Pix from the Prayer Service for the President at the National Cathedral.
Wednesday, January 21, 2009
I woke up at 4 a.m., raring to go. My roomie wanted to have breakfast before we made our way downtown so we got dressed and made our way to the hotel restaurant to be there as soon as it opened at 5 a.m.
Monday, January 19, 2009
Day five: One day before the
Today we went to the Senate building to pick up our inaugural tickets. Every door into the Hart Senate office building had a line that extended for almost the length of the building. I imagine things were about the same over at the buildings for the House of Representatives. Even so, it only took about 20 minutes or so to get in, have our bags checked and make it to the Senator Carper’s office.
After picking up our tickets
, we took photographs at the front of the Capitol, and walked around as close as we could to the back to watch the set-up for tomorrow’s inauguration. Then we walked down to the Silver ticket area to try to
determine the best and quickest route to the entrance. Then we tried to determine the best places to stand to get a good photograph.
I tried out my new binocular camera. It works okay, but it's hard to tell what you're shooting. It has a viewfinder, but unlike most digital cameras there’s no screen that shows you what you’ve taken. It’s also hard to see or focus the image through thebinoculars.
While there, I thought I took a shot of the Indian statue at the top of the Capitol building, but when I downloaded the photographs to my computer, I discovered I had only shot the inscription just below the figure.
We ended up walking to the Women's History Museum, which was breaking down an event -- a Brunch for the President-elect.
We didn't get to see him, though. I photographed what I could then went to check out an exhibit on women photographers, that included Carrie Weems and Nikki Lee. I looked at the Mary Cassatt and pottery exhibits too. You could use your cell phone for an audio tour, which was pretty cool.
I guess I'll end at this point. Can't believe tomorrow's the day.
Today we spent most of the day visiting a friend in Georgetown. Most were artists, and the discussion centered around, what else, art.
Later we stopped for dinner at Clyde's on M street and shopping in the downtown area.
At Clyde's I ordered a tuna, spinach, portobello mushroom and leeks dinner that was simply wonderful. Our waiter had the most beautiful voice -- very deep, and resounding, like a radio announcer.
Saturday, January 17, 2009
Three days before the inauguration.
We spent most of the day at the National Building Museum, the official location of the Commander-In -Chief's Official Inaugural Ball. We took a tour of the facility, which has been one of the primary locations for the Inaugural Ball since it was built in the 1800s as was the location of the Inaugural Ball of Grover Cleveland. I took tons of photographs even though tonight they were setting up for a Mayor's Association event. Although you usually can take photos the night before the ball, security is so tight the museum will be closed after tonight.
I finally found the Obama t-shirt I was looking for. At the event in Indiana, I saw a shirt with the red, white and blue drawing of him above the word "HOPE." I didn't buy it then because the vendor said it was up on the website. But when I checked, no such shirt. Today a vendor right outside the Metro was selling one. Now I have that t-shirt, an Obama bobble-head doll, a new Obama/Biden Inaugural sweat shirt and an inaugural wool hat. Guess that's enough Obama-memorabilia for one trip.
Friday, January 16, 2009
Four Days Before the Inauguration:
I went to the window a few times to try and determine where the sound was coming from. I almost called the front desk a few times to see if they knew what was going on. I even thought about phoning the police to check it out. I ended up just laying in bed, wondering until it was gone.
Of course, I also noticed that the hotel is directly across the street from a cemetery and wondered if someone was just having a joke on the expenses of hotel patrons. Which, I guess I'll never know.
After I got over the crying in the
We later ventured out to the Reagan International Trade building to see a wonderful political satire/parody group called Capitol Steps. It was hilarious. One of the best comedy skits I've seen in a good while. I particularly liked the way they started using songs from ABBA/Mamma Mia to introduce their political satire. "Obama-mia.....here we go again...My my, how can we resist ya..." Then "McCain" sang "Winner takes all..." You get the idea.
The train was packed. The plan was I would stop at BWI to wait for my friend's plane to arrive. But the only available train got me there two hours before. So I decided to just head straight to the hotel instead. I was hungry and tired. Sitting for two hours at the airport just did not sound like the best way to spend two hours. When she arrived, I was sitting at Union Station, waiting for the Red line to take me to the hotel.
The trip to Washington was uneventful, really. I found a seat, sat down. I brought my computer, of course, but didn't feel like writing on the train. I also brought a host of DVDs with me and didn't want to watch them, either. Whomever was sitting in those seats before me left a pretty big mess...water bottles left in the seat compartment on the back of the chair where magazines should be. I've had this thing about public trash, a compulsion you might say. I was thoroughly grossed out, but decided to try to ignore it and focus on removing the lint from my wool coat.
Union Station was busy as it always is. I arr ivied around rush hour, so it was full of commuters. I called the hotel ahead of time to find out the Metro train to catch to get me to the hotel. Bought my metro ticket with the help of a busy commuter I let go ahead of me in line. Then I headed off to Woodley Park station to wait for the hotel shuttle.
Hotels should take note. If you have a shuttle, you should at least tell your guests what to look for when they're taking it. An unmarked black van was parked at the curb when I got there. So was a white one and a blue one. Neither of them had the name of my hotel on them. Since all three were down a flight of stairs and I had lots of luggage, I was not too keen on venturing down, only to find none of them were looking for me. So I stood in front of the station, as I was directed by the hotel, looking like a damsel in need of rescue by a hotel van.
Needless to say when I called back 20 minutes later, the hotel said the van had come and gone without seeing me there. And sure enough the van I was looking for was the black unmarked van I had seen earlier. I got to the hotel, had dinner and went back to my room.
I have to mention that when I checked in, I was so hungry and tired that I checked in, got my key, went up to my room and came back looking for the restaurant. It was only then that I realized there was a life-sized standee of Barack in the lobby. Life-sized! And standing right by where I checked in.
I walked over to the attendant to ask if it had been there when I checked in. He assured me that it was. Aye Carumba...
Dinner was great. Funny how a hamburger and onion rings hits the spot. After coming back to the room, my friend finally arrived...hungry and tired. Back to the restaurant again.
Tomorrow, I'll sit down and figure out what we're going to do in the days leading up to the inauguration. Another friend is picking up the tickets on Monday. Sounds to me like we're as far away from the Capitol Hill steps as you could get.
Bought an inaugural sweat shirt and hat. Now I need inaugural mittens, LOL.
Thursday, January 1, 2009
Here's an interesting article about this curiosity