Tag: Inauguration Travel

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The Cruises (Not Tom and Katie) Get Recession-Friendly

February 16, 2009 at 4:59 PM | by | ()

With so much travel news raining down on us, we don't always have time to give every story its own forecast. Here's more of the day's news, in brief.

· Arthur Frommer Hits Up the LA Times Travel Show: On the heels of the NYT Travel Show, the LA Times held their event. Frommer and Samantha Brown were just some of the big travel names discussing traveling in these depressing times. [LA Times]

· It's Not Pretty When You Miss a Flight: A woman who misses her flight in Hong Kong; YouTube "translates." [YouTube]

· Legoland's Inauguration Scene: Comedian Dave Barry has some snaps of Legoland's awesome inauguration setup which includes Aretha Franklin's hat. [Dave Barry]

· Who Wants to Go on Sea Cruise?: Lucky for you, the NY Times Travel section has just put out their Cruise Issue and there's some good news as cruises are getting cheaper. The bad news? You're on a cruise. And now we await your hate comments. [NY Times]

· Salma Hayek Will Always Have Paris...And Billions: Salma Hayek and on-again, off-again baby daddy and heir to the LVMH fortune, Francois-Henri Pinault, got married in quickie service in Paris on Valentine's Day. [AP News]

[Photo: NY Times]

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Barack Obama Rocks The Youth Ball, Now In Video

January 23, 2009 at 4:06 PM | by | ()

The inauguration coverage just never ends. But we promise this one is totally worth it. Thanks to an awesome Jaunted Facebook friend, we have some amazing footage of President Barack Obama attending the Youth Ball on Tuesday night with the First Lady. The video gave us some chills as President Obama stepped up to the mike to address the crowd. "I've been waiting for this ball for quite some time," he said.

To watch the video and Obama's great speech about the young people of America, head on over to Jaunted's Facebook page (and become a fan!) and click on the Jaunted Videos. While you're there, feel free to upload your own videos and photos or at least, write on our wall telling us how pretty you think we are.

Related Stories:
· Where the Party At? The Top Inaugural Bashes [Jaunted]
· Inauguration Hangover Insights: "The Real Party is On the Metro" [Jaunted] "

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Inauguration Hangover Insights: "The Real Party is On the Metro"

January 21, 2009 at 4:12 PM | by | ()

Does this look like anyone you attended the inauguration with?

"Celebs, they’re just like us," says Us Magazine in their weekly feature. (Yeah right, aside from the whole genetically gifted, exorbitantly wealthy thing, celebs are just like us sitting at their desks waiting for the clock to strike five.)

But at yesterday's Presidential Inauguration, security was the great equalizer, blocking off roads and forcing the pretty people to put (Italian) leather to pavement and to trade Town Cars for Metro cards.

Much like our own Brendan Spiegel was thwarted trying to leave the National Mall, celebs were forced to seek alternate exits.

At Friday’s BET Honors, celebs like Joss Stone were stuck in traffic as Obama’s motorcade wound its way through the city. Desperate Housewife Dana Delany and creator Marc Cherry were smashed against each other as the frustrated crowd outside the Huffington Post party surged forward, tired of waiting in the lengthy security lines.

David Alan Grier and wife Christine Y. Kim got hip to the traffic hassles and bopped around via Metro. Road closures led the Creative Coalition to bus many celebrities to the event elementary-school-style. Other late arrivals had to do things like (gasp) walk!

Still, the giddy mood of the weekend made everyone take things in stride. As Jennifer Beals said, “The real party is on the Metro. The real party is in the streets.”

[Photo: Getty Images/Style.com]

Related Stories:
· Escape From the National Mall Almost Ruins a Perfect Day [Jaunted]

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Escape From the National Mall Almost Ruins a Perfect Day

January 21, 2009 at 9:01 AM | by | ()

There were a lot of questions about whether DC could handle yesterday's oversized Presidential Inauguration, and the general consensus on the ground is twofold: The event itself went off with few hitches, but getting out of there was an effing warzone.

Those on the edges of the National Mall escaped quickly after Obama's speech, but revelers in the central section were surprised to find that virtually all routes to exit had already been sealed off.

Yours truly tried to jump from the swearing-in over to the parade and found there was no way anyone was allowed to exit north of the Mall, tickets or not. Then everyone wandered South of the Mall in the most haphazard, frustrating exit we've seen from any event ever.

