President Obama was back in Austin today for two fundraisers. Bill and I had experienced a presidential visit once before, when Obama visited Austin in May 2011. Today’s visit was just as exciting and caused just as many traffic jams.
Late this afternoon Obama gave a speech at Austin Music Hall
, which is just a few blocks away from our apartment. Then about 6:30 PM his motorcade went eight blocks to the Four Seasons Residences (condos) for a private dinner party. Air Force One and the President left the Austin-Bergstrom International Airport
about two hours later.
Today’s preparations began bright and early…and I mean early. When we woke up at 6:30 AM, city crews were already busy power-washing the pedestrian walkways along Cesar Chavez. (I added “power wash sidewalks” to my Preparing for Presidential Visits list
Throughout the day I watched the preparations from our apartment window, including tent raising, roof searching, security checking, helicopter hovering and bus maneuvering. (I added “movable blockades” to my Uses for University of Texas Campus Buses list.)
I headed over towards Austin Music Hall about 3:45 PM. Based on last year’s experience, I was pretty sure of the motorcade’s route. So I stood at the end of Second Street and, sure enough, the procession drove right by. Obama even waved to us! But in my excitement, I mis-timed my photo and ended up with a partial view of one of the two presidential limos. (I added “learn about burst mode” to my Photography for Dummies list.)
I walked back to our apartment and watched a live feed of Obama’s speech and viewed my limo photo with dismay. When the speech ended, I went back downstairs and positioned myself along Cesar Chavez to watch the motorcade make the short trip over to the dinner party. Once again I saw Obama in the back seat, but he was not looking out the window. This time I was determined to get a better photo of the presidential limos. (But I am still leaving “learn about burst mode” on my Photography for Dummies