When I landed, I thought I was gonna see snow because I was told that it was six degrees in Washington, D.C. There wasn't any snow but it was so cold that I could feel the air piercing my ears and making my eyes water.
Me and my travel party went straight from the airport to a crowded new hotel that was filled with people in designer suits and expensive evening gowns. We could tell something serious was going on because of all the security and the metal detectors that we had to pass through before making it to the check-in counter.
While I was checking in and getting keys to the five rooms that I had reserved a couple months prior, I noticed there were hundreds of people waiting in what seemed to be a cab line. The line started outside of the hotel and extended into the lobby past the elevators. If I would have known that the people in that line were all waiting to go directly to the [National] Mall where the inauguration would be held the following day, I would have secured my place in that same line instead of going up to my room and wasting a couple hours getting settled.
There was too much excitement for me to just sit in the hotel room, so I called my team to meet me downstairs in the lobby so we could decide what to do next. In the lobby I bumped into a lot of fans that wanted pictures. They told me about other stars they saw walking though the lobby, like Denzel Washington and Beyonce.
Some of them told me they were from Texas, and others told me they loved "Ridin' Dirty." Everyone I saw seemed to be in a really good mood, and there was a feel-good vibe in the air.
Nelly and his massive entourage created chaos as they ripped through the crowd in the lobby. I caught his attention just as he was about to take his last photo with a female fan, and that's when he told me how he couldn't stay in D.C. the entire weekend and would be flying out early in the morning.
We realized we couldn't really have a normal conversation with all of the chaos his appearance was starting to cause, so we shook hands while he and his crew exited the hotel. I checked my BlackBerry to see what time the parties were over, and saw messages from random people who were hyped up about a surprise performance that Jay Z did on Young Jeezy's "My President is Black" song at Club Love.
We realized we were too late to make it to that party or Russell Simmons' party, so we decided to go to a party in the ballroom on the top floor, where we stuck around for a couple hours.
Everything so far was going smooth and according to plan, but I really didn't travel to D.C. to party but to witness history.
Keep the Houston Press Free... Since we started the Houston Press, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Houston, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Houston with no paywalls.