DECEMBER 23, 1937
The Aquatania docked yesterday remarkably near the time when she was supposed to arrive, and when I was driving up to the pier I saw her slowly coming up to the dock, looking very imposing and like the old sea dog that she is.
I had a little chat with Kermit Roosevelt on the pier, and one or two other people whom I knew.
Only a short time to wait, and as I surmised would be the case, my brother was amongst the first people off the boat and I had to run after him and cling to his coat tails to keep him from getting through the customs and off the pier without me! It was grand seeing him and I was glad that I had this opportunity of spending a little while with him immediately on his arrival. Everybody is always so much more anxious to tell something of their impressions when they first arrive, afterwards those impressions grow rather stale.
When we got back to the apartment I settled down and chatted while he unpacked and then after I had made a few last arrangements, he took me to the train for Washington.
Just before leaving, I called up a young friend of mine in Philadelphia to tell her I would stop over for an hour and catch the next through train to Washington. I thought that on such a brief visit I could get in and out without attracting any attention, but I was wrong. The photographers were at the station, and we hurried up the steps to find a taxi, a panting young reporter kept demanding why I was there and what I was doing, and seemed quite incredulous when I insisted that I had only stopped off to spend an hour with a friend before Christmas.
I got into Washington in time to have a chat with the President, and to greet Franklin, Junior, who arrived by car a little later than I did with a seven months' old puppy, a Great Dane, who is going to spend his Christmas holidays with us, while Franklin and Ethel journey back and forth. He is very well behaved and dignified for a puppy, and when the President suggested that he might chew things up, Franklin, Junior indignantly said that he was already much too well brought up.
This morning I had to catch up on all the various household and social arrangements for Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, and I was glad to have Franklin, Junior here to settle last details on the party they have on December 30th.
Then a press conference with two foreign correspondents present, one from Holland and one from Finland, both of them attractive young women filled with a desire to write truthfully about the United States and yet finding the picture a somewhat confusing one. I think it must be a tremendously difficult thing to find yourself trying to grasp political and social situations at the present time with a somewhat limited knowledge of the country.