Saturday, January 24, 2009
It's an Obama Nation!
DC was a blast. The town is full of Obama love. It was amazing to witness how people of all ages and races expressed their joy for our new Commander-in-Chief. It was electric and I'm happy to have been a part of it.
My friends and I tried desperately to get tickets to the swearing-in or the parade, but there was absolutely no luck on that front. I sent notes to both my senators, Senator Kennedy and Senator Kerry, to no avail. However, because of those notes, I was invited to attend a reception they sponsored in a Senate hearing room near the Mall. How cool was that? We got the best of both worlds. We rode the Metro over and got to be a part of the huge crowds... without having to be in the huge crowds! The temperatures were in the 20s, so we definitely got the better end of that deal!
Naturally, we didn't see the Senators -- they were up close and personal to the swearing-in. However, their staff made sure that we were well taken care of. We were in a room with comfortable chairs, 3 large-screen televisions, plenty of refreshments and most importantly, clean bathrooms down the hall! No port-a-potties for us!
We arrived around 8 am, even though the invitation suggested we get there by 10 am. That was a good move, as there was already a good amount of people when we got there. We were able to go downstairs to the cafeteria before the staffers set up the coffee, soft drinks, sandwiches and pastries.
We saw the ceremony via closed-circuit TV. We watched the guests arrive without commentary, so it was fun to make our own. I loved Madame Obama's outfit and I love how she dressed her girls -- in J. Crew, no less. So chic! I appreciate that Madame Obama celebrates American style and American designers. Dr. Biden, Vice President Biden's wife, is going to give Madame Obama a run for her money fashion-wise! She is quite fashionable herself. I love that she wore those boots!
We were able to purchase tickets to an unofficial luau, in honor of President Obama's home state. We took the Metro to the luau at the Hotel Monaco. DC was dressed to the nines Inaguration Night! There is a large military presence there (obviously). I was impressed to see the soldiers in their dressy uniforms escorting elegant ladies in velvet! The civillians were dressed as well. I've never seen so many tuxedos on a subway!
We didn't see President Obama at the luau, but we were feeling lots of Hawaii love and eating delicious luau fare. My favorite was the chicken long rice. Be sure to get some of that if you make it to the islands!
The only souvenir I managed to get was the commemorative Metro card pictured above (which I purchased on-line before I left for DC). I tried to purchase souvenirs the day after the Inauguration, but the lines were too long. I hope I can visit DC later in the year and purchase a few things for my family.
On the way back to Boston, Governor Patrick, who attened the Inauguration with his wife and daughter, was on the plane -- riding coach, in case any Massachusetts taxpayers are wondering. I couldn't think of anything clever to say, so I decided to leave him alone. He was intensely tapping away on his Blackberry, no doubt attending to important state business.
There were several people who had connecting flights, so Governor Patrick and his family stayed on the plane so that they could get off. After he walked out, he greeted several youngsters. He seems like a really nice person. He had a few moments to himself, but soon after he got off the plane, reporters were there, with bright lights and camera crews, ready to interview him about the Inauguration.
It was a terrific time to be in DC. I'm so glad I was there! I visited some delicious eating establishments as well. I'll share those in a later post.