ginger crust with peaches, red currents, dulce de leche, and passion fruit glaze)....SUPER YUM!
we were entertained with a poem reading (i felt a bit like anne of green gables), a very candid and real speech from laura bush, and a musical presentation from frederic yonnet.
i LOVE laura bush. i have met her before at the republican nominating convention in philadelphia in 2000, and when we met she asked me my name, and what i do. i told her my name and that i was going to school to become a teacher. she said, "well, 2 lara's who are both teachers, we must be kindred spirits". i've liked her ever since. this time we did not get to go up and see her, but we got to hear her talk. she was funny b/c she had to come out on a catwalk escorted by a military man, and she told us that the first time she was to come to the first lady's luncheon she was debriefed and told a little about the event. she said she was not warned that she would have to come out on a catwalk in front of a thousand pair of eyes! she said that the thoughts went through her mind, "is my dress wrinkled in the back?, do i have on new pantie hose?, and how much do i actually weigh?" i love that she didn't ever put herself above us, but seemed very human and had the sames thoughts that the rest of us would have and totally owned up to them.
so this picture will have to do as my up-close-and-personal with laura bush! and katie pricked her finger on the washington monument (people were laughing as they walked by, but we still did it any way).
we all relished in the awesomeness of the moments at the luncheon, and had fun too! it seemed as if this was all second nature for most of the ladies there, but to us an anomaly...and i'm glad because it made the day more special and out of the ordinary.