No Metros were running, police officers had no idea where people were expected to exit, and everyone basically wandered back and forth block-to-block aimlessly looking for some way to get the heck out of there.

We've talked to several different folks who spent as long as three hours figuring out how to get off the Mall, and we ended up having to walk all the way around the Capitol to Northeast DC to find any form of transportation (and that was a very lucky cab get).

How were your escapes from Inauguration? Other hellish tales? Did anyone figure out how to do it quickly? Sound off in comments below.

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Jaunted, Live From Inauguration

January 20, 2009 at 9:42 AM | by | ()

If you've been loving all of our Inauguration Travel stories and you want more of them today, then skip on over to the Jaunted Twitter Feed where our Inauguration correspondent Colleen Clark is doing her best to flirt with the cell reception gods to bring us a steady Twitter stream.

Some tweets so far?

· Leaving the huffington Post party and navigating the blockaded parade route to the metro.

· Smooth sailing home to southwest DC with a merry train of surprisingly unwasted ballgoers.

· Huffington post party officially the event of inauguration weekend.

Today, Colleen's reporting from the National Mall which is already packed all the way down to the Washington Monument. But why are we telling you this? Check it out for yourself.

Don't just be an inauguration Twitter follower. We tweet about travel stories regularly, so if you dig it, follow away!

Related Stories:
· Cell Reception on the Fritz in DC; Twitter Updates in Danger [Jaunted]
· The Future Will be Micro-Blogged [Jaunted]

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Use the Metro For All Your Inaugural Transportation Needs

January 20, 2009 at 9:02 AM | by | ()

Getting around DC has--almost without exception--been a breeze in the days before Barack Obama's Inauguration. Upon arriving at Union Station, there were multiple volunteers directing arrivals to the Metro. Metro employees were stationed at the machines helping visitors purchase cards and plot their routes.

At major stations around the city, Metro employees lined the platforms, giving directions and ensuring the safe loading and emptying of trains. The big exception to the rule? Cabs.

The other night, we spent 40 minutes trying to hail a cab after the bars and inaugural balls let out. Last night, we tried to call two hours ahead to book a cab to a ball. We waited on hold for 20 minutes only to have them tell me that they aren't taking advance orders for cabs.

Heading to an event tonight? We suggest packing comfy shoes and taking Metro. That or making friends with a limo-owning fellow ball-goer.

Related Stories:
· Inauguration Travel Coveragae [Jaunted]

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Inaugural Variety Show: All the News You Don't Need

January 19, 2009 at 5:30 PM | by | ()

While we are doing our best to keep you informed on all the latest Inauguration Travel news, there's a heck of a lot of stuff going on around DC that doesn't involve the metro schedule or inauguration parade tickets. Mostly, it involves celebrities and other useless information you could live without. But then, that would be a kind of sad life.

· Beyonce Blesses America: Mrs. Jay-Z wows the crowd with her rendition of "God Bless America." Look to buy it on iTunes shortly on the "All the Single Ladies" remix album. [Perez Hilton]

· MC Hammer Twitters: MC Hammer is 2 Legit 2 Quit Twittering. He's keeping us semi-updated on his time in DC [MC Hammer Twitter Feed]

· Declare Yourself Concert: Lindsay Lohan and Samantha Ronson walked the red carpet, Jessica Alba emceed and Maroon 5 and John Legend rocked the show, the latter in a really weird outfit. All this went down at the DC Renaissance Hotel.

· A New National Anthem from Will.I.Am: Do you think the national anthem is like, old and boring and totally lacking flavor? You're in luck. Will.I.Am of the Black-Eyed Peas has just created a new one called "America's Song." It's available for streaming on Oprah's website. Seriously. [Oprah.com]

· Ben Affleck Will Camp Out at Inauguration: Ben Affleck is just like "us!" He says he's going to camp out at the inauguration. Yeah, right. And Joaquin Phoenix is a rapper. Er.... [Us Magazine]

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Cell Phone Reception On the Fritz in DC; Twitter Updates in Danger

January 19, 2009 at 10:44 AM | by | ()

The only thing more frustrating than trying to meet up with friends in a sea of a half-million people is trying to meet up with friends in a sea of a half-million people...without cell phone service.

