Sunday, January 25, 2009

The Inauguration

I haven't posted in over a week because we have been in Washington! Last Friday we flew to NC and dropped off the kids with mom and dad. It was our first time leaving them, and although they were in more than capable hands, I was a little nervous. Mom has a broken foot with a boot up to her knee, so I felt terrible leaving her with 2 busy kids, but she is a pro. She had to deal with both kids getting sick. Alice apparently had a few episodes of projectile vomitting. She even had an early birthday party for Alice with so many special details. She had Fancy Nancy plates and cups, and pink princess balloons and lots of presents. Thanks Mom, you're the best!

And as always, the kids had a great time with their cousins.

After a visit with all of our relatives, we borrowed their car and drove up to DC for the Inauguration. We were very lucky to get tickets to the ceremony and the parade. We knew that there were going to be lots of people, but we had no idea what we were getting in to! This is a picture of Brad holding our tickets as we were walking down to the capitol. We had no idea at the time how funny this picture would be later.

We left our friend Anne's apartment around 7:00 and walked down. It took us about 45minutes to an hour to get the line. When we got there we saw a line that stretched about a block. When we asked if it was the purple ticket line, everyone around said yes and told us that the line went into the 3rd Street Tunnel. I thought ok, we'll just be right inside the tunnel a little ways. Wrong. We walked for at least a mile or more. Probably more like 2 or 3. There were so many people, but they were all cordial and waited patiently. During our 2 1/2 hours in the tunnel, I never saw anyone official telling people where to go. When we finally got out of the tunnel, the line disappeared. Everyone was confused and then we saw people heading towards us. They told us that the purple gate was closed and that they weren't letting people in, even those with tickets. I was not about to turn around after coming all this way. We kept making our way through the crowds and found another open gate. They were not letting anyone in, but we waited. Finally the slowly (50-60 people at a time), started letting people in. The gate was only about 100 feet wide, so as we got closer we were nearly squeezed to death. All I could think about was the man who was trampled at Walmart over Christmas. We did make it in as Obama was finishing the oath. We could barely hear but were able to see Obama on a TV screen. There we so many other who came so far, but did not get in. I was sick for them. We were too worn out and too worried that we would not be able to get into the parade, so we watched it at a bar on TV while eating lunch and drinking a glass of wine. I've never been so happy to sit!

For me, the two best parts of the whole thing were seeing my dear friend Anne and her adorable baby and the Staff Ball. The Staff Ball was held on Wednesday night and was the final official event. I'm so glad it wasn't Tuesday night because I was so tired and surely would not have enjoyed it nearly as much as I did after a good rest.

I had my hair done by a total stranger which is always risky. She promised me it would fall, but it stayed pretty curly. I think I looked a little like Shirley Temple, but a change is always good.

We did not get many details about the ball prior to being there, so I was a little skeptical about the whole thing. So when it turned out to be awesome, I was pleasantly surprised. When we got there, there was an open bar and a buffet with yummy food and one of Brad's favorite bands, Arcade Fire was playing. Biden and Obama both spoke. Obama gave the most eloquent speech that was obviously not prepared. He is so amazing and motivating to me. And to top it all off, Jay-Z played. What a fun concert.

And last be not least, Anne and her cutie, Jacob...

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