Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Win a Ticket to the Inauguration

The Obama Inauguration Team has a contest that will provide you and your guests with a flight to Washington, DC, hotel accommodations, and a TICKET TO THE SWEARING IN CEREMONY in exchange for a donation:

If you make a donation to help make Barack Obama’s Inauguration a success, you could be part of the once-in-a-lifetime event.

Ten supporters will be selected to join the inaugural activities. If you’re selected, you can bring a guest, and they’ll fly you in and put you up in a hotel for the night.

Make a donation now and be there as Barack is sworn in as the 44th President:

P.S. You don't even have to make a donation to enter the contest. If you win, I will refund your money for OUR trip with a smile as long as you promise to get a picture of The Man! JB

Monday, December 29, 2008

21 Days, 10 Hours, 55 minutes Until the Day

Check out the countdown feature at the DC Government Inauguration site. Very cool.

The Obama Inauguration schedule of events is now available:

Tuesday, January 20th - Inauguration Day

The President-elect and Vice President-elect and their families will participate in the traditional inaugural ceremonies and events. For the first time ever, the length of the National Mall will be open to those wishing to attend the swearing-in ceremony. Festivities will commence at 10 a.m. on the west front of the U.S. Capitol and will include:

• Musical Selections: The United States Marine Band, followed by The San Francisco Boys Chorus and the San Francisco Girls Chorus
• Call to Order and Welcoming Remarks: Senator Dianne Feinstein
• Invocation: Dr. Rick Warren
• Musical Selection: Aretha Franklin
• Vice President-elect Joseph R. Biden, Jr. will be sworn into office by Associate Justice of the Supreme Court, the Honorable John Paul Stevens
• Musical Selection: John Williams, composer/arranger with Itzhak Perlman, (violin), Yo-Yo Ma (cello), Gabriela Montero (piano) and Anthony McGill (clarinet)
• President-elect Barack H. Obama will take the Oath of Office, using President Lincoln’s Inaugural Bible, administered by the Chief Justice of the United States, the Honorable John G. Roberts, Jr.
• Inaugural Address
• Poem: Elizabeth Alexander
• Benediction: The Reverend Dr. Joseph E. Lowery
• The National Anthem: The United States Navy Band “Sea Chanters”

After President Obama gives his Inaugural Address, he will escort outgoing President George W. Bush to a departure ceremony before attending a luncheon in the Capitol’s Statuary Hall. The 56th Inaugural Parade will then make its way down Pennsylvania Avenue from the Capitol to the White House with groups traveling from all over the country to participate.
Later that day, the Presidential Inaugural Committee will host ten official balls. Info will be available later.

In addition, on Jan. 19th, the day we arrive in Frederick, on the eve of the Inauguration there will be a youth concert at the Verizon Center in downtown Washington, D.C. The concert will be free, but tickets are required. So, again, if people are interested in an excursion into DC the evening of the 19th, let me know soon.

Finally, we will travel on the day we celebrate Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King's birthday. The Inauguration team has designated this to be a day of service. If you have an idea about how we can particpate in the spirit of community and service even as we journey to the City of Washington, please add your comments to this blog or send me an email.

New Contest Starting Soon

Check back New Year's Day for another chance to win a prize before we even get on the bus. You won't even have to surf the Web. Your winning entry will come from your own experience and judgement. Only one winner will be selected.

Happy 2009 to us all!

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Commemorative Metro Fare Card & Frederick Douglass Museum

Dnyamini is again the first to answer the 4th SH question correctly: "In 1957, Joseph Lowery helped to found the Southern Christian Leadership Conference alongside Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr."

She is in the lead with six points, and with only one question left, she can't be beat. So--dnyamini, you are the winner of the Scavenger Hunt! I'll be in touch soon.

Should You Buy a Metro Card?
The bus company and I are monitoring preparations by DC officials to determine where our buses can drop us off and pick us up at 5:00-6:00 p.m. on 1/20/09. I'm thinking Union Station is a good place, as there is plenty of parking, shops, food, restrooms, warmth, and it is a Metro ride to the Mall. However, I'm also looking into a location closer to the Mall that would not require a ride on the metro.

Still, some of you may want to venture past the Mall area before or after the swearing in and the parade. You may want to go to Anacostia for the history or Georgetown for the shopping. If you want to purchase one of the Metro fare cards, here's the information you need:

Thanks to AS for sharing this information and links with us.

In accordance with the pass usage regulations (on the back of the OneDay Pass), the Obama (Inaugural) One Day Pass and the normal One DayPass will be good for unlimited Metrorail travel for the following days:

Sat (1/17/09) - weekend

Sun (1/18/09) - weekend

Mon (1/19/08) - holiday

Tue (1/20/08) - holiday

Thank you and have a Happy Holiday!
SarahSmarTrip(r) Regional Customer Service Center888-SMARTRIP (888-762-7874)

Metro’s commemorative Obama Inaugural SmarTrip cards and One-Day passes are now available for advanced sale on Metro’s Web site at

Frederick Douglass Museum

The museum dedicated to the life of this historic figure is just a few blocks from the Capitol Building.

The Frederick Douglass Museum & Hall of Fame for Caring Americans.

According to the website, tours are scheduled by appointment only. This policy may change before Inauguration Day. Contact information: Phone: (202) 547-4273

Do you have a suggestion for a place to visit while we're in DC?

I wish you all happy, loving, and peaceful holidays.


Sunday, December 21, 2008

New Scavenger Hunt Question

Thanks to dnyamini, we have an answer to the last two SH questions:

Question 2: Maya Kassandra Soetoro-Ng, high school history teacher.

Question 3: The commemorative Metro pass will be $10.

