My sister, Edna, called me Saturday thrilled to have found an engraved invitation to the Inauguration in her mailbox that afternoon. She loved getting it, feeling it and smelling it. We kind of figured that she got it for making several substantial donations to Obama’s campaign along the way. I also made donations throughout the campaign as well as worked on it and I didn’t get one. But hey, I wasn’t going to waste any time feeling slighted because what I realized in a split second was that I was the one actually going to the Inauguration.
My husband will be working that week for a television network and although he won’t be able to hang out with me, he has a hotel room, right smack in the middle of everything and I would be a fool if I passed on that opportunity. So when Edna told me about her ticket I immediately knew my dream had come true and someone I knew did in fact have a ticket that they couldn’t use and was going to give it to me! I was envisioning myself sitting up at the front of the bleachers, right their up close and personal like or at least close enough to see Obama’s breath in the cold air as he was sworn in.
Over the past couple of days, I began to tie down my trip details and started thinking more about that beautiful, heavy, engraved invitation. The information on it was rather vague. In fact, it had nothing specific on it. I started to check around and found a New York Times article that reported on a printing firm in New York City was hired to print 1,000,000 of these pretty puppies. The article didn’t say what the invitations actually invited the one million people to but I am no fool I knew that even with no shows there was not going to be enough room in the bleachers that I had seen in my minds eye.
I searched around more and found a site with very specific information about the inauguration and among other things, it said the following in regards to the swearing in event,
Tickets are color-coded to facilitate entrance to the ceremony. Entrance will be granted only at the gate indicated on your ticket.
By this time, since it was not color coded I knew it was not going to get me into anything, although it was a very nice commemorative item. And by the way, I am now getting a bit miffed that I didn’t get one…
But what the hell it was a fun ride and so back in good spirits I called my friend Claudia and invited her to come with me. Claudia and I have DC history. Fifteen years ago, we were both there for a conference and she made me stand in line for two hours to tour the White house. And I am glad she did or I would never have taken the time to do it myself. Within minutes of calling, Claudia made a reservation on the same plane as I am on and we changed the hotel room to one with two double beds. And now, hell with the loss of my ticket fantasy, I will have a someone to hang with for the four days I’m there.
I am a bit worried that Claudia will try to convince me to get in place at the crack of dawn to get a free bleacher seat for the parade. They open the bleachers to the public at 7:00 AM, but the parade doesn’t start until 2:30! The parade goes up Pennsylvania Ave. from the Capitol to the White House, and they’ll have bleachers set up from 3rd to 17th, but even so I’m sure the area around the bleachers will be swamped with people packed in well before 7 AM. That kind of crowd brings to mind the Black Friday Wall mart trampling death. Hmmmm…. Maybe I can convince Claudia that we should find a nice bar somewhere close, with a big screen TV and a fireplace. That was we can catch both the swearing in ceremony and the parade and stay nice and toasty and in one piece.