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Published: August 14th 2017
White House Security
Taking no chances now that Donald Trump is living there.
It's that first day of the holiday, which is basically our journey and very little else, so don't get your hopes up that there will be anything interesting to cover.
We were flying from Heathrow Terminal Three (if you are still reading), which is showing its age, starting with the way in and the tunnel that's is clearly insufficient for the amount of traffic. Much to my daughter's embarrassment, I lost it with a taxi driver who was trying to cut-in from a faster lane heading elsewhere.
We were booked to park in the short-term car-park. The long-term car-park is of course expensive at £107 (booked in advance) but the short-stay is £120. £13 and a bit of road rage seems a small price to pay to be able to walk between your car and the terminal and not have to worry about the transfer buses.
Terminal Three is clearly showing its age and the whole place has a feel of something temporary and just make due. Mind you, I have have heard that it is next in line to be completely knocked down and replaced, so 'make do' is probably the right approach. The shops are a
Not what we wanted whilst walking back.
lot more down-to-earth than Terminal Five, which we prefer, not that we bought anything though.
The immigration in Washington was quite quick, as there were loads of counters, except that, as per usual, we chose the wrong counter and there was obviously some issue with the person in front of us, which took ages to resolve.
There was a bit of an argument at the car hire office as they wanted us to bring the car back to them rather than take it to New York as we had booked. One to continue when we get home and the extra charges come through probably.
Once we got to our hotel, we went for a walk to the White House, which wasn't too far away. We had seen the White House years ago when we came to Washington in 2002 and boy has the security been ramped up. You now can't even get anywhere near the fence due to the extra fences and the concrete barriers presumably designed to stop vehicles. I'm not sure if this is just the general trend or if it is specifically due to Donald Trump being in the White House, but I heard someone say that there was not so much security when he was there in April this year.
It was funny to see the Secret Service guards in hi-vis jackets and bulletproof jackets labelled "Secret Service" - not at all secret and a long way from the sinister looking people in suits and dark sunglasses in the movies.
It was a nice evening but as we were walking back to the hotel, it suddenly turned and there was a storm - lightening, thunder and rain like nothing you would ever get in the UK. We took shelter in a shop for a while and then ran for it. A few seconds and we were drenched right through. Not what we wanted from the first day of our holiday.
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