Travelogue: Start campaigning for inaugural tickets now
No matter who wins this year’s election, the Jan. 20, 2009, inauguration will be historic (the first African-American president or the oldest elected president and first female vice president). There are many festivities planned, with celebrations usually lasting for 10 days. The exact schedule hasn’t been announced yet, but here’s what you can expect:
- Presidential Inauguration Parade: Will take place on Jan. 20 down Pennsylvania Avenue. There will be bleachers and other viewing spots from 3rd to 17th streets.
- Balls: The balls will be scheduled after the election, but in the past, there have been as many as 14.
- Swearing-in: The official inauguration will be on Jan. 20. The oath of office is traditionally administered on the steps of the Capitol, and the president-elect officially takes office at noon. The vice president-elect takes the oath of office at the same ceremony as the president-elect.
- Tickets to the swearing-in: In January, senators and representatives are given tickets to the inauguration. If you want to get a ticket, contact your senator or representative. There’s no guarantee you’ll get one, especially this time, but it’s worth a shot if you want to go.
For more information, here are some sites to check out:
- http://inaugural.senate.gov: The official inauguration site of the government.
- www.dc.gov: Washington, D.C.’s official site.
- http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Inauguration_Day: Wikipedia’s guide to the history of inauguration and what to expect in 2009.
- http://dc.about.com/od/specialevents/a/Inauguration.htm: About.com’s guide to the ceremonies.
Good to Know
Amtrak is now offering its USA Rail Pass to U.S. citizens. The passes are good for 15, 30 or 45 days of travel (with some restrictions). For more information, call 800-872-7245 or go to http://tickets.amtrak.com/itd/amtrak/selectpass.
Want to see a Yeti?
According to several Japanese climbers, the Yeti is real, and you might be able to find it in western Nepal. The climbers said they found footprints of the Yeti in the mountains that looked human but weren’t. They saw the mysterious footprints about 16,00 feet up in the Dhaulagiri mountain range, so if you’re a Yeti-seeker, you might want to start here.
- One of Vienna's draws is the Bestattungsmuseum, a museum devoted to coffins and mortuary science. (Wikitravel.org)
- Opened in 1900, Wuppertal's Schwebebahn is the world's oldest monorail, and they still use Emperor Wilhelm II's original train for special events. (Wikitravel.org)
Travel Tip: Hotel ratings in the U.K.
Hotel ratings abroad are essentially the same as in the U.S., but here’s a closer look at what the ratings mean in the U.K.:
One star: Practical and acceptable accommodation. A limited range of services and facilities.
Two stars: The bedrooms are generally more comfortable and has a restaurant open for breakfast seven days a week and for dinner at least five days a week.
Three stars: The three-star hotel offers very good accommodation with spacious public areas. The hotel offers room service and there is also a laundry service.
Four stars: Excellent comfort and quality accommodation. The staff is experienced and the service is very good.
Five stars: Luxury accommodation, spacious and exceptional quality. The facilities and services are extensive and the cuisine is of the highest international quality. (Wikitravel.org)
GateHouse News Service