We just finished one of my favorite things in Canada: Doors Open Ottawa at the United States Embassy.
This is a great program where — for a weekend — buildings in Ottawa that are usually not open to the public are opened for tours. The event has been going on for many years. Last year – for the first time – we opened up the US Embassy for one day on the Doors Open weekend. We thought it was consistent with the open and transparent government initiatives of President Obama.
Last year, we had thousands of people sign up to try to visit. Because we were only open for one day and could only accommodate about 600, there were a lot of disappointed people. This year we decided to open our doors on both days. And, while we could not accommodate everyone, we had about 1200 guests.
For me the best part is conducting of tours of my office at the Embassy. I can assure you it is as much fun for me as it is for our guests. It’s particularly great when someone brings a child on the tour. I love pointing out the picture I have on my wall of my first visit to Washington. I’m sitting in front of the United States Capital with my 7th grade class on a trip we took to Washington.
We gave each visitor a pack of our special Embassy M&M’s which are – quite frankly – copied after the Presidential M&M’s they give out in the White House. Everyone seemed to enjoy them. Particularly the kids. I’m already looking forward to next year’s tours.