Feeling the Arctic Freeze

Here’s a quick post about feeling the recent arctic freeze.

It’s freezing cold outside! If you are on the East Coast, you know, with double-digit negative numbers that we’ve experienced!!

Fortunately, in the DC area, we’re not digging out of snow, although, I wish we were!

Instead, I’ll post the first frozen image of our fountain. This was from a month ago when it was only 32 degrees. I thought the swirling formations were really unusual and I wasn’t sure what would have caused them particularly since the fountain wasn’t running.

Look closely, is it just organic swirls, or God’s way of saying, “Hey, humans, you can’t control this weather. My finger is on the trigger!” Do you see a thumb and possible hand? Hmmm…Was this a warning of the arctic freeze to come…?

Frozen fountain or miraculous thumb print on Art Is Everywhere

Frozen fountain or miraculous thumb print?

Fall and winter are some of my favorite months but I have adverse physical reactions to both. Raynauds kicks in when just walking by the frozen food section in the grocery store, so you can imagine what happens when it is negative 10 degrees and feels like negative 20 outside. In fact, I’m postponing an onsite project until it warms a bit because I may not be able to feel the brushes.

Managing the cold could be fun as long as I could stay internally warm.

If I were living in a very cold place, like Iceland, I’d want to enjoy it here, in a Bubble Igloo Hut. It gets a 5-star rating, btw.

I’ll have to finally write about my 2017 Scandinavian heritage trip this year because I’ve already been to Gullfoss waterfall and the Blue Lagoon. The views were exceptional.

Gullfoss Waterfall Iceland via Buubble on Art Is Everywhere

Gullfoss Waterfall (with a filter no doubt, but rainbow is actually there) via Buubble

When I return, I think I’ll take this Golden Circle Tour and test the Bubble for viewing the Northern Lights. It’s on my bucket list, which I’m thinking more about accomplishing lately.

An Aurora Borealis Lagoon in Iceland via Buubble on Art Is Everywhere

An Aurora Borealis Lagoon in Iceland via Buubble

It’s either the Bubble Igloo or other top places to stay and watch the Northern Lights.

Like in Finland, where the glass igloo Kakslauttanen Arctic Resort is located, described on Thrillist.

Kakslauttanen Arctic hotel on Art Is Everywhere

Kakslauttanen Arctic hotel

Either way, I’ll be happy and no longer feeling the arctic freeze.

In the meantime, if you are traveling outside, please take care to prevent freezing.

This Podcast from Outside Magazine is “chilling” and will make you remember how easily it can happen. (Scroll to the bottom to listen to Episode 1, #55 on the list)

Outside Magazine on Art Is Everywhere

Outside Magazine Podcast – Episode 1 the Science of Survival

Also, don’t run in the cold either. Just watch the movie Wind River, and you’ll see what can happen in severe cold. Stay warm. Stay safe.

Click here to see previous wintery posts with visual inspiration.

Part 2 Another Day at The White House

Let’s start by saying “Happy New Year!!” and this post actually isn’t just another day at the White House but a part two tour — of the West Wing.

Disclaimer:  There are actually no pictures of the interior of the West Wing of the White House that were taken during the tour in this post. They are not allowed.

Our Christmas Eve tour started out at what I always affectionately call “DC’s Haunted House” but is actually the Eisenhower Executive Office Building,* also known as the “Old” Executive Office Building or EEOB or EOB for short. There are “newer” townhouses that are also a part of the EOB that were built across the street. There was a two-tier, tight security process to enter the well-guarded grounds, as only someone who works in The White House can register visitors for this type of tour.

*(Click the link above to scroll to see interesting facts about this building at the bottom.)

Obama’s White House tour site has great archived photos all around, so check back here for a thorough visual synopsis of this post and then some.

Our friend is one of the Chiefs of Staff for one of the commissions that advises the President. This was a great present and opportunity for us to see where she works and where the President, Vice President and other high-ranking government officials work in the West Wing of the White House, along with offices in the EOB. We were happy that our son and his wife decided to join us.

The following pictures have their descriptions below each photo.

Exterior of The Old Executive Office Building on Art Is Everywhere

Exterior of The Old Executive Office Building

Coiffured ceiling interior of the EOB on Art Is Everywhere

Interior of the EOB. In any other scenario the colors would be garish!

