Jan 20 2013

Sometime last fall, I was talking with Darcie, a BlogHer moderator who lives way north in Canada. She mentioned she likes it when I blog about my travels to Pennsylvania. I asked her if she would be interested in photos from trips into Washington, D.C. and she said, “Yes!” So, Darcie, this little travelogue is for you!

Going down into Washington, D.C. on Saturday, January 19, to attend a class at the National Gallery of Art, I was able to enjoy the preparations for Monday’s Inauguration Parade first hand. The National Gallery is located on the Pennsylvania Avenue parade route, so it was obvious something very important will be happening Monday, January 21, 2013, the day we are also celebrating as Dr. Martin Luther King Day. The Inauguration Parade is an American tradition to welcome the newly sworn in President and Vice President.

President Barack Obama, elected to a second term in last November’s elections, will be sworn in on Monday in his official Inauguration Ceremony, although he first was sworn in today at the White House because of a Constitutional Requirement that he assume the office by noon on January 20. On Saturday, the day was sunny and bright and the anticipation of Monday’s events were easily seen. As we drove down Pennsylvania avenue and turned right on 17th Street to go around the the Ellipse, in back of the White House, the excessive numbers of visitors, security police and lines of restraining fences foretold of a coming big event.

The Washington Monument first thing in the morning.

Our classes began at 10:00am, so we had to get up early, leaving the house by 7:30am to get downtown, find a parking garage. We found public parking with an all day rate, cheap at $11.00 and parked the car. We walked a half mile to the East Building of the National Gallery, where the educational classrooms are located.

Reviewing stands on the Pennsylvania Ave Parade Route

On the way, we passed any number of reviewing stands as we walked along, because the main parade route goes along Pennsylvania Avenue, then proceeds on Constitution Avenue after Pennsylvania ends.

A journalist’s delight, The Newseum, is “dressed” for President Obama.

The National Gallery of Art is on Constitution Avenue, both East and West Buildings, so the parade will go right past the National Gallery. Each building along the way is important and they all seemed to know it, decked out in patriotic finery to welcome visitors, as well as the President.

Heading toward the Capitol, still on the Parade Route.

Constitution Avenue goes right up to the Capitol Building where Presidents take the Oath of Office. It was exciting to see the City decked out to greet President Obama. Every building seemed to have stars and stripes on signs and flag bunting.

At the front of the East Building, National Gallery of Art,
with the Canadian Embassy diagonally across Constitution Ave.

I was amazed at the number of people downtown. It seemed like there were many more visitors, noticeably so, for what would be usual for tourists on a Saturday. Everyone walked along laughing, in high spirits, while enjoying themselves on such a festive occasion.

All the lampposts have flags. All the buildings have bunting and signs.

Our art class that began at 10:00 in the morning, didn’t end until 4:00pm, so by the time we were starting home at 5:00pm, the crowds had greatly increased.  While we were indoors all day, American flags had been put on every lamppost, one on either side of a Washington, D.C., District of Columbia flag, for a total of three.  The party atmosphere was in full force as we walked back to the car with the sun going down amidst lots of happy people.

We drove out of Washington, by going through Georgetown, going west on Pennsylvania Avenue, until it became M Street. The heavy traffic and throngs of party goers indicated to us President Obama is well on his way to a successful and happy 2nd Inauguration.

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