We started off at Mt. Vernon Saturday where I tried to make like Nicolas Cage and sneak into the secret passageways.
When that didn't really work out, I compared my teeth to those of our first president. I couldn't take a picture of the dentures themselves, but trust me, they look painful enough to make anyone dread the dentist.
I guess I just don't have that leader's smile, me having good, modern dental hygiene and all. So my sister tried to make friends with Martha.
And of course, after about five minutes, they were the best of chums.
Day two was devoted to the Inaugural Welcome Concert. We arrived at 9:30 a.m. and got great seats. We were halfway up the reflection pool by the Lincoln Memorial.
(Give me a break--I was really cold.) You might not think these were great seats, but we were in front of about 3/4th of all the other people who were sitting behind us. So you can ask one of the 100,000 people sitting on the lawn of the Washington Monument, and they will agree that we had great seats.
The music was also fantastic. As many of my friends know, I am obsessed with Bon Jovi, and when Jon Bon Jovi came out and sang with Bettye LaVette (another of my favorites), I was in heaven.
So maybe I got a little too excited and ended up looking like a complete dork and my sister will never let me live this down. But come on, it was Jon Bon Jovi!!!
But by far the best performance was by someone who totally surprised me but Sara will say "I told you so," and Celeste will laugh, and Corinna already said "I told you so."
I freakin' loved Garth Brooks. He had the crowd dancing and singing, which granted wasn't very hard because we were all dancing and singing long before the show even started. But he made the crowd go crazy, and I would have been happy to watch him for another hour.
I also loved that this concert wasn't just about big-names putting on a show--it was about honoring the people who had gathered along the reflecting pool in generations before. It was about Marian Anderson singing there for President Roosevelt because she was black and not allowed to perform at Constitution Hall. It was about Martin Luther King, Jr. and the March on Washington that brought thousands of people together to fight for a freedom that should never have to be fought for. And it was about the soldiers who are honored in the memorials that surrounded us, who fought for freedom and who gave their lives to give us the America we believe in.
But if I cried, I'll never tell.
Of course, it was really to hear president-elect Barack Obama speak that we all turned up. And speak he did.
I could even see him, kind of. To help you out, he's the blob the big red arrow is pointing at.
Obama gave the most wonderful speech about change and unity and all the things he has said since the beginning of his campaign. He encouraged us all to take responsibility and do our part to make this nation a better union. I still can't believe I was there to actually hear him speak on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial. I'd ask you to pinch me, but that might be a little hard over the internet.
Today my sister and I got to participate in one of the service project that took place around the city. We went to the Martin Luther King, Jr. Library downtown and helped serve food to the homeless and hungry. We worked alongside a great family, the Gadsons, who came out to get involved as a family.
Cameron is nine, and Ethan is only seven, but they worked like pros. Because they were at the end of the table and such a great looking family, reporters wouldn't leave them along--local Channel 4, a major Canadian network, reporters from Korea. Cameron blew me away because every reporter would stick a camera in his face and he would give them the most amazing responses, never once stopping his careful placement of food on a homeless person's plate. And look at those smiles? How could you not love this family?
We also went to an art museum and the National Archives today, but that was nothing compared to the time we spent working with and in the community. Although I did buy a bunch of buttons today only to look more closely and realize that I bought a grammatically incorrect button! I can't believe I spent an entire 80 cents on a button that doesn't know the difference between and adjective and a noun, which made me wonder about the authenticity of DC street vendors.
A funny side note, we couldn't seem to get away from Josh Groban in the past two days. Not only did he sing at the welcome concert, but he was at the library as well. And as we were getting on the Metro to come home, he was giving an interview for MSNBC right next to us. I think he was stalking us, which I might think was cooler if I actually liked Josh Groban.
So in honor of Tammy, I am posting this video of my stalker Josh. This one's for you, Tammy!