Happy February Folks!
After Super Storm Sandy and surgery in December I started off the year with a quiet bang and a lot of studying to finally take the DC Tour Guide exam. I was hired by Smithsonian last year and had to work at the Presidential Inauguration as a TD for a small group from a boys school in Houston, Texas. I was nervous as heck but more for the test than the actual tour. I took the exam the day before the inauguration and aced 100 questions in 18 minutes. (It was actually 15 but I went back to review a few questions 🙂
We had a pre-Inauguration meeting on Friday and I picked up my group the next afternoon…
The day before the inauguration I took them to the National Mall and let them roam at the Air and Space Museum. It was really warm and sunny and I decided to stroll around and take some pix. There were so many people just strolling about, I listened to the different accents and realized that a lot of tourists from other countries present for this huge American event. There was a nice energy and I was thrilled to have some time to take it all in.
We had a full day of touring before Inauguration. Traffic was CRAZY, the weather was still good and we got to see Memorials and prep for the big day. Our wake up call was at 4:30am. we walked in the dark, watching the sunrise as we arrived on the already crowded mall.
We watched video of Ellen making jokes. I went and got 23 Hot Chocolates and 10 coffees to keep everybody happy and a perfect stranger offered to carry the box clear to the other side of the Natl Mall for me and a few parents. The crowd thickened as the morning got warm, then colder and by the time the procession began on the stage (a little early I might add) we were all on our feet watching and waiting for the big moment.
Hearing the words of the best president we’ve had since I could vote. Who cares if Beyonce didn’t sing LIVE, we certainly didn’t notice! I wondered the difference between watching it all close-up on TV and bearing the chilly (not freezing) temps… It was the energy! The energy of the thousands of faces, not just American, but from around the world (and Canada LOL) who came to share a great moment in American history.
We heard everything as the Senates, House Members, Judges and families of the President and VP exited… Funniest line from Beau Biden. As he carried the family Bible for his father to be sworn in, he said, “Wow this Bible is heavy!” He didn’t know he could be heard by a million people! At least his Dad didn’t drop the F Bomb again. And thank you Mr President for taking a few seconds (23 to be exact) to stop and look out at the crowd, taking it all in for the last time.
So here they are some great photos from Inauguration weekend… From our trips to The Memorials, Arlington Cemetery and of course The Capitol Building. We didn’t have a reservation for the Capitol tour, but I surprised the group and got us last minute tickets to enter the halls of the building where the actual official swearing in took place the day before. This will be one of the most inspiring moments of my career as a tour guide (the first will always be becoming a guide in NY!) Here’s to 4 more years and many more as a multi-city guide in the USA!