My cool mom friend, Lisa Prince, had to leave the gym early to take her family to the inauguration. I was so psyched to hear this news.
I asked Lisa to send me her thoughts on this important and emotional day. Right now, she's in Washington, DC, attending the Presidential Inauguration of Barack Obama with her husband and three kids ages 2, 10 and 12.
Lisa just told me, "The energy in Washington right now is so positive, the excitement is palpable." Here is more on how she feels today.
Cafe Kristen: Why did you pack up your three kids and brave this enormous crowd for the Inauguration?
Lisa Prince: To experience history first hand. This is such an important historical occasion that people have fought decades for. We all needed to be here as a family to fully participate in the experience. I want my children to tell their children they were here. I want them to go back to school and share the experience with their peers and teachers. The energy here is so incredibly positive.
CK: How are you feeling emotionally?
LP: My father has dedicated his professional life to civil rights. He is the President of the Urban League of Westchester County in New York. Dealing with the evils of racism was a part of our personal and professional lives growing up. Neither my parents, my husband, nor I ever believed it would be possible in our lifetimes that a black man would be elected president of this country. This dream has become a reality with such support and enthusiasm from so many people, not just black people. It is something to celebrate.
CK: What did you do in DC on Sunday and Monday, MLK Day?
LP: We started by going to a book signing by Ruby Bridges, a real pioneer from the civil rights movement. My older children, Jasper and Austin saw a film about her in the fourth grade. My youngest will learn from her accomplishments first hand! Then we went to the National Mall, close to the Capital Building where the inauguration will take place. We also met up with my parents who had the faith to pay for a hotel for this event last September before Obama was elected.
CK: Where are you staying?
LP: My husband and I went to University of Pennsylvania, and we are staying with dear friends who went with us. They live in the Northwest section of Washington, not too far from the National Zoo. They have three children as well, so it's a real family get-together.
CK: OMG, aren't you worried about traffic?
LP: We left on Sunday from New Jersey, and expected maddening traffic--but there was none. We made it to DC in four hours.
Fingers crossed for fun and safety for Lisa and the millions of people who are there now. How are you feeling on this historical day?
I am psyched. But I also have to work just like any other day. I'm going to try to sneak a peak at the TV. Here is today's inauguration schedule according to MTV.
- 8:25 a.m.: Obamas leave Blair House for prayer service at St. John's Episcopal Church
- 8:35 a.m.: Prayer service
- 9:45 a.m.: Church service ends; Obamas depart for the White House
- 10:05 a.m.: Obamas arrive at White House for coffee with the Bushes
- 11 a.m.: Motorcade departs for the Capitol
- 11:30 a.m.: Bushes and Obamas proceed to platform on the West Front; California Senator Dianne Feinstein will issue the call to order and deliver brief welcoming remarks, followed by an invocation from Dr. Rick Warren and a performance from Aretha Franklin (who also sang at Bill Clinton's first inauguration)
- 11:50 a.m.: Joe Biden is sworn in as vice president by Supreme Court Justice John Stevens
- 12 p.m.: Barack Obama is sworn in as president by Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts. Obama, with his hand on Abraham Lincoln's inaugural Bible, will recite the same oath as his predecessors: "I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will faithfully execute the office of president of the United States and will, to the best of my ability, preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States." Musical performance from John Williams, Yo-Yo Ma, Itzhak Perlman, Gabriela Montero and Anthony McGill, followed by "Hail to the Chief" and a 21-gun salute
- 12:05 p.m.: Inaugural address, followed by a poem written and recited by Elizabeth Alexander and a benediction from Dr. Joseph Lowery. The national anthem will be performed by the U.S. Navy Band Sea Chanters
- 12:30 p.m.: Ceremony concludes
- 12:35 p.m.: Bush departs via helicopter; Cheney departs by limo
- 12:45 p.m.: Obama signs inauguration papers in the President's Room
- 1:00 p.m.: Obama attends congressional luncheon
- 2:15 p.m.: Obama and Biden review troops at Capitol
- 2:30 p.m.: President Obama leads the parade from the Capitol along Pennsylvania Avenue to the White House
- 3:15 p.m.: Arrival at the White House
- 3:45 p.m.: Obamas and Bidens proceed to the reviewing stand; inaugural parade continues until 6 p.m.
- 7 p.m.: The official inaugural balls begin with the Neighborhood Ball at the Washington Convention Center, with performers scheduled to include Beyoncé. Mary J. Blige, Mariah Carey, Faith Hill, Jay-Z, Alicia Keys, Shakira, Stevie Wonder and others. Nick Cannon will DJ.
- 8 p.m.: ABC will broadcast the ball, expected to include the president and first lady's first dance of the night. From there, it's on to other celebrations, including MTV's Youth Ball.