Whew! What an amazing, incredible trip! We're on our way back home, and I thought I'd use the down time to write an update on our trip!
We headed to DC on Saturday, January 19.
We landed in Baltimore, took the Metrobus to the rail station and then took the train into the city. Cost us $10 and about 45 minutes of time which is MUCH less than it was going to cost us to fly into DC. We went straight to will call for our inaugural ball tickets at the convention center. We had to wait in line for about an hour, but it was inside and not too terribly bad.
Then we met up with Rick, who also went to DC from Memphis, and Steven, who was gracious enough to let us stay with him, and we had a great night out that included dinner at Old Ebbitt Grill and Mint Juleps at the Willlard.
Sunday morning, we headed to the Capitol fairly early to get our inauguration ceremony tickets. We received two from Senator Alexander and two from Congresswoman Lummis...Two tickets were green and two orange...they were for the same section, but each color had to enter at a different gate. Luckily the guy in Lummis' office switched two of our tickets for another color so we could all go in the same gate the next day.
Sunday afternoon we did a bit of sight-seeing before going to McFadden's, where our friend works, to watch football for the afternoon. I just love DC.
Monday morning, we woke up at 4:30am to head to the inauguration ceremony. In 2009, we woke up at 2:30am, but the crowds were supposed to be smaller this year, so we thought we could sleep in a little. After a quick and uncrowded metro ride, we thought we were in the clear...we were wrong. The capitol was already lined with thousands of people waiting to get in!
SO many people.
At 7am, they opened the gates and we were allowed inside. It was cold, but not near as cold as 2009. We just enjoyed meeting and talking with people for several hours before the ceremony began.
The most interesting thing we saw was a man in a tree on the Capitol lawn who was protesting abortion. The police put a ladder up to the tree to try to get him, but he climbed up further. He stayed there the ENTIRE time. I'm sure once the crowd left and the police got him down, it wasn't a pretty sight.
In fact, we just saw an article about him in the paper...
In 2009, there were zero arrests among all 2 million people at the inauguration, but I guess this guy had to go and ruin it for 2013. Oh, well.
We saw the Obamas of course, Beyonce, Kelly Clarkson and many other big names at the ceremony! Our standing places weren't the best but they weren't too bad, either!
After the ceremony, we walked back to our friend's place and relaxed for several hours before getting ready for the Inaugural Ball. Luckily my husband was smart and booked a taxi in advance on Taxi Magic, so one came for us about 4:45pm. We headed to the convention center, and were about the 50th or so people in line to get in the ball. About an hour later, the lined stretched around the entire block. We were definitely thankful we got there early and could go inside once they opened the doors at 6:30pm.
I was a little nervous about wearing this dress because 1). I've had it since high school, and it's a wee bit tighter than it used to be. And 2). Red isn't exactly the democratic color...but I figured it was patriotic nonetheless. And I've had that little faux fur jacket for several years and have gotten a TON of use out of it! The clutch and shoes (not pictured) are from my rehearsal dinner.
I have to say, I was glad I wore my red dress. It stood out in the sea of black, and Michelle herself ended up wearing the same color! :) In fact, someone interviewed me about my dress and asked if I had it made for the ball. Ha! No.
Anyway, once inside, we checked our coats, took some photos and got a few drinks (no, you don't get free drinks at an Inaugural ball!) before finding a place near the stage so we could see the excitement.
Check out all the media right behind us.
And even Piers Morgan!
The color guard came out first...
Then the show began and none other than Alicia Keys came out and sang "Fire" but changed the words to "Obama's on fire." Admittedly, I loved it.
We were about 10 feet from the stage!
Brad Paisley also performed...
And then the moment we had been waiting for!
And Jennifer Hudson performed their song...
Absolutely incredible night. One we'll always remember. Now back to reality :)