God sometimes gives us unexpected gifts. Our gift has been a grandson who enlivens our lives and makes retirement very different than the one we anticipated. He is a special joy. And that's "Casey." In 2006 we fulfilled our dream of living in Italy for a year. It was every bit as wonderful as anticipated. This blog begins in 2005 as we prepared for that experience. Since then we have explored many places together. That's the "Travel." And finally, I am a person of opinions--spiritually, politically, on just about anything and that's the "Other Stuff." Welcome to my blog.

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Preparing for the Inauguration and a Good Map

Getting ready for the big event is taking a little bit of doing--and, I am realizing, involves unanticipated expenses--probably because I didn't think real hard beyond getting there, having bed and pillow and experiencing the excitement.

Living in San Diego, we don't have a lot of call for winter type clothing--we are not skiiers nor snow bunnies. When we lived in Italy, we did have some things but as that year was record breaking warm, there wasn't much call for winter gear.

Yesterday, in spite of our bad throats, coughs and miserable bodies, we made trips to REI--which we soon realized was costing more than we could justify for 6 days so we left with only handwarmers, which Ken "thinks" will be handy, an ear band for Casey to wear under his knit cap and an ear covering bonnet for me; next was Target which didn't have much that would be useful except gloves for Casey and then, finally, Sport Chalet which worked better. There we bought Casey warmy boots on sale for $20 and cozy mid-weight thermals.

Ken and I bought appropriate footwear last week although I think I will also get a pair of winter wear Ecco to augment the boots--which on their test run resulted in a nasty blister. Now, I need thermal undergarments and heavy duty gloves as cold hands are unbearable.

Although we are still excited about getting 3 of the elusive ceremony tickets, our new Republican congressman was not given the better location for his give aways. We will be in the mall section of the ticketed area--which, I am certain, means that Obama, Aretha and the others will be no more than little dots on the horizon. But, that's OK--we will be there.

If you are going to be there or if you know people who will be, there are two useful sites providing information about the events and planning.

The Joint Congressional Committee on Inauguration Events

This site gives all kinds of information including how to arrive, what to take, routes, etc. You can sign up for e-mail notification of important information.

The City of Washington Inaugural Site

This site provides additional information about both the inauguration and the city.

Additionally, the Washington Post has provided this map of the Capitol Area on inauguration day. It indicates closed metro stops, the parade route, seating , etc. Click on it for a readable view.

So, we are excited--3 weeks from today we will be cold, miserable, stamping our feet, but witnessing history--yeah!


girasoli said...

Are the hand warmers those things you can shake or the air-activated versions? They have to be one of the best inventions in recent years to keep you warm. You can put them in your boots also under your toes. When I would go skiing, I would take quite a few. Definitely worth the cost. That and fleece. See you can can get a fleece neck warmer that goes around your neck and you can pull up over your mouth and nose. Small to pack and so so warm. That and ear muffs.

I am very excited for all of you!!
22 more days and Bush is GONE!!!

Judith in Umbria said...

Jane, having grown up in Maine and having commuted back and forth across the mountains in winter, I have a few recommendations.

Buy glove liners, mine are silver and were originally cross country ski wear. Over those wear Polarfleece mittens. Gloves give you the use of your hands, but mittens are much much warmer, these together will save you. No matter how elegantly got up I was as I worked in winter, I had those things in the car because you never know.

Layered tights (nylon-cotton-wool) are warmer than long john bottoms and looser pants are much warmer than snug ones. A pair of real wool socks over tights are indispensable. One pair is what you need, because they are layers away from your skin and don't get dirty.

Woolly scarves are good for lots of things. I doubt anyone will be allowed to wear a ski mask that day, so a scarf that can be pulled up over your face, ears, neck can fill in.

Remember layers are warm, natural fibers are warmer than anything except Polarfleece, and you can buy some lengths of Polarfleece at a fabric store that can add an extra layer of warmth if you need it-- cloak, tent, shawl-- don't be proud and cold. You're flatland, thin-blooded, California wusses after all. And we love those.

Vicky said...

They're saying now that anyone with tickets should arrive no later than 3 hours before swearing-in. That means be there by 9 am! And as for toilet facilities, they said "we'll have to see"--or something like that!

Jane said...

Next week when Casey is back in school, I will get the things you recommend--particularly the fleece stuff.

Vicky--I know--bathrooms will be a disaster. Our hotel isn't too far but with street closings,etc. I think that there will be detours.

Tell me that we are doing the right thing!

anne said...

Hi Jane, just wanted to wish you and your lovely family a Happy, healthy and safe New Year's!
Peace and blessing to you all!

chiaro di luna said...

Congratulations on getting those tickets Jane!
What an experience for all of you.
My advice:
Layers, layers, layers...you should not have to buy much.
Extra, dry socks and mitts come in handy.
A hat that covers ears, and a warm scarf to cover mouth and nose.
Don't drink much 12 hours prior and eat lightly the day before.
Know route to washroom.
Happy New Years to you and your family.

Chiocciola said...

So exciting! You are definitely doing the right thing! You are one of not many people who are experiencing this first hand. And the days leading up will be fun, too! We'll get to hang out a lot!

Vicky said...

How could it not be the right thing :)

A lot of the museums on the mall will be open, which means lots of bathroom facilities. You might want to get that map out and commit those museum locations to memory.

I predict it'll be 55 degrees and sunny on January 20.

Jane said...

Anne, thanks for the good wishes.
Chiaro, I am taking notes on how to handle all this. Not drinking much is a good idea.
Vicky and Eirin, it will be fun and you guys will make it even better.

Judith in Umbria said...

I love that prediction! What keeps coming to mind is the Kennedy inauguration -- no, I was not there because I was a little girl-- for which there was a blizzard. People who attended or tried to attend that one have stories, you betcha.

Jane said...

I like the prediction, too. We bought a bunch of stuff yesterday but are keeping all the tags on them so we can return them if not needed. Neck warmers, more hand and feet warmers, thermals, wool socks, one of those polarfleece neck things can be pulled over the mouth (for casey). I still need better gloves for all of us and shoes.

Now, if, as Vicky says, it will be 55, all will be well.