Dnyamini, you are currently ahead with 4 points, and Collegestudent 2008 has 2 points.

Ancestral Blessings, thanks for playing the game and your helpful information about getting a pass early (online) to avoid lines if you want to ride the Metro on Inauguration Day. Your answer came in after dnyamini. However, your suggestion for a movie "The Spook Who Sat by the Door" is wonderful. This may show up on the bus!

Now for question 4:

Rev. Joseph Lowery has been selected by the Obama Inauguration team to give the benediction at the swearing in ceremony. He is an eloquent and often humerous speaker whom I had the pleasure of meeting while I lived in the Atlanta area. The question is: What civil rights organization did he help to found in 1957?

Remember, sign up as a follower, click the google ad, then post your answer.

Inauguration Update

The Obama team has a section on their website where you can sign up for information and schedules for the inauguration events going on before, during and after. Be the first to receive information about tickets, service opportunities, and local events:

Posted on the home page for this site is the following message:

The Presidential Inaugural Committee, at the direction of President-elect Obama and Vice President-elect Biden, will organize an inclusive and accessible inauguration that reflects the new Administration's commitment to leadership that sets aside partisanship and unites the nation around our shared values and ideals.

Key words to me are "inclusive and accessible." Some of you may be discouraged that you do not have tickets to the actual swearing in ceremony. As you know, only 240,000 tickets will be handed out by Congressional offices. That means MILLIONS of us will not have tickets. However, the large screens (jumbotrons) will be set up all along the mall, perhaps as far as to the Lincoln Memorial, and along Pennsylvania Avenue. At least some commentators think that being in the Mall area will be "the best 'seat' in the 'house.'"

The Obama site also has a brief article explaining that "[r]ight now members of the Armed Forces Inaugural Committee along with the Department of Defense, and local, state and federal agencies are gathered around a gigantic, floor-sized map, plotting out the details for the Inaugural celebration. They’ll be spending the day coordinating the timing and execution of Inaugural events, from the swearing-in ceremony to the parade that follows."

Also, restaurants will be operating 24-hours a day. The museums along the mall will be open. Stores will no doubt be decorated, open, and looking for customers. Expect vendors of all types to be available. And while the restrooms in the Metro stations will be closed for security purposes, you can just imagine the number of port-a-potties on order.

We are going to DC for this historic inauguration with a spirit of ADVENTURE. Be prepared for the excitement, the crowds, the weather, and the tremendouse feeling of being involved in this democratic experience. This is OUR new government we're installing--of, by, and for the People. Don't be afraid. Be prepared.

Get on the bus!

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Washington DC Visitor's Guide

Where to Go in DC and How to Get There

My cousin LH sent a link to a great site for visitors to DC: The Washingtonian Visitor's Guide .

The website is a little busy, but if you click on "Plan a Visit," you can get some good information about places to eat, visit, and shop. Wear comfortable shoes or some boots made for walking.

Thanks LH! Keep the links coming.


So far, no one has answered the second SH question correctly. CollegeStudent2008, your answer was about the "First Sistah" not the "First Sister." Two points still unclaimed!

And now, for the third question:

From the Washingtonian "Guide to the Inauguration" webpage, find the "Metro's Inauguration Page." On that page, find out how much the Obama Commemorative Fare card will cost if you want to ride the Metro anywhere in DC on inauguration day?

Movies Anyone?

CollegeStudent2008 is at the top of the game here as well. She suggested "Get on the Bus" and "Head of State". Anyone else want to play this game? What movie would you like to watch as we head into DC?

Check out the website for the film "Meeting David Wilson." Is this something you would be interested in watching?

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Scavenger Hunt, Question 2

The correct answer for the first SH question is: The Man, starring James Earl Jones (1972).

The two-point winner for this question is CollegeStudent2008. (J. Slater was the FIRST to answer, but she's my close friend so she knows she can't win. But thanks for playing, J!)

Congratulations College Student! You're off to a good start. Now for the next question:

Question 2: What is the full name and occupation of the next First Sister?

Remember: Search the web, come to the blog, click on an ad, then submit your answer as a comment. First with the correct answer gets the two points.

Good luck!

Monday, December 8, 2008

Games and Prizes!

If you've ever taken a bus trip, no doubt you've participated in raffles and games played along the road. You might have won a prize. Well, for our Day of Presence trip, you don't have to wait until you board the bus. Let the games begin right now, right here.

The first game is a scavenger hunt. This hunt will be conducted on the web. There will be two winners, one on each bus, and the prizes will be selected specifically for you. You will receive your prize on the bus.

To play:
  1. Sign up as a "Follower" of this blog. (not mandatory) Click the link in the right column to get started.
  2. Check the blog regularly because each "hunt" question will be posted here for the next two weeks.
  3. Every time you visit this blog, you must click on the Google ad displayed in the right column (under Followers). That's it. Just click the ad, go to the ad page, and then click "Back" to return to the blog. You don't need to purchase anything. My counter will record each click by your IP address.
  4. Leave a comment using your "Follower" (or another) screen name. Click the "Comments" link at the end of each day's entry. Your comment will be an answer to the question for the day. The first correct answer earns 2 points. There will be at least five questions. The person with the most correct answers, i.e., the most points, wins!
Ready to start searching? Here is the first question:
1. Name the star and movie title of the 1970s film about the first Black U.S. President. (2 points)

Search the web, visit this blog, click an ad, then post your answer in the comments. I'll post the scores and keep a running tally. Good luck!

Please answer the poll question just added (see right column).
To win another prize, submit a comment naming a movie you think we should show on the bus ride. If your movie is selected, you win.