Donna Livingston Goes to Washington:
Washington, D.C.

Opportunities like this do not happen often. When the chance arose to witness the inauguration of our 44th President, Barack Obama, I took it and had an amazing adventure. I got to meet people from all walks of life while taking in the sights and sounds that only Washington, D.C. has to offer. President Obama and First Lady Michelle exude a natural energy that emanates throughout an entire room. There is nothing phony about his smile, it is 100% genuine. Regardless of how people feel about his political beliefs, I have met and seen President Obama in person. He is accessible, forthcoming, and transparent which are traits I value in an individual.

The Washington Monument is a true testament to the American spirit.

Star-studded event

According to CNN, more than 800,000 people were on hand to view the inauguration. It was lots of fun and very hectic at the same time. There was a huge controversy that Beyonce lip-synced the Star-Spangled Banner and it seems to be confirmed. Prior to and following the event, security was running high which resulted in the closure of many main roads and thoroughfares. I had to take a rickshaw to get back to my hotel!

Thousands upon thousands on hand to witness President Obama being sworn in.

Felt great to be a part of history.

As amazing the daytime festivities were, the events during the evenings were magnificent. The banquet halls were decorated beautifully and elegantly. Furniture and decor were positioned to maximize human interaction. I met Piers Morgan from CNN and and Senator Diane Feinstein who was really genuine. People talked and danced into the wee morning hours.  I also happened to have an interesting chat with Patricia Duff, founder of The Common Good, a non-partisan information and public advocacy organization that strives to broaden participation in our democracy through the free exchange of ideas and civil dialogue.

Buses were used for blocking streets instead of transportation.

 The brisk air filled my lungs as event-goers slowly made their ways to the cabs and limos waiting to take them back home. I am extremely happy to have been in attendance at such a momentous historical event. Many people made quite an impression as I did likewise. I look forward to keeping in touch with everyone I met this week towards the New Year. As a reminder, we have the CALM Antique and Vintage Show in Santa Barbara this weekend.

 We the People.
 
Evening events were especially spectacular.