1 This is a view of the South Lawn at the White House, located directly south of the mansion. The large circular public lawn is called The Ellipse.
2 The tulips around The South Lawn fountain pool were in full bloom during our visit. This area is planted seasonally with borders of tulips edged by grape hyacinth for spring, red geranium and Dusty Miller in summer, and chrysanthemum in fall.
3 The South Lawn presents a long north-south vista from the mansion to The Ellipse, and past the National Mall. Jude and Truman had a wonderful time running on the South Lawn with the Washington Monument standing tall behind them.
4 Through the trees - another view of the stately Washington Monument standing 555-feet five-inches tall and 55-feet wide at its base.
5 Trees on the South Lawn include the earliest remaining trees planted by a United States president. In 1876, President Hayes began the tradition of planting commemorative trees, and now there are more than three dozen of them planted on the grounds.
6 Trees on the South Lawn include southern magnolias on either side of the South portico, Japanese threadleaf maple, American elm, white oak, white saucer magnolia, Atlas cedar, sugar maple, and northern red oak.
7 The South Portico was constructed by James Hoban in 1824 during the presidency of James Monroe. In 1948, President Harry S. Truman added the Truman Balcony to the second floor, a private porch enjoyed by First Families ever since.
8 Here I am with Alexis, Kevin Sharkey, Jude and Truman, in front of the South Portico. Kevin surprised the children and spent the day with us.
9 The Rose Garden borders the Oval Office and the West Wing of the White House. The outer edge of the flower beds facing the central lawn is edged in boxwood. The four corners of the garden are punctuated by Magnolia × soulangeana, or saucer magnolias, that were found growing along the Tidal Basin.
10 Here is the Seal of the President of the United States. There are many variations of the Seal around the White House. It is the official coat of arms of the US presidency.
11 Here I am with Hedieh "Roshan" Ghaffarian, Chief Floral Designer for the White House. She is responsible for the planning, design, arrangement and placement of all the floral decorations for the First Family, their private entertaining events, and official state functions.
12 Roshan also heads the White House Flower Shop located in the basement of the White House. These are some of the centerpieces made by the floral designing staff.
13 Here are more pretty spring centerpieces. All the arrangements are developed and planned by Roshan, who works very closely with the First Lady, Chief Usher, and White House Social Secretary.
14 Chef Cristeta Pasia Comerford is a Filipino-American chef who has been the White House Executive Chef since 2005. She is the first woman and first person of Asian descent to hold the position. Chef Cris manages all the White House kitchens, and is in charge of planning and preparing all the menus and meals for the President and the First Family.
15 The White House Executive Pastry Chef is Susan Morrison. She is responsible for the planning, managing and preparing of all desserts and pastries served at the White House - this includes State Dinners, official dinners, and private entertaining by the First Family.
16 Here I am with the White House Kitchen Staff.
17 This rug is in the Diplomatic Reception Room - one of three oval rooms in the White House. This Reception Room is located on the ground floor and is used as an entrance from the South Lawn, and a reception room for foreign ambassadors.
18 A beautiful official White House portrait of First Lady Grace Coolidge, posing with her dog, Rob Roy.
19 Here I am with my driver, Rock Pereira, in the China Room.
20 This is a sample display of the service used for one of President Obama's State Dinners in 2009.
21 The Blue Room is distinct for its oval shape. The room is used for receptions and receiving lines, and is occasionally set for small dinners. President Grover Cleveland married Frances Folsom in the room on June 2, 1886, the only wedding of a President and First Lady in the White House.
22 Here are Alexis and Truman in the entrance to the Blue Room.
23 This is a reproduction of a gilded beechwood armchair made in Paris by Pierre-Antoine Bellangé - part of a suite ordered for the Blue Room by President James Monroe in 1817. The reproductions were made during the Kennedy Restoration in 1961.
24 The Red Room is one of three state parlors on the State Floor in the White House. The room has served as a parlor and music room, and recent presidents have held small dinner parties in it. It has been traditionally decorated in shades of red.
25 I loved this view of one of the chandeliers - the gold leaf looked so beautiful from this angle.
26 And, here is one of the beautiful gold leaf sconces in the room.
27 The White House China Room carpet has stunning design elements and medallions, and a rich palette of reds, oranges and blues.
28 Here are Jude and Truman looking up at the Presidential Portrait of Ronald Reagan by Everett Raymond Kinstler, 1991. Truman knows all the presidents and was able to name every portrait he saw.
29 This is John F. Kennedy's official, posthumous presidential portrait, by Aaron Shikler.
30 This is an 1817 French Empire clock with a figure of Minerva. The clock is on a table in the Entrance Hall.
31 This room on the ground floor was originally a laundry room, then a waiting room, and finally, in 1935, the White House Library. Today the official White House Library contains 2,700 works of American life and thought.
32 Here is Rock in the Press Briefing Room. We were very lucky to get special permission to stand on the riser and behind the podium.
33 The Kitchen Garden was planted in the spring of 2009 by First Lady Michelle Obama with the help of students from a local elementary school. White House chefs use produce from the garden for preparing meals for the First Family, and other official functions. Some produce is also donated to a local homeless shelter.
34 This is a late afternoon view from the first balcony of the White House.
35 These stairs lead to the ground floor. President Truman maintained that a second balcony above this one would help balance the south face of the White House by breaking up the tall columns, and provide shade for the portico. The Truman Balcony was built in 1948.
36 Jude and Truman had such a wonderful visit to the White House and to Washington, DC. It was a trip we will all remember for a long, long time.