How to Survive the 2009 Presidential Inauguration

Travel Tips, Washington DC — By NileGuide Staff on January 16, 2009 at 11:24 am

Are you going to be in Washington Dc January 20th? Read on for NileGuide’s tips on how to have a successful 2009 Inauguration experience.

photo courtesy of dbking

photo courtesy of dbking

Defeat the …

1. Crowds

a. Prepare to become intimately familiar with the back of stranger’s heads. Buy a harness for your child, walkie-talkies for loved ones and stilts. Although those might be classified as weapons (see 2a below).

b. Use maps from the official inaugural website to find the subway and commuter train stations closest to the hotel/tent/port-a-potty you are staying in.

c. Consider spending the night in nearby and probably mostly-empty Philadelphia.

2. Security

a. Leave behind anything that could potentially be used as a weapon, ever. This list includes: guns, knives, pocket knives, pepper spray, fireworks, laser pointers, sticks, umbrellas, underwear and your children.

b. Don’t plan on drinking. Anything. Alcoholic beverages, coolers and thermoses (even that cute one you found featuring Barack Obama’s face) will not be allowed in. Hydrate yourself at Café du Parc, Local 16 or other, less crowded venues, beforehand.

3. Weather

a. Since umbrellas are classified as a weapon (see 2a above), bring a poncho. Weather predictions for the day are cold (37 F) and wet. Consider making a sacrifice to the sun god the day before.

b. Layer up, wear comfy shoes and throw in a couple handwarmers. I’m not saying they’ll make hours outside in the freezing January weather bearable, but at least 4 square inches of your body will be warm.

4. Regrets

a. Charge your phone. Whether it’s to leave bragging messages on your friends’ answering machines, to call loved ones while you’re bored in line or to try to find missing members of your group, you’ll probably want it.

b. Take your camera. Otherwise, how will you prove you were there? You’ll need at least a couple shots featuring a sea a people and a tiny dot at the back that is the president to show your grandkids someday.

c. Sleep (and go to the bathroom) the day before. Most bars in DC are open until 5am, so take advantage and party with the masses. No one will want to hear that you made an early night of it and were in bed by 10pm.

5. Post-party let down

photo courtesy of Brian Finifter

photo courtesy of Brian Finifter

a. As soon as the Inauguration is over, hole up in your hotel for a couple of days to allow the crowds to filter out of the city; catch up on sleeping, eating and bathroom visits that you missed out on earlier. Then, take advantage of the sightseeing you couldn’t before. (Not that what you saw wasn’t amazing, historical and awe-inspiring – it’s just that all the monuments were probably covered up by people at the time).

b. First hit up the National Mall for the Jefferson, Vietnam, Korean, WWII and FDR memorials. Then, if you have another day or so, I recommend the Arlington National Cemetery, Dupont Circle and Georgetown.

Did we leave anything out? Let us know in a comment below.

Tags: 2009, inauguration, presidential, tips, Washington DC

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