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The Honolulu Advertiser
Posted on: Sunday, April 11, 2010

Michelle Obama sightsees D.C. area

AP Travel Editor

Hawaii news photo - The Honolulu Advertiser

Michelle Obama posed in the Blue Room of the White House for the May cover story about attractions in the Washington area.


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NEW YORK The Newseum and historic attractions like Monticello are among the Obama daughters' favorite places to visit in the Washington area, Michelle Obama told Cond[0xe9] Nast Traveler magazine in its May cover story, headlined "Mrs. Obama's Washington: Why the First Lady Loves Her New Hometown."

The cover shows the first lady wearing pearls, silvery pointy-toed high heels, and a fuchsia dress, cinched at the waist with a bow. The Washington Monument is seen through the window. The blue chair beside her is from the early 1800s.

The first lady said she created an informal "Camp Obama" last summer to expose her girls to attractions related to American history, because she worried that they'd learned "more about history in Europe than they did here."

In addition to Monticello Thomas Jefferson's estate, which she called "incredibly beautiful" they've visited Frederick Douglass' home and Mount Vernon, George Washington's estate.

She told the magazine that her daughters "love the Newseum," an interactive museum of news history. They enjoyed the Luray Caverns in Virginia, too: "Yes! We saw the egg," she said, referring to a formation in the cave that looks like fried eggs.

She reflected on the limits of her ability to experience Washington like other visitors. "I would love, and so would the president, to be able to walk up and down the Mall, not at night but in the middle of the day, when there are millions of people there, and experience it in the way that you're used to experiencing it," she said.

The May issue will be on newsstands Wednesday. The online version of the story includes a map of some of the places noted.

"We have been particularly inspired by first lady Michelle Obama's mission to encourage all Americans to experience and enjoy Washington, as well as her commitment to giving back to her community and the world at large," editor in chief Klara Glowczewska said.

Michelle Obama has appeared on other magazine covers, including Glamour, Vogue, O, People and Time, but this is the first time the 23-year-old Cond[0xe9] Nast Traveler has put a first lady on its front. Its covers usually feature beaches or skylines with glamorous but anonymous models. But Queen Rania of Jordan appeared on the cover last year and former President Bill Clinton in 2007.