I honestly can’t believe our trip to Washington D.C. has come and gone already! It feels like just yesterday was election night and I was booking our hotel tickets in a flurry of Expedia searches and too much celebrating with champagne. haha. And now here we are… home again after a whirlwind of a trip that changed me forever. I really don’t know where to begin except to say that this was definitely a Bucket List trip for James and I, and we feel so blessed to have been able to experience it.
D.C. was amazing, as were all the people there in attendance. I have never been to an event this large where everybody was in a fabulous mood, happy, chatting with strangers, singing, dancing, and loving every moment of it! It blew my mind that they managed to keep a crowd of that size under control, flowing in and out of the city on the Metro, through scanners, security checkpoints, and everything else without any outbursts, problems, or fights. I’m used to being at large events where something goes down – arrests are made, people are irritated, angry, and want to get out of the crowds. But this time none of the above happened (in fact, people even offered to let us in front of them in line!), and it really was a beautiful thing to be a part of! There were people of all ages, races, religions, sexual orientations – all together in one place – joining together to celebrate. And no matter which way you lean politically, I’d say that anybody can agree it is an amazing thing that this is the 57th time we’ve had a peaceful transition of power in our country.
I could go on forever about this trip – but I think the story will be better told with photos (naturally)! (I did my best to document most of the trip – but also tried to put the camera down more when spending time with loved ones on the trip in order to be more present. Anyway – here are some of my favorites!)
Chicago had a wonderful farewell to us the morning we flew out to D.C…
After a long day of travel – James & I napped and then found a restaurant close to our hotel, enjoyed a low-key dinner together, and hit the hay early. Then on Sunday we were up and at ’em early so we could have a practice run heading into D.C. on the metro and get to see the sights before a million people took over the city! It was 55 degrees and just the PERFECT day to wander around! We met up with my Aunt Mary & Uncle George who were also in town for the Inauguration, grabbed some lunch, and were able to get tickets to the Inauguration and Parade (which we didn’t have when we arrived) thanks to their nephew, Jared, who we met & got to be friends with during the trip as well!
Even the dogs were getting along fabulously in D.C.! 😉
After lots of walking – we were SO READY for lunch (and drinks)! Jared was super impressed by Uncle George’s commemorate Metro pass! haha Love this moment!
Our tickets!! Thanks Jared!!
Then we headed out to check out some more sights!
One of the most amazing moments of the weekend for me was visiting the Martin Luther King Jr memorial. I was moved to tears as we wandered around in the dark, reading all the quotes, and seeing all the different people celebrating this great man. I couldn’t help but think how very different my life would look if it weren’t for MLK and other civil rights leaders. I was overwhelmed with feelings of gratitude for those that came before us, and all they did.
On Inauguration Day we woke to such a beautiful sunrise!!
Then off to the Metro we headed – ready to take on the crowds… only to find – no crowds?!
Our totally empty metro car?! ….
Then we got off downtown and the swarms of people began… but there was no pushing, no shoving, no frustration or anger… just celebration and joy. It was amazing!
We filed into the gold ticket area and had plenty of room to get comfortable.
Behind us was the un-ticketed area for general admission – and it was PACKED to the brim!
I got chills when they announced President Obama and the crowd roared…
I loved seeing everyone’s unique experiences from the very young, to the very old… such an amazing moment to witness!
After the Inauguration ended – we headed up to Pennsylvania Avenue where we had tickets to the parade!! We waited for 3+ hours in the cold (along with LOTS of other people) in our bleacher seats in hopes of seeing the President and First Lady walking the parade route…
… only to have them drive by in a limo with tinted windows… haha!
I’m not going to lie – I was bummed we didn’t see them in the flesh – but if you squint really hard – you can see Michelle Obama in the back window on our side of the road! haha!
Then we walked a ways down the parade route to meet up with George, Mary, and Jared for dinner after a long day in the cold. Let me tell you – food, water, and warmth never felt so good! I was so zoned into eating, relaxing, and warming up that I never even pulled my camera out of my bag for the remainder of the day (or the trip, for that matter).
It was an AMAZING weekend to be a part of and I’m so happy that we were able to experience it together along with loved ones. It really is still sinking in… just… wow.