I am exhausted! But not complaining about it. What an amazing weekend in Washington DC for President Obama’s 2nd Inauguration. I participated in the first one in 2009 and never thought anything could top that experience, but I was wrong. This time, the access was better, the weather was not as bad and the people, the atmosphere, the love was flowing in DC along with all the champagne. So here’s the wrap-up:
Day One (Friday, Jan.18th)
I took my flight from Atlanta early so I could get to DC and pick up my tickets, press credentials and have some time to hang out and walk the streets to take in the environment. I first stopped at the Convention Center to get my press credentials, it was so exciting because it was the first time I have ever been issued an official Secret Service clearance (I can’t post the pass because the SS will come get me). Then, I went to the Rayburn House Building to say hello to my GA Congressmen and ran into Mereda Johnson, wife of Congressman Hank Johnson and there I got my tickets to the swearing in. Yeah!
Next, I headed to Union Station to meet some friends and take in all the excitement. Next, on to my favorite people watching spot in DC, the Capitol Hilton. I ran into John Legend and his manager Hassan and he told me all about the activities he was taking part in, I saw Marc Morial, President of the National Urban League, Governor O’Malley of MD and tons of GA folks just hanging out and relaxing before all the events began. It was a basic chill day on Friday.
Day Two (Saturday, Jan.19th)
I woke up early in order to attend the National Day of Service, a day President Obama wanted Americans to give back. There was a huge tent on the National Mall filled with hundreds of service organizations, signing people up for community service, giving folks tips and education on an array of topics and guests speakers to encourage and thank all the Americans that make our country better for the least of us. First Lady Michelle Obama sent a message to all attendees that was inspiring. It was one of my favorite events. Check it out.
After that, I headed for a walk around the National Mall, took in the Washington Monument and was heading to the King Memorial when I realized that all the streets were being closed up, Secret Service was everywhere. OMG, I am in the middle of the Presidential Motorcade heading back to the White House! Yippee! Here’s our President maxing and relaxing in the Beast. Look for the waving hand! Quick fact: An ambulance follows the Presidential motorcade at all times, just in case something should happen to POTUS. (I love that)
Time to party! First Ball I attended was given by the blog website TheRoot.com and took place at the National Museum of American History. Let me tell you, these museum parties are amazing and so much to see while you eat and drink. Not sure if I was able to take it all in because I kept getting pulled in a million directions to check out the museum, dance when a good song came on, take pictures, etc. So many good folks were there from Mayor Reed to Morris Chestnut to Chris Tucker to my favorite college president, Dr. Johnetta Cole (she was President of Spelman while I was there). Enjoy the pics:
Day Three (Sunday, Jan. 20th)
Falcons Rise Up! Ok, so they didn’t but that’s how Sunday started off. I got a call from Congressman Hank Johnson to come back to his office because he was switching out my standing tickets for the swearing in to SEATED tickets! Jackpot! I was so happy. So, off to watch the Falcon’s game with my favorite Atliens at the Old Dominion Brewhouse. I ran into so many of my friends and many of my sorors of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority. Then, when the Falcons lost, I needed a nap before the evening activities. Got up, headed to the Hip Hop Ball at the Harman Center for the Arts (another great venue) sponsored by Russell Simmons, Ben Chavis and others. It started with an awards show featuring John Legend, MC Lyte, Meek Mill, 2 Chainz (yes, he received an award), Voto Latino (the award was accepted by Rosario Dawson) and a special performance by Doug E Fresh, Wayne Brady (who is now apparently a rapper), Yoyo and Lil Mama. I ran into Dikembe Motumbo, Kenny Lattimore, 2 Chainz, and Swiss Beatz (Bronx homie). The after party was at Saks hosted by White House Advisor Rick Wade which was a total blast. Then, I had to turn in for the big next day.
Day Four (Monday, Jan. 21st INAUGURATION DAY)
Finally, the day is here. It’s time for the 44th President of the United States to take his second oath of office. I headed down to the Capitol where there were long lines getting into the Red Gate (see ticket below). I met the head of the Democratic Party of Wyoming and talked about “the black vote” while we waited in line. When we got to the area, it was packed and there were no seats until I heard someone yelling my name. ”MO, MO”. I found a seat! Amen. I was sitting with Robi Reed, the casting director for most of Spike Lee’s movies and a very successful sister. Then, the ceremony began. It was cold but it didn’t matter. It was a wonderful experience from Sasha and Malia playing around on the platform to Beyonce and Kelly Clarkson belting it out. Then President Obama’s speech made some cry and others sit in wonder. All the while, there was a anti-abortion protestor that climbed into a tree and hung on for dear life while screaming “Save the Babies” the entire inauguration. Many of us wondered why the Secret Service didn’t come get him, but they must have had their reasons. All in all, the swearing in experience from a seat was awesome beyond words. Check out the pics.
After the swearing in, I caught a bite to eat and watched the parade for an hour or so before it was time to get dressed for the Inaugural Ball at the Washington Convention Center and then the BET Ball at the American Museum Portrait Gallery. The Inaugural Ball was just OKAY and I say that because it was really really crowded, there were concrete floors in the ballroom which was hard on the feet, no food (well there was chex mix) and the performances very short. So, I saw Alicia Keys, the Obama’s dance and Stevie Wonder. I left satisfied but not raving. Off to the BET Ball and all I can say is BIG FUN!!!! Open bar, carving stations, red velvet cake, celebrities galore and a great concert featuring Big Daddy Kane, MC Lyte, Doug E Fresh and then BBD! Can you say “Poison..never trust a big butt and a smile”. Hmmm. Anyway, it was an awesome wrap-up to a great Inauguration 2013 experience!
Doug E Fresh
BIG DADDY KANE
BIG DADDY KANE AND MC LYTE
Day Five (Tuesday, Jan 22nd)
Catching flight home to Atlanta…glad to be back in the A! Thank you Mr. President and the Presidential Inaugural Committee for a fabulous time in DC.