Update: 01/20/2009 – Be sure to check out the new White House Blog before your visit.
Tuesday’s Presidential inauguration of Barack Obama in Washington, DC, has filled up every hotel room in DC and the surrounding area, including dorm rooms and private homes. Visitors from all over are gathering to witness this event at the US Capitol, and celebrities are descending upon this destination for the parties and balls (see live streaming of Al Gore’s Green Inaugural Ball). All of this news coverage makes me reminisce about my past DC trips.
The first time I visited Washington, DC, I was a 17-year-old high-school senior participating in the National High School Honor Band. I was excited because not only was this my first trip up north, but I was traveling with a handful of other students from Louisiana and there were NO PARENTS.
The visit not only made me feel very independent, but it gave me a patriotic feeling. My high school friends and I had a blast learning about the subway system, touring all the free attractions, and making a visit to a restaurant (which shall remain unnamed) in Georgetown where we were able to convince our waiter to serve us alcoholic drinks.
My second visit to DC was for a more somber reason. It was as an Honor Guard member for the fire department I work at. A group of us drove from Louisiana to DC to attend the National Fallen Firefighters Memorial Service, which is held each year in October. Normally, this event is held in Emmetsburg, MD, but for this particular year it involved all the firefighters who had lost their lives on 9/11.
I’m currently planning a third visit for the Independence Parade on 4th of July, and I’ve been researching some top tips on visiting. Here are some of the resources and places I’d like to check out when I’m there. Maybe these will help you, whether you visit for the Inauguration, 4th of July, or just on a family vacation.
2. WorldHum brings us into the green side of the Inaugural Events.
3. Oprah even offers tips on having your own viewing party in your home.
4. Washington, DC’s Official Tourism Site offers insider tips to help you plan your visit.
I won’t be in Washington, DC for the 44th Presidential Inauguration, but I will keep all these resources filed away for my 4th of July Parade visit. I hope these help you plan your family vacation, romantic getaway, or business trip to DC. And now for the last resource:
5. If you’re looking for places to eat, be sure to watch Monday night’s episode of No Reservations on The Travel Channel. I know that after watching this clip of Anthony Bourdain at Ben’s Chili Bowl, I plan on tasting one of these great chili dogs.