Today is the 56th Inauguration ceremony. Four years ago today our family was at President George Bush's Inauguration. It was such a wonderful experience for our family. I highly recommend attending one if you are able. I did not have a blog back then so never documented it. I have scanned in our Tickets and invitations so that I can have a digital reminder of what a great time we had.
We left Birmingham Alabama very early Tuesday January 18, 2005. We were very surprised that Senator Shelby was on our flight. When we got off the plane we waited for him to exit and asked to get a photo with him. His wife was nice enough to snap the picture. It wasn't till later that I realized she had cropped part of his head off. haha A day later we were at a reception for Senator Shelby. The invitation was so thick and embossed. I love great stationery! Did I mention I wore long johns under my dress and snow boots to the reception. I changed in the bathroom at the Reception into high heels. It was just so cold riding the metro and all of the snow on the sidewalks would have been miserable in my high heels.(Leaving for Senator Shelby's reception)
My wonderful in laws met us at BWI with two cars. We were a family of six so two cars were needed. One car had the kids and one car dropped Busy Dad and I at a metro station so we could get to the reception for out Governor Bob Riley. I had a disposable camera with me and someone from his staff snapped a photo of us.
The day before the Inauguration we had to take the Metro into DC to pick up our tickets at Senator Shelby's office. They were very nice looking invitations. Thick card stock with gold printing around the edges and the seal at the top. After looking at the map on the back we realized we were in the nose bleed section. haha behind the Reflection Pool on the Mall. We didn't care we were just thrilled to be apart of history. Busy Dad had a distant cousin that working in Kay Bailey Hutchinsons office so we decided to head to her office to see if he was there. We caught him just in time as he was heading to lunch. He showed us around the office and gave us some KBH totebags to hold all of our touristy things. He asked where we were sitting for the inauguration and we showed him our tickets and he said I think I can do better than that and came out with five tickets that had us standing on the Capitol Grounds. The tickets were small and not as impressive as the earlier ones but boy were they fantastic. (Busy Dad with his cousin David in Kay Bailey Hutchinsons office)
We left 17 month old Abigale home with Grandfather. We had read all of the warnings and things that we could take into the ceremony and strollers were one of the banned items. We bundled up the kids in snow pants and parkas and I packed snacks and juice boxes. We hoped on the Metro in Rockville, MD and headed to the Inauguration. When we hopped out of the Metro and came up from underground....we could not believe the lines. They were wrapped around buildings and went on for miles. Well, it seemed that way. They had eight entry points to get into the Inauguration. We found ours close the the Capitol building and waited in line. Busy Dad noticed that another line was opening up and told us to hurry that way. I gave each child their ticket and pushed them forward. Our bags were searched and we were in!! If we had stayed where we were we never would have made it in in time to see everything. We were so lucky!!
We had a great place to watch...We put the kids on the rock wall so they could see the stage and the giant TV's that were there. We were near a speaker so we could hear everything.
After the inauguration we headed over to the parade route to see all the bands and the President and First Lady in the motorcade. We did not have tickets but somehow I found a gate that was being watched by a nice guard and he saw the kids and let us in. We sat in the bleachers and watched the whole thing! ( Laura Bush waved at us from the motorcade. Well, I think it was us)
The day was beautiful. Sunny, cold (but warmed up throughout the day) and just a fantastic memory for us and our children.