Friday, March 21, 2014

A visit with the Bidens (yes, those Bidens)!

A couple days ago I got a call from someone at my school district's main office. I had been chosen along with 7 other teachers to meet and speak with Dr. Jill Biden, the Second Lady. Was I interested? "Sure! That would be cool" I said. (By the way, she's a teacher.)

I had no idea what the visit would entail or how exciting it would be.

Here's the short version of the afternoon:
  • Snipers around the small Santa Barbara airport
  • A huge grey cargo plane on the tarmac that carried the 9 armored SUVs that the entourage and Bidens drove in SB
  • TONS of police, sheriffs, fire trucks, K-9 units, ambulances, and secret service agents
  • The press were there as well, treating us teachers like we mattered and were "somebody." In fact, everyone did since we were the invited guests. That will probably never happen again

We hung out in the private jet airport for 2 hours before they arrived, chatting with a secret service agent and one another. It was fun because we were all a little giddy and excited. Only one teacher seemed to be calm and not excited and when I pointed it out to him, he said, "are you kidding? Do you know how many times I've gone to the bathroom since we got here?!" Pretty cool. The secret service agent was really nice as well, answering all our probing questions, some with good solid answers and others with perfect vagueness. Us: how many secret service agents are here? Him: Enough. And yes, they do have little microphones at their wrists.

We were allowed out near the tarmac while the plane landed and taxied into place then we were taken out to stand near the plane while the Bidens de-planed. We thought it was just going to be her, but the Vice President was there, too! They shook hands with each of us and had brief chats with each of us as well. She came first and introduced herself as "Jill" and he introduced himself as "her husband, Joe." Both so friendly, normal and down to earth.

She gathered us around and talked about teaching, teachers, etc (she is a community college English teacher and past high school teacher) who was grading papers on the flight. Then she casually said, "do you want to see inside Air Force 2?" Well, yeah! So we got to tour the plane!!

I told Dr. Jill Biden that my daughter dared me to take a selfie with her. That was a lie. I just thought it would get her to do it and she did!

More photos on the tarmac (the press was far away, but they've got good lenses) and they gave us gift bags (M&Ms, Kisses and a metal bookmark with Jill Biden's signature and a quote, all with the White House seal). Then the press talked to us afterward as the Bidens sped away in the armored cars.

It was such a high and really was fun. I had no idea I'd feel that way doing it. And, it turns out I was on the news.

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