We met up with Aunt Janice (Jeffrey's mom) at church, then headed to Crossroads for brunch.
This is one of Tiffany's and Jeff's favorite Caribbean spots, and after savoring all of the flavors of the restaurant's specialized menu, I know why.
From traditional brunch fare of made-to-order omlettes and waffles, to the flavors of Caribbean delicacies such as Jamaican aki with salt fish, callaloo, jerk chicken, peas and rice and so much more. Yes, we stuffed ourselves and were ready for a nap afterwards, but with Tiffany's insistence that we walk off all of that food, we went home to change clothes then headed for the metro into WDC to catch a glimpse of the star-studded concert, "We Are One,"
at the Lincoln Memorial
There is nothing like being in a crowd of excited people, all in a positive mood and thrilled to be in a place that is sure to make history. There were all kinds of people walking the streets of Washington, DC, who represented the diversity and inclusiveness of Ameirca that Dr. King spoke about; all of them on their way to the Lincoln Memorial and the National Mall
. Strangers smiling as they pass one another, wearing their Obama gear, munching on hot dogs and mustard-covered pretzels, bundled in everything from fur coats to bomber jackets, and feet clad in Nikes, Timberlands and every other kind of comfortable shoes you can imagine.
Music filled the air from artists such as U2 and Mary J. Blige; Usher and Garth Brooks. Marissa Tomei, Denzell Washington, Tom Hanks, Tiger Woods, Queen Latifah, George Lopez and so many more celebrities came onstage to deliver their messages of hope. While all of this was happening, Tiffany, Don, Michael and I made our way through the streets of DC on our way to the National Mall. Soon enough, Michael gets a call from Cynthia suggesting we meet up with her, Jarvis and Anthony at a local restaurant. When we arrive at Tonic
(a spot that Anthony adopted as one of his favorites during his summer internship at the State Department), we find not only Cynthia, Jarvis and Anthony, but Jane, Darrow and Joy inside. What a surprise! Who knew the entire crew would be here. After a brief hello, we left them to enjoy their lunch, then headed towards the concert to get lost among the crowd.
The entrance to the area surrounding the Lincoln Memorial had been closed hours ago (probably while we were at brunch), so we elected to view the concert on one of the jumbotron monitors near the Washington Monument.
And what an experience it was! Obama's speech was incredible, very inspiring. What a feeling to be in a crowd and hear Obama speak. The energy was electric, hopeful and exciting.
Following the concert, we made our way towards the inaugural parade route, calling this a "test run" of what we'll do on Tuesday.
Michael remarked that the festive atmosphere reminds him of Mardi Gras in New Orleans. We picked up a few souvenirs then boarded the metro to return to Maryland for the evening.
The pastor's message at First Baptist Church this morning was great. "Lest We Forget" was the title, and it took the congregation down memory lane, reminding us all of the brave men and women who suffered, struggled and endured incredible situations in history that helped us all get to this day -- one day before Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Day and 48 hours before the inauguration of the 44th President of the United States, who happens to be African American. Being with my loved ones makes this time even more special for me.