BY ROWENA VERGARA
Hi there and thanks for checking in! Usually, I'd be in the newsroom this week, probably chasing a business or local government story. Or like all of you, battling the bitter-cold weather that has clearly extended its stay in the Fox Valley.
But starting today and ending Tuesday, I'll be in our nation's Capitol to witness the swearing-in of our 44th and first African-American president, Barack Obama. I hope to update you on my travels and the people I meet along the way.
When it comes to trips, I'm the type of person who enjoys --- yes, enjoys--- planning an itinerary to make the most of my time. I get excited about going to new places and experiencing things I can't get anywhere else in the country or world. But there's a not-so adventurous side to me, too: I desperately need to know where to go and when, every hour of my trip.
Not on this trip, I told myself.
While I did gather notes for myself on Tripit.com (I highly recommend it), I haven't made any concrete plans for this trip to D.C. Not when 2 to 4 million people plan on making the same trek as myself and my family.
And I've been to a few fairly populated areas, the busiest being Manila, Philippines, an extremely crowded city where you can sit for hours in traffic; Mexico City, and for U.S. cities, I'd say Boston on July 4th was chaotic. As for the presidential inauguration, I'm expecting it to be unlike any other trip I've taken.
So, I've thrown all plans out and am ready to be as flexible as possible. And I will need to be: The Washington transit authority says Inauguration-goers should expect at least an hour wait for the Metro commuter rail.
I'll be blogging every now and then to let you know how it's going. And you can feel free to chime in with your stories, too, by writing us here.