Today, Valley Stream Dad and I left for the Presidential Inauguration of President Barack Obama. We attended the first one back in January 2009 where we were one of many stuck in the tunnel of doom. I’m proud to say that we stormed the barricade and just made the swearing-in. We were determined even after awaking in the wee hours of the morning to catch the train into the District with hundreds of thousands, even millions, of others from across the world. It was a historical event and we almost didn’t attend.
While we were planning to view the ceremony down at NY City Hall, we scored tickets two days before the 2009 ceremony from a friend who won the then Senator Hillary Clinton ticket lottery, and scored the apartment for the weekend of another friend. We didn’t spend a DIME! Our infant son was just seven months old and our daughter had just turned three years old. Luckily grandma was able to travel with us while we attended the ceremony in frigid temperatures.
This time, we made a sizable donation to attend one of two official Inaugural Balls where the POTUS and FLOTUS will attend. It didn’t hurt as much after Valley Stream Dad won the Brooklyn Nets raffle a few weeks ago scoring over $900! AND we converted AmEx points into Starwood points to pay for the hotel room. Well, today we were glad to have made the donation after the Ticketmaster faux pas where $60 tickets were released earlier than expected. As Valley Stream Dad went to the Washington Convention Center to pick up our tickets, he was able to bypass several lines of approximately 1,000+ where others would wait HOURS to retrieve their discounted tickets where he was in and out in a matter of 15 minutes. Sometimes it is worth paying more. While he was quickly ushered into a room, he was told the convention center was also abuzz with military families who had tickets to see the Inaugural Kid’s Concert.
Afterwards, we headed on over to the Westin Hotel where patriotic cupcakes greeted us at check in. Now THAT’S how you turn a hotel into a kid-friendly environment. Too bad the kids are still at home. Traffic was pretty easy coming into town.
We met a few friends for dinner at Matchbox which was pretty tasty. Apparently the place is haunted by an owner who was murdered in the building, before it housed the restaurant, causing the lights to flicker daily at the same time. Check please!
Now, we’re at the hotel preparing for our first of many events to celebrate the weekend. Tonight, we are partying with New York based group, Young Professionals United for Change, where we will see a few friends, before retiring to the hotel to rest up for an early morning brunch with the Young & Powerful group. Afterwards, we’ll head on over to the Martin Luther King Monument to pay tribute to a man who changed the lives of many and changed the course of American history. But first, we are heading to the hotel lounge where the First Lady’s favorite cocktail awaits us.
Stay close as I will capture the moments of the weekend from both a mother’s perspective while highlighting children’s activities and events as best as I can.