Let’s start with a disclaimer: this is a non-partisan blog and attending the inauguration of the 45th President of the United States, Donald J. Trump, should not be interpreted as an endorsement of him or his policy positions. I also attended the inaugurations of George W. Bush and Barack Obama.
Presidential politics was at the heart of my study of law, political science, and U.S. history and I cannot help but to desire to witness in person the historic transfer of power that characterizes the American system of government.
The problem is…like four years ago…I didn’t prepare very well for this.
Four years ago I was living in Philadelphia so it was an easy bus ride down to DC. This year, in California, I wavered until the eleventh hour whether to go or not. Rain is in the forecast tomorrow and Award Expert was featured in the Wall Street Journal today. It has been a busy time…
And yet I just could not stay home. Heidi encouraged me go and when John decided to join me, it was a done deal. But how to get there? Flights to DC, even from liberal California, are understandably full. I could not find space on a direct flight short of paying over $800 one-way (AA) and United did not even have standard awards seats available, meaning the flight was truly oversold.
Finally, at about 11am this morning (speaking of eleventh hour…), some space from Los Angeles to DC via Newark opened using miles. In coach.
So here I sit in row 36 enroute to Newark, with a nasty connection and early fight down to Washington. At least we have an open middle between us and I get to eat a United hamburger again…if they still have any left by the time they reach our row.
What about tickets? We don’t have any. Four years ago I just strolled into my Senator’s office and was able to score very nice standing tickets. I’ll try that again this year. If not, I’ll start trick or treating for inauguration tickets in the Hart Senate Office building. I’m not worried about that.
I am worried about our hotel situation. We don’t have a ticket back and may well just fly back tomorrow evening, but maybe we’ll stay. I noticed last night rates were running $1309/night at the Hyatt Regency on Capitol Hill…or 15K Gold Passport points. That would have been a deal. But alas, no more points rooms at that or the Grand or the Park Hyatt in Washington. Oh well. I have friends in the city with extra bedrooms.
So, we’re enroute to Washington, won’t sleep tonight, don’t have tickets to the inauguration, don’t have a hotel reserved, and there is a 80% chance of rain in the forecast during the swearing in. What could go wrong?