Even President Obama waits until the last week to do his Christmas shopping.
Obama made stops at two stores at Potomac Yard Center a little after noon on Wednesday before grabbing a takeout order from Del Ray Pizzeria on Mt. Vernon Avenue.
With family dog Bo in tow, Obama picked up a few items from PetSmart at Potomac Yard, including an oversized bone.
He stopped to shake hands with shoppers and posed for a group photo with PetSmart staff members. Despite some rain, Obama also chatted with people who stopped to wait for him outside both PetSmart and Best Buy.
Del Ray resident Becky Kotuby encountered the president at both Potomac Yard and in Del Ray while she was out running errands with her children, Elizabeth and Thatcher.
“After leaving PetSmart, he was going to get into his SUV but he looked back and saw my kids and came over and asked them if they’d like to pet his dog,” she said. “He bent over and talked to them. It was just a very cool, impromptu thing.”
Kotuby told the president she had purchased “Of Thee I Sing: A Letter to My Daughters,” his recently published children’s book that he wrote for his daughters.
“He said he’d sign it if I had it with me,” Kotuby said. “I told him I didn’t and that it's already wrapped as a present for my kids.”
Kotuby drove back to Del Ray only to find Obama was picking up three large pizzas from a restaurant near her home. She couldn’t get to her house because the street was blocked. She asked the Secret Service if they would let her pass.
“They let me in and I got my camera and walked down to the pizzeria,” she said.
Kotuby then waited for the president with a crowd of people at the corner of Mt. Vernon and East Del Ray avenues.
“He recognized us and asked ‘Are you following me?’” Kotuby said.
She asked the president if he minded posing for a photo with her kids. Obama then leaned across a line of caution tape, put an arm around each of Kotuby’s kids and posed for a photo.
“He worked the whole line,” Del Ray resident Liz Chadderdon said of Obama’s stop in Del Ray. “Then he just picked up a box and left.”
Obama's order included three large pizzas—one with pepperoni and sausage, one with onions and green peppers and one supreme.
“I had no idea he was coming here,” Del Ray Pizzeria chef Eric Reid said. “I got a call from someone asking why he was being patted down to come in [the restaurant].”
In 2009, Obama and his daughters visited The Dairy Godmother in Del Ray for Father’s Day treats.
In September, Michelle Obama visited the Target at Potomac Yard. The president and his wife celebrated their anniversary later that month at Restaurant Eve in Old Town.