That was the logistical nightmare that those attending yesterday's free inaugural kick-off concert for Barack Obama faced. And since spectator numbers are expected to quadruple for tomorrow's swearing-in, it's likely the situation will only get worse.

Wireless networks say that they have spent millions trying to increase capacity for the event, but you should still make your plans without factoring your cellphone into the equation.

Establish concrete meetup points for before and after the swearing-in as well as a gameplan for where to rendezvous in case of an emergency. The Cellular Telecommunications Industry Association is also encouraging people to forego sending videos, pictures, and making calls, and to instead use text messages.

Of course, the pressing issue on our minds right now is will there be enough cell reception for the American public to send their SMS updates to Twitter? And will the networks be able to handle it? We know Twitter won't.

[Photo: Alex Brandon/AP]

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Where The Party At? The Top Inaugural Bashes

January 16, 2009 at 4:30 PM | by | ()

It's no secret that LA and New York are shipping the entirety of their bold-faced names down to Washington for Obamapalooza. But this is also (supposedly) a party for the people. Here's a round-up of the good, the amazing, and the so-amazing-you’ll-never-get-in.

For the people: Tickets are still available (to the tune of $250) to party with Jessica Alba, Samantha Ronson, John Legend and Jamie Foxx at the Declare Yourself “A New Birth of Citizenship” party on Sunday night. On Monday, the Beastie Boys and Sheryl Crow express a sentiment that many of us have been feeling with their Rock the Vote gala “Hey, America Feels Kinda’ Cool Again.” Tickets are sold out, but it’s worth trying your luck on craigslist.

On the big day, you can avoid the masses downtown in favor of the Common Man’s Inaugural Ball at The Wonderland, one of our favorite DC bars.

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Where To Get Your Hair Did In DC For The Inauguration

January 15, 2009 at 1:05 PM | by | ()

A little eyelash batting, a couple flicks of the hair, and you convinced that Hill staffer in the pleated khakis to take you to one of the hot-ticket balls for Barack Obama's Inauguration. The only problem is that now you have to find a dress, someone to hem it, accessories, shoes and a hairstyle. But don't fret. Hotels have anticipated your wily ways with the following programs:

St. Regis: The venerable hotel has partnered with Neiman Marcus to create a lobby boutique with both formal and cold-weather accessories, an Yves Saint Laurent Beauté Eye Bar with makeup and eyelash application, and a Manolo Blahnik shoeshine and bowtie-tying service. Neiman's wardrobe consultants will help style and coordinate last-minute alterations, purchases and wardrobe changes. Yes friends, this is how the other half lives.

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Where To Stalk Celebs At The Inauguration

January 14, 2009 at 12:30 PM | by | ()

There’s nothing that Hollywood loves more than an excuse to party, so it makes sense that every celeb short of Fred Thompson is packing their patriotism and heading to Obamarama 2009. DC will have more celebs-per-square-foot than Betty Ford after the holidays, and we’ve got the inside track on where you can find them:

The Hay Adams: The man himself will be staying at the historic Hay Adams hotel in the days leading up to the swearing in. Though your chances of getting a close-up look are slim, it’s probably the closest you’ll get to the Barackstar during the festivities. (Or during the next four years.)

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Last-Minute Rooms Still Open As Hotels Prepare For Inauguration Day

January 12, 2009 at 11:20 AM | by | ()

That's the view from room 604 at the Hay-Adams Hotel where President Elect Barack Obama is currently staying.

We're just over a week away from Barack Obama's Presidential Inauguration, and despite dire predictions to the contrary, there are still rooms available for the big party. As of January 7th (the most recent day for which statistics are available), there were 627 rooms available at 32 properties in the district proper with an average rate of $788 a night, according to Destination DC.

If you're willing to stay further out (within 400 miles of the city), there is an average rate of $199 a night at the 11,627 rooms available at 307 properties. But really, who wants to stay 400 miles from the center of the action? That's a loooooooong post-inaugural ball commute.

If you've booked outside the city but are having second thoughts, consider moving to a room at one of Marriott's downtown properties. The hotel chain has announced that the Marriott at Metro Center and the Mayflower Renaissance have available rooms starting at $799 for a three night stay (still less than your average Craigslist rental). Destination DC, the city's tourism authority, has been keeping track of availability and will assist those looking to book a last-minute trip via their toll-free hotline 1-800-422-8644.

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