For its May issue, Michelle Obama is the first first lady to grace the cover of Conde Nast Traveler. In the story by contributor David Michaelis, Mrs. Obama talks about D.C. date nights, her favorite local spots, and how she gave her daughters a crash course in American history. Scroll down for a closer look at the cover. The first lady is wearing a pink dress by Diane von Furstenberg.
On Her Washington Experience:
· "That is probably the most awe-inspiring time, because you're in the Presidential motorcade," which even on a date night can choke three city blocks "and you're sort of like, 'Are we in this? Who's here?' And it's us. And you pull up at night to the South Lawn and everything is lit up: That White House with that light shining...and you think, This is my house. This is where we live. Kind of cool. It's beautiful. And while I enjoy the time I spend with my husband -- it's a good way to end the evening."
· "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. I want to get on the Metro." She'd like to go out for a quick bite, but she can't. "It's like, 'Okay, we're going to that restaurant, and everyone's going to get mad, 'cause I'm there eating my hamburger.' People are excited, but" she says somewhat abashedly, "you sort of feel like, 'Ohhhh..."
On Her Quest to Make Washington and The White House Accessible to All:
· "I hope we've done a good job of bringing even more people to [the White House] -- people who never thought they were connected to this history. Just increasing that curiosity that this White House is yours, everyone's: It doesn't belong to a set of special people who have access and privilege. It's everyone's house, at every age. So come, use this place, walk in the doors. Feel like it's your museum."
· "Kids in Anacostia should be taking up the spots in the page program on Capitol Hill. They should be the ones who get to intern at the White house. They should have equal access as well as the folks with power from all over the country. I think as more and more kids have those experiences they start to expand their sense of who they can be in the world."
On Her Determination To Expose her Children to American History First-hand:
· "I felt that my kids learned so much more about the history in Europe than they did here, "she said of eleven-year-old Malia and eight-year-old Sasha. "And I thought, 'Well the only way we're going to do that is to show them, right?" And you can't read about it, you have to go see it. So this summer, I really felt like, instead of putting them in camp, we would have Camp Obama." The family visited historic American sites like Monticello and Mount Vernon, and Frederick Douglass's house.
Mrs. Obama on a few of her predecessors:
· "Laura Bush has been and continues to be so incredibly gracious and kind and real in a way that I didn't expect. You don't know the people in this house truly until you get to know them."
· "Hilary Clinton's legacy left a space for me to be who I am today. She left open a broader possibility of what a First Lady could be. I don't feel like policy is out of reach. She made that change happen."
· "Nancy Reagan came to have lunch with me, and we walked around every single room. I want to make sure that all those First Ladies continue to feel that this is their home."
Mrs. Obama shares a few of the First Family's favorite Washington spots:
· The Newseum, D.C.'s most interactive museum: "High recommendations (from the kids). They love the Newseum."
· Monticello: "It is just incredibly beautiful, and that beautiful garden that he planted that is three times the size of anything that you'd ever do. It brings it to life, not just for my kids but for me."
· Luray Caverns: "Yes! We saw the egg. Barack was very jealous -- he's a Tour Guy."
· Blue Duck Tavern: The Obama's celebrated their 17th wedding anniversary at chef Brian McBride's cozy West End restaurant.
· Restaurant Nora: President Obama surprised Michelle for her 46th birthday at this farm-to-table restaurant.
· Good Stuff Eatery: Mrs. Obama's old-favorite burger joint. They've named a burger the "Michelle Melt" for Mrs. Obama (it's free-range turkey and local organic veggies).
· Bureau of Engraving and Printing: "We did the Bureau of Engraving (and Printing tour)."
· Freshfarm Market: "In this society today, sometimes it's hard to make regular meals, healthy meals, a part of everyone's existence."
Cover for Jonas Fredwall Karlsson: