Saturday, September 8, 2012

Watching POTUS . . .

Ok, so I am one of the least political people I know. I do vote, as I think it is a privilege, and a right. However, many times I have voted against someone instead of voting for someone. This blog post is not to talk about my political views or opinions but about making memories for my girls.

With that being said, we recently had the chance to get tickets to see President Obama speak about 20 minutes from our home. I talked to the girls about it and we decided to go for it. We had to wait in line for about 45 minutes to get the tickets but they handed out free water and had cheerleaders/Obama volunteers along the way so it wasn't bad. The ticket office was in downtown St. Petersburg and there was a Tampa Bay Rays vs. New York Yankees game getting ready to start so there were a lot of people milling about and the town seemed charged!

We even managed to get one for my hubby!
Our original plan was to get up super early since the speech was in a park on a college campus. That means, no assigned spaces or seats and we didn't know how crowded it would be. Then, we had a late night high school football game last night and decided we would get a later start and just listen to him. Goodness knows the Maselli family sure need their beauty sleep!

We managed to get out the door of our house by 9:00 a.m. (gates opened at 8:30 - oops!). After reading the newspapers this morning, we decided to park at a local mall and take the shuttle buses. I had read because of the President's arrival, many streets nearby would be blocked off and we wouldn't be able to park there. It took a little time to get on a bus but they drove us right there to the campus so it was worth it. The part that made our jaw drop was the LINE to get into the park. It was as long as all the Disney lines I have waited in - combined! We walked halfway back to the mall to get to the end of the line! We figured we would be there too long and not make it through the airport-like security (minus the taking off your shoes) to see the President speak. Man, this didn't work out. I heard a man behind me talking on his phone. The President had left the hotel and was on his way. You could see the police running around and the crowd was buzzing!! A very kind policeman allowed me to cross the street with my girls so we could watch the Presidential motorcade (Note: My hubby waited in line watching ESPN Gameday on his new, fancy phone, so he was happy). 

Then the next thing you know, motorcycle police start coming by the dozens.

Watching the motorcade and the estimated 30 or so vehicles!
So the girls were excited to see the President arrive (although we had NO clue as to what vehicle he was in). We were able to scoot back across the street and get back in line. That's when the line started moving - fast. We hauled booty and managed to breeze through security and walk right in. That was amazing since no one around us thought we would get in on time. We managed to find a nice little spot and settled in. Charlie Crist (former Republican governor of Florida and graduate of my daughter's high school) gave the opening introduction and then before we knew it, President Obama came on the stage.

I think POTUS is looking at me!

I was irritated the man in front of me was clapping in my shot but I
actually think it looks kind of cool! 

The President spoke for about 30 minutes. It was super hot, super crowded, but I truly think it will be a once in a lifetime memory because my husband and I agree, we won't do this again! I won't have the patience when I am older! Glad I was able to do this for my girls and I hope they remember it so they can one day tell their grandchildren about when they went to see the President speak.

Looking forward to the rest of this month, but that is for another post!


  1. I LOVE this! It reminds me of when Mike and I took Ashley out of school early along with Amanda and Alysse who were still preschool age and we went to downtown Tampa to see and listen to Bill Clinton speak. Clinton was running for the presidency at the time. It was hot and Mike had to take turns holding up each of the girls so they could each see but guess what......each of them have vivid memories of it which is what it was all about.

  2. That's funny! I had to pick Liv up a couple of times at the beginning because she couldn't see him. The girls eventually moved a little further up and had a spot where they could see him on their own. Love your story!!