We're Ready!

January 20, 2009

We left from Dubuque at 3 p.m. on Saturday and arrived at this wonderful campus at Gallaudet University in Washington DC at 7:15 p.m. Sunday night. Yes, we were supposed to be in at 5:30.... Blizzard conditions with drifting snow from Bettendorf to around Peoria at 35 mph. Then, freezing rain from Bloomington, IL to Indianapolis, at 45 mph, then ice covered by 3 inches of slush and snow, with wind, from eastern Ohio until mid-Pennsylvania, at 40 mph and then topping it off, a failed generator on a bus that put us on the side of the thruway in Central Pennsylvania.

Never a problem only an inconvenience!

We passed luggage back to the semi, with a 'chain gang' that stretched 200 feet past five other buses, then got back on the bus to grab our personal bus things, then found our seat on one of the other five buses, with room for all using the extra seats we'd planned into our plans as a contingency and moved out in 40 minutes (the bus is already fixed and we'll pick it up on the way home Wednesday morning!).

We had rehearsal Sunday night, which was the first time we played the music together, learning the all new music we arranged just for the parade and working out the color guard work that was written on an email.

We got up this morning at 8 and rehearsed as a full ensemble at 11, with everything together for the first time.

This afternoon, outside in a little snow flurry, we put the marching program together and by tonight at 11, we were ready for bed, completely ready to be amazing before the world!

Mayor Roy Buol stopped by today to wish the members well and got to be the first of several million people to hear our music for the parade.

We've also fit everyone in a uniform, including our new color guard uniforms, specially designed and made for the parade, with everyone looking great, in a total of 22 hours. Custom-made and sewn flags arrived Saturday and the guard uniforms arrived Friday.

We are in the first division, number 19 in the a parade overall and we will step off at approximately 2:45 p.m. eastern time before the world. We have KWWL television, channel 9, KCRG television channel 7 and the Telegraph Herald traveling with us and filing regular reports and today we had a television crew from British broadcasting stop by to do a story on us for England. Thank you for making this amazing experience possible for us all! Mind Frame theater in Dubuque is showing the entire inaugural starting at 10:30 a.m. including the parade, and most news channels are showing it live as well.

Proud to be from Dubuque, Iowa, the Colts! 119 in the parade and another 125 in support of the corps and sharing history today! Thank you for your help in making it possible! We're waking the members in an hour! Wish us well and give us all your support!!

Secret Service security clearance checks start at 7:30 at the Pentagon! Here we go! We plan to leave DC at 9:30 Tuesday night following a banquet celebration at the University, and we will arrive home in Dubuque at 10 p.m. on Wednesday night.

Thursday we'll all be back in school, back at the jobs and getting back to 'real life' but we will all go forward in our lives with a special and lifetime experience that we'll never forget.

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