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Women of Soul White House 2014: Day 3

The cold temperature finally hit us and it was in the 20's and we were freezing . . . the kind where your face and fingers start to hurt.

Another Metro ride back to the W Hotel that was across the street from the White House. We stood in line with the others and waited to go through several security points. The one thing that stood out for me was how professional yet courteous all the staff were. We followed everyone to the entrance of the White House (we think it was a side entrance) and proceeded to floor with the State Dining Room. Again, everyone so nice and professional. It was surreal to be in the White House.

When doors where opened, students were led to their seats while chaperones were let to the side seating area.Seeing all the press corps in the back of the State Dining Room again, emphasized how special being here was. We were told that we could use cell phones to take photos during the presentation but we decided to wait until we had a sense that it would be okay.

The presentation began with First Lady Michelle Obama welcoming the students, then Robert Santelli speaking about soul music and the women who influenced the music, then each performer, Melissa Etheridge, Janelle Monae, and Patti LaBelle, each shared stories of how they began, their take on soul music, and challenges they faced. Several students asked questions and the program ended with performances by each of them.

We then ended with our "Flash Mob" version of Sweet Soul Music.And just like that, it was over. We thanked Robert, Kait, and Martha and we are hoping that the next time they are in Hawaii that they will visit NHIS and NPAC.

We then went on our planned tour to the memorials after getting lunch. However, the bitter cold stopped us and we got as far as the Lincoln Memorial, Vietnam Memorial, and Korean War Memorial.We caught cabs to the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts where we were going to see the Washington Ballet in their production of The British Invasion . . . performance to Rolling Stones and Beatles music.

We ate in the cafe and then enjoyed the performance. We headed back to hotel and began to pack.

It was a whirlwind day.

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