Inauguration 2009 Pics

My Inauguration 2009 coverage would be incomplete without my pictures from the trip. So, here they are. Enjoy!

xoxo,
The Caramel Bella





Inauguration Day: The Wrap-Up

Here I am giving a fun and quick wrap-up of my Inauguration Day experience. I’ll let the video speak for itself.

Smooches,
The Caramel Bella

P.S. I’d love to hear how your Inauguration day experience went. Please post comments.




Inauguration Day: Metro Train Ride to the Swearing-In Ceremony

I’ve decided to post the videos from my trip to Washington, D.C. for the Inauguration of Barack Obama. Here is a video of my Metro (subway) train ride. There were thousands of people on the crowded trains. The Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authorities (WMATA) closed several train stops (including the one I needed based on my swearing-in ceremony ticket — Federal Center S.W.).

Although I wasn’t able to capture it in the video below, the subway personnel instructed us (in a very loud voice) to “keep it moving” to help the crowds exit through the train doors, to put our tickets through the reader, to ride the escalator up and out onto the streets. These instructions became a fun chant for the upbeat Inauguration train riders.

xxoo,

The Caramel Bella




T Minus 10 hours & Counting until the Swearing-in Ceremony

U Street

Today, I spent the majority of the day walking around the “Inauguration Washington, D.C.” As a person who calls this place “home” (my folks still live here), the District has really transformed into this buzzing and alive place. Obama hasn’t taken office yet but my “home” has changed already.

From the Historic U Street area to Ben’s Chili Bowl restaurant to the Washington Monument and Mall, the streets were full of people. I couldn’t tell the tourists from the natives. And there were tons of street vendors. It appears as though hundreds of people have figured out how to make money in this troubling economy — sell anything with Barack or Michelle Obama on it. There were the standard souvenir fare like t-shirts, hats, buttons and posters. Yet, I also came across unique and somewhat strange items like Obama earrings and condoms. Yes, this city is alive with Obama-mania!

After walking around downtown and the Mall, I headed into the Smithsonian to warm up and re-familiar myself with my favorite museum. I then walked back to the U Street area to visit one of my favorite places: Busboys and Poets. It’s a unique spot that’s a restaurant, bookstore, bar and venue for artists. I love it. Following an hour long wait outside, I was able to enjoy a great dinner in one of the most eclectic places in town. (It is open 24/7 during the Inauguration festivities.)

My visit to D.C. (my home) has been almost magical. From getting tickets to the swearing-in ceremony to seeing my city with new eyes. I am hopeful that the “new” energy so easily seen in the nation’s capitol remains long after President-elect Obama has taken office tomorrow at 12 noon. Our new president has a tough road ahead to turn the state of the nation around (especially economically and in terms of international relations). Let’s all pledge to remember the excitement, hope and belief in the future of our country that we have right now. We’re going to need it.

Only a couple more hours until the ceremony….

signing off,

The Caramel Bella




Planes, Trains & Automobiles..But I’m Here for Inauguration 2009

snow-planeinauguration

Whew! I am finally here in Washington, DC for the Inaugural 2009. I almost cannot believe that I actually made it. My first flight out of Los Angeles (LAX) into Pittsburgh was rather uneventful. (Exception: USAirways has decided to charge you for everything such as bags, food, water, and drinks. Didn’t gas prices go down?) However, my connecting flight out of snowy P’burgh was delayed twice for a total of an hour and a half. I made it fun by chatting it up with my travel mates, and grabbing a cold one and a meal at the airport.

Although the trip to DC went much slower than I hoped, I learned a lot about some of the people I was traveling with. Being a journalist, I am naturally nosy and I occasionally listen to conversations around me.

And what I discovered is that the Inauguration activities for President-elect Barack Obama are akin to the biggest Superbowl win and New Year’s eve rolled up into one. People, especially a lot of black people, have traveled far and wide to witness and celebrate Obama becoming the 44th president and the 1st African American president of the United States. I overheard several folks say they decided at the last minute that they wanted to be here. They felt like they had to come. In particular, a black woman on my Pittsburgh flight said she decided just yesterday that she wanted to be in Washington, DC for the Inauguration and bought her ticket last night.

Another older white gentleman, who I will call Bill, told me that he had to be in DC at this time because he wanted to feel the energy of the city. Like most of the people I spoke with, Bill didn’t have a ticket to any of the events. He only held a desire to be a part of history. He said “I’m excited for us to get rid of the old and see the change come to Washington.” He spoke fondly of President-elect Obama’s ability to remain calm and even during times of great pressure and his message of hope. He joked that there were Obama supporters even in Orange County, Calif. Armed with new gloves, he was headed to The Mall to soak in as many Inaugural events as possible.

I also overheard a woman who is traveling to DC because she is responsible for an Inaugural party held by Occidental College (Obama’s first college). She couldn’t believe her good fortune when her boss asked her to go in his place. She felt like she’d hit the jackpot.

And I met another young lady who traveled here to meet up with family and friends to attend Inauguration parties, stand in line to see the parade and try to get as close as possible to see the swearing in. People are spending crazy money, braving the cold and bearing the big crowds just to get a glimpse of President-elect Barack Obama – and to say that they were here.

All of the people I talked to could not believe that I held a ticket to the Inauguration swearing-in ceremony. I actually think getting on the plane and witnessing the lengths to which some people have come (without credentials, passes or tickets) just to be a part of history has made me feel quite special to be here – with or without a ticket.

So, hopping on two planes, airport shuttles, and into my parents SUV was worth it because over the next few days, I get to witness history.

More to come…

The Caramel Bella




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  • profileCARAMEL BELLA: This is my place to write about my adventures and mis-adventures in this thing called life. I discuss my passions: the environment, politics, art & culture, writing as well as yoga, health and spirituality. The one thing you can expect from this blog is that it is not what you expected. Thanks for reading! To reach me email thecaramelbella at gmail.

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