That One Time We Saw the President. Kinda.

I’m not even sure how it came up, but she said, “Oh yea! That’s what Obama is talking about today — internet speeds.” I didn’t think much of it. Then later she pointed out all of the welcome signs on Main Street when we were headed home from the library after lunch.


Me: “Wait, Obama is here?”
Lindsey: “Yeah…”
Me: “In Cedar Falls?!”
Lindsey: “Yes!”

Somehow I missed that memo. I thought his speech was just something on TV. “No,” she said. “He’s talking at Cedar Falls Utilities.”

“OMG we should drive by there and see him!”

We swung by CFU but there wasn’t much going on there. Just a couple of police vehicles. So when Lindsey mentioned he actually flew into the Waterloo airport instead of Cedar Rapids, I suggested we drive by to see Air Force One. So we did. I was way nervous. There were a ton more cops at the airport than there were in Cedar Falls.

“Are you sure we should actually drive into the airport parking lot??”
“We’ll just pretend we’re dropping someone off.”
“Oh! I’ll jump in the back seat and hide so they think I got out when we drive by again.”

“We’ve passed that cop twice already! Oh man, they’re going to arrest us!”
“For what? Driving by the airport?”

Lindsey is the braver one of our little duo…


We saw a little plane but we were sure it couldn’t be Air Force One. It had MAROON stripes. Definitely not very American. But maybe they couldn’t land Air Force One at the humble little Waterloo airport so he had to ride a different plane. (I didn’t think that one looked very presidential though…) Then I thought maybe it was behind the building where we couldn’t see it. So we left the airport to drive on a road that goes north beside the airport so we could see behind the building. Nothing. But as we turned around and were headed back, we saw a Homeland Security vehicle pull up to a car that was stopped on the side of the road just sitting there, facing the airport. Two burly men with guns strapped to their legs got out and approached the car on either side as another Homeland Security vehicle pulled up. We didn’t stick around to see how that ended…

So, slightly disappointed but still on a high from our little adventure, we headed home. Lindsey went to the eye doctor for an appointment and I went to the store. As I was shopping, I realized we should have made signs to welcome the president! D’oh. I texted Lindsey what I was thinking.

“Apparently he is supposed to arrive at 2:30 so there is still time!”
“Oh my gosh, you wanna????? Who needs work or supper????” (I was getting food to prepare lasagna for that night.)
“LOL kinda!”

So I ran out of the store (I was only in Bed Bath and Beyond at the time, hadn’t made it to the grocery store yet) and purchased some poster board and markers at the Staples next door and rushed home to make a sign quick.


Lindsey met me at the Cedar Falls Rec Center (since she was just getting done with her eye appointment) and we walked over to Cedar Falls Utilities. We had missed his arrival, but were hoping to see him leave. So we stopped at the corner of the street right across from the driveway, but then were told by a police officer that we had to move down to another spot (where everyone else was). Darn it. I was hoping if we kinda stood out a bit, he’d stop and say hi!


Quite a few people complimented us on our sign. (We were the only ones actually welcoming him. All the other signs were about political issues…) They even asked if they could take photos of it! Win. We froze while we waited. More people showed up. And then they blocked the street one way. Then they blocked it the other way! Then a couple of police vehicles pulled out of the driveway, and then…


The President!! We have no clue which vehicle he was in (probably the point of 3 identical vehicles), but it was still awesome. I took these two photos, but then I just waved my heart out as they drove by. I was 20 feet away from the President of the United States for one moment in time. It was cool, even if I couldn’t see his face. Hopefully he saw mine. Smiling, and waving.

Oh, and we also made the local news. HOLLA!


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