While I do love to travel to distant places, sometimes the coolest stuff takes place right in my back yard! Living and working in the DC metro area leads to some amazing opportunities and experiences. I have never actually sat down to physically write out a bucket list, but when I do something that I think might have made the list, I definitely give it a mental check mark. Attending a presidential inauguration – check!
I was fortunate enough to score 3 tickets to the 57th Presidential Inauguration. The tickets were in the Red Southwest standing section and according to the section map, it looked as though we were going to be pretty darn close to all the action!
My friends Brie and Bonnie joined me for the festivities and all 3 of us were uber excited. It took a while for us to get through the security checkpoint, but we finally arrived at our assigned section. It was a bit chilly, but considering it was January it really wasn’t that bad at all.
Soon after we arrived, the reality set in that even though we were SO close, we weren’t actually going to be able to see anything live and in person. There was scaffolding set up for the press on either side of the platform that completely blocked our view of where all the action was going to take place.
This was a huge disappointment, but the 3 of us agreed it was still a pretty awesome experience. Even though we couldn’t see the platform, being there in person will always be more memorable than watching it on TV. (Plus, I was not about to mentally uncheck this from my nonexistent bucket list!)
The good news was we were incredibly close to one of the jumbo-trons set up on Capitol grounds. The bad news was they decided to set it up directly behind a tree! By no means am I suggesting that I would be a master event planner for the masses, but seriously? Is this really the best they could do?
Oh well. At least it was winter time and there weren’t any leaves on the tree. And we weren’t the only ones that had to rely on the jumbo-tron in order to see anything. Even the people in the red seated section (that was closer to center) couldn’t see the platform due to the scaffolding. Rather than looking toward the Capitol, those attendees were looking towards the screen too.
We enjoyed the musical entertainment as well. I’m a James Taylor fan, but to be honest, his performance was a bit underwhelming. However, I thought Kelly Clarkson and Beyonce did a great job. I can be a harsh critic when it comes to the Star Spangled Banner and I absolutely hate it when singers take too many liberties with it. But I thought Beyonce did a fabulous job! I realize there is rumor about the possibility of her lip syncing, but I will take that over someone butchering our national anthem any day.
Regardless of political affiliation, I think it is an amazing opportunity to witness our democratic system in action.