The single best thing about living in DC is that people I love come into town frequently for one reason or another. Since presidential inaugurations only come around every four years, MANY people I love came into town at the same time. I had been training my liver for this weekend for awhile.
My only other DC inauguration experience was when I covered Bush’s first inauguration in 2001 as an intern for WFAA-TV. Attending that swearing-in ceremony was the coldest I’ve ever been. I remember getting dressed up for the Texas State Society’s Black Tie and Boots ball in the public bathroom of Belo’s DC bureau building at 13th and G. I remember anchor Gloria Campos being in DC to anchor the coverage and wanting her scripts printed in bigger type, and how I had to help rush reporter Jim Fry into a cab so he could go do a post-parade live shot.
I remain on maternity leave, so I got to take part in this inauguration as a straight-up spectator. I skipped the weekend balls but was looking forward to the Common/T-Pain/John Legend concert since, as many of you know, Stiles loves loves LOVES Common. (BTW: Where WASN’T John Legend this weekend? Anyway.) We waited until the day before to respond to the ticket email and it was too late. Instead, we went to a delicious Indian restaurant for our 2nd anniversary dinner, seven months late. (Hey, 2012 was a little busy, okay?)
Big thanks to my BFF Sandeep for hosting us for a couple of nights in his new Capitol Hill home. It was lovely. He even provided eyeshades to help us sleep better and slipped the Washington Post under the guest room door in the morning. And (he’s just learning this now, but) he loaned me his Barcelona travel guide which I will put to good use during the Hu-Stiles Spain trip next month. As we did for NYC, a few highlights:
-Reunions with so many people I love. Alexis, our traveling writer friend who is now community managing/blogging for US News and World Report, the two Daves who worked with Stiles at the DMN, the Mizzou folk who also attended the wedding for which we made the trip east.
-Crab puppies. Seriously, why don’t these things proliferate in Texas? What’s more delicious than crab and fried dough?
-Our brief time at the Online News Association annual conference, where Stiles was way more popular than me. (Coders are super cool at these conventions.) And then we found out we won an ONA the next night, which was super cool.
-Witnessing an adorable couple wed on the banks of a beautiful Virginia lake, as the sun slowly disappeared for the day.
-Queen Noble, the woman on the DC ballot running for the district’s non-voting seat in Congress.
-The Newseum. Worth the $20 entry fee. Saw a riveting 9/11 exhibit, the Tim Russert office, an interactive on news ethics, a look at world press freedoms, part of the Berlin Wall, but most importantly, was reminded why we and others do what we do. To write the first draft of history, to shine a light on injustice, to call the powerful to account, to give voice to the voiceless, to whine ceaselessly about our working situations… 🙂