Polished Patterned diamond marble floors of EOB on AIE

Polished, patterned-diamond-marble floors oddly remind me of Alice in Wonderland

The War Room - where treaties are signed and Cabinet meet_AIE

The Indian War Room – where treaties are signed and Cabinet meet

George Washington and Victoriana at their best on AIE

George Washington and Victoriana at their best

Incredible design detailing in every room on Art Is Everywhere

Incredible design detailing in every room, including the ceilings

Gorgeous detail in EOB on AIE


Beautiful golden swathed plaster walls EOB interior_AIE

Beautiful golden-swathed plaster walls nearly looks like Venetian Plaster

Hand Scallopped walls interior EOB on Art Is Everywhere

Hand-scalloped walls

Detail of Hand Scallopped plaster walls interior EOB on AIE

Detail of hand-scalloped plaster walls

Detailed ceiling interior EOB on Art Is Everywhere

Most likely wallpaper, as are the walls but truly spectacular

Beautifully patterned EOB walls on Art Is Everywhere

Intricate patterned walls, which could be painted embossed metal or Lincrusta wallpaper

Full room with vaulted ceiling interior EOB on Art Is Everywhere

Full room with vaulted ceiling

View from exterior portico of EOB, heading to West Wing on AIE

View from exterior portico of EOB, heading to West Wing

Since we couldn’t take any pictures inside the West Wing, it is worth describing that everyone in our group noticed how small the halls and how low the ceilings were. My guess is that they are barely seven feet tall, only because I could almost touch them with my hand. I’m short too but they were definitely shorter than eight feet tall, the ceiling height in my house. I wonder if the President and the First Lady have to bend down when they enter?!

The halls were decorated as if you were in a traditional home or hotel with antique furniture and collector’s paintings — in a more “comfortable but stately” way than you see depicted in almost every film about The White House.

Regrettably, I coudn’t find a really relatable “Hollywood” image to visually describe this disparity, except this one from the West Wing TV show. However, I did find this one to show the actual low ceilings.

Actual West Wing height of halls via CNN on Art Is Everywhere

Actual West Wing height of halls via CNN

West Wing TV Show on Art Is Everywhere

via ENews

Atlas Obscura’s blog has fun facts about how Hollywood “glamorizes” the White House.

The White House “Mess” is more like a small fancy, four-star restaurant. Most all White House staff and members eat here. It is surprisingly “cozy” and stately with its Navy tribute theme. You can take another “virtual” tour of inside the White House via the link above.

White House Navy Mess on Art Is Everywhere

via Inside the White House Mess via President Barak Obama

The Oval Office was, however, characteristically “huge” with the tallest ceilings and the most light. It was unexpectedly understated but beautifully designed with President Reagan’s rug while President Trump’s is being made. Each President designs their individual rug. I like the stylish peach and gold colors and the fact that Trump has pictures of his parents on his desk. Otherwise, this and all the rooms were reflective of the People’s offices.

This image of the current Oval Office gives you a good broad visual of the room.

Trump Oval Office on Art Is Everywhere

via The Atlantic Monthly

The last time we did a similar tour was in 2005, when another friend was working in The White House under President George W. Bush. It was after 9-11 and security was understandably tight but we were still able to take this picture outside of the West Wing along the corridor made famous by other Presidents as they are shown walking during reflective moments during perhaps tumultuous times of their leadership.

The White House West Wing corridor on Art Is Everywhere

The White House West Wing corridor, Christmas 2005

This image of Reagan walking the same West Wing corridor in the same direction is from The White House Museum, where you can see other Presidents walking the same path.

President Reagan walking White House West Wing Corridor via White House Museum on AIE

President Reagan walking White House West Wing Corridor via White House Museum

We were able to take a family picture outside of the White House as you exit, under the Presidential Seal.

More current family pic at White House on Art Is Everywhere

More current family pic with Libby, Piers’ wife, Piers, myself & Peter

From here, we walked to the Press Office. Even though it has been renovated (in 2014) since we were last there, its exceptionally small footprint has not changed.

Walking to the White House Press Office on Art Is Everywhere

Walking to the White House Press Office

White House Press Office on Art Is Everyhwere

Interesting Behavioral Age study: Peter takes a picture of one of the news correspondent’s chair (names are below). Libby takes a selfie.

White House Press Office 3 on Art Is Everyhwere

This was taken from the back 7th row with 7 seats across = can only seat 49! Camera Crews are set up behind the chairs.

We walked back to the EOB to collect any bags we had. When inside, I should mention, don’t forget to look up at the beautiful stain glass ceilings. They bring in light and ornate decoration.

EOB Stained Glass Ceiling on Art Is Everywhere

Just one of many EOB Stained Glass Ceilings

EOB Stained Glass Ceiling 2 on Art Is Everywhere

Wow! Just wonderful!

EOB Stained Glass Ceiling 3 on Art Is Everywhere

A view with people give the perspective of how large this ceiling is

After a great tour and cold day with family and friends, we each went home to enjoy our Christmas Eve separately. Ours was at Grace Church.

Click here, if you’d like to review another day at the White House — part one tour.