(I'd like to preface this post by saying that this post is not meant to incite anger or frustration from those who are unhappy with the results of November's election in any way. If this post is not your cup of tea, I totally understand - feel free to skip this post and tune in next time. No hard feelings :) But if you'd like to read about what goes on behind the scenes of the inaugural festivities, then please read on. And thank you for joining me as I document an exciting event in our life, here in my little space of the internet.)
Steve and I had the opportunity to travel to Washington, D.C. to witness history in the making at the inauguration ceremony of President Trump. The few days surrounding the inauguration were quite a whirlwind that I will remember forever.
Let's back up to the beginning. The morning after Trump was declared victorious in November, I got a frantic phone call from Steve at work. He apologized for putting me on the spot, but told me that I needed to decide then and there whether I would be interested in attending the inauguration in DC. We had been following the election closely and I knew that experiencing the inauguration in person would be a once in a lifetime opportunity - especially given some personal and professional connections to the Pence family. So I said yes, Steve bought our airfare immediately and that was that!
Now, let's fast forward to January, when the time came to travel to DC. Steve arrived in DC a couple of days ahead of me to attend some work events while I held down the fort in Dallas. I woke up the day before my flight feeling just awful. After a painful spin class (and a hasty dash out of the door thereafter), I learned very quickly that I was suffering from a stomach bug or food poisoning. Either way, I was stuck in bed for the majority of the day. But I was bound and determined to make it to DC. So with the priceless help of my mom in recovering and packing, I made it to the airport the next morning for my flight - tired, still a bit achy, hungry and just worn out, but I made it!
After arriving at our hotel (the Grand Hyatt), I unpacked, showered and got ready for the first event of the weekend - the Indiana Society Inaugural Ball with my in-laws and brothers-in-law!
We enjoyed cocktail hour catching up with Steve's folks, meeting some work colleagues of Steve's, and listening to a string quartet. Soon thereafter, we moved into the ballroom for dinner and dancing. The ball was packed, since Mike Pence was the keynote speaker, and his wife Karen also gave a brief speech. Steve and I were both glad that we got to share in their last evening before Mike was sworn in as VP. The entire room erupted in cheers and standing ovations multiple times for the couple.
This was my first black tie event, so I really enjoyed dressing up and loved seeing Steve in his tux! He looked dashing!
After dancing to a couple of songs on the dance floor, we called it a night. I was wiped! And besides, we had to get some shut-eye before the early start to the next day.
This is my, "I made it through the day despite this nasty stomach bug" face!
We awoke on Friday morning at 5:30am. We had passes to ride a shuttle in to the capitol, but it turned out that finding said shuttle and actually getting to the drop-off point once we were on board was logistical chaos. The first set of buses that we tried to take were full, so we waited for forty-five minutes for the next set to arrive. But finally, we made it on a bus!
Our bus driver was from out-of-town and had not been given a route to get to our entry point at the capitol. Due to the blockades throughout the city, the poor man drove in circles several times until the lady sitting on front of us saved the day by directing him around the blockades. As it turns out, she was a former police officer in DC and she knew her way around the city. We were so grateful - without her guidance, we may have never made it to our gate. But finally, we arrived at the yellow gate entrance and were on our way to our seats.
Our seats for the inauguration ceremony offered a great view. We waited there for a couple of hours before the ceremony began. It was very neat to be able to witness such a routine but important ceremony in person.
It rained off and on before, during, and after the ceremony, but fortunately the temperature was mild and the rain was never very heavy. We brought ponchos with us and kept taking them on and off. I used some hand warmers and wore layers, so I was able to stay warm despite my thin Texas blood!
After the inauguration ceremony, we headed to a parade-watching party off of Pennsylvania Avenue. Still recovering from my sickness, I was worn out from all of the walking (we walked 5+ miles!) so we headed back to the hotel to finish watching the parade from the comfort of our room. Soon enough, it was time to get ready for our second formal evening.
We had a delicious dress-up dinner with Steve's parents, brothers and a few other family friends. While eating our meal, we learned that the Liberty Ball (for which we had tickets) had an extremely long wait time to get through security - totaling 2+ hours - ack! We wound up calling it a night a little earlier than planned, which worked out best for this girl as it sped up my recovery.
I don't think I'll ever tire of seeing Steve looking so fancy in his tux!
We flew home to Dallas on Saturday afternoon. I was glad to get to experience such a historic event, and spending time with my in-laws was a lot of fun despite being sick!