Saturday, December 6, 2008

Going to Inauguration

Yay - we're so excited!

Ever since election night, we've been thinking about attending the inauguration. My daughter has asked if that could be her birthday gift for her sweet sixteenth, and I've really been hoping I could make it happen.

Well, I'm happy to report, we finally found a hotel in DC! I've been searching online forever, and was only finding hotels at $1,000 a night and up, but I somehow stumbled upon a site that featured a Motel 6 on Georgia Ave. (It's very close to Walter Reed, where I was stationed during my Army Medic training many years ago.) The price isn't toooo bad, and there really doesn't seem to be anything else available and affordable, so we decided to book it!

So, here's the plan:
  • Sunday, 1/18 - drive to DC. We've done this before - we visited there a few years ago for our summer vacation, but it's been a while. Mapquest says it should take about 7 hours or so. It will be interesting to see what kind of traffic we hit. This day should be fun, since Road Trips are one of our favorite things. (Reminder to self - have car serviced!)
  • Monday, 1/19 - learn how to us the metro system. plan our route to the inauguration site, and scope out the scene at the national mall. We've seen most of the museums and monuments, but it might be nice to visit the Lincoln Memorial again. And, the Washington Monument was closed for repairs the last time we were there. I've been up it, but my daughter hasn't, so we could see if it's open this time.
  • Tuesday, 1/20 - the metro will have special inauguration hours on this day, starting at 4 am. I don't know that we'll get up THAT early, but I am thinking we'd like to take it around 5 or 6 am, just to avoid being in crushing crowds during the ride, if at all possible. I've also ordered good binoculars, since I'm guessing it will be difficult to see anything. And, we're bringing lots of hand warmers. There are restrictions on the types of bags we can carry and the items we can bring, but we're hoping to bring water, snacks, cameras and maybe the camcorder - I'd like to interview random strangers and create my own iReport (my daughter isn't wild about this idea!). We're expecting that prices for food and water will be through the roof. Then, our plan is to let the crowds disperse a bit before taking the metro back to the hotel late in the day.
  • Wednesday, 1/21 - drive back home, hoping that outbound traffic isn't toooooo horrible; maybe we'll leave early in the am before all of the hotel checkout times go into effect!

So, that's the plan. I do think this will be a once-in-a-lifetime experience, that the crowds and cold will be a challenge, and that it will be fun to part of the excitement and the event.

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