WASHINGTON, D.C. — MTV News rolled into our nation's capital on Thursday night to cover the Inauguration of Barack Obama, and since then, we've been on a non-stop run of parties, press lines, red carpets and black-tie affairs ... with the occasional celebrity interview and late-night run to Ben's Chili Bowl mixed in for good measure.
In short, Inauguration Weekend in D.C. has been a marathon, and needless to say, we're pretty winded. So while we catch our breath — and battle cross-town traffic to cover tonight's Inaugural Ball — here's a look back at some of our favorite moments from an historic weekend. And no, we're not just talking about diminutive producer Rya Backer crushing three Half-Smokes, either
From hanging with [article id="1700528"]will.i.am[/article] and Dikembe Mutombo to meeting [article id="1700548"]800,000 of our closest friends[/article] on the National Mall, here's our Inauguration ... Instagrammed.
This is me, minutes after arriving in D.C.'s Union Station, posing with the Commander in Chief ... or a fairly heroic cardboard cut-out of him anyway. Super Barack was posed outside a kiosk that claimed to be selling "Official Inauguration Merchandise," though, really, the bootleg Michelle Obama T-shirts certainly suggested otherwise.
Inauguration Weekend officially kicked off with the [article id="1700517"]National Day of Service Summit[/article], which honored the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. by calling for all Americans to volunteer in their communities. We loved the cause, and we loved DJ Mel just as much, and not just because he played "Strawberry Letter 23."
Here I am talking to (and being sartorially shamed by) the Far East Movement, who performed at the [article id="1700520"]Kids' Inaugural Concert[/article] along with Katy Perry and Usher. As you can see, I wore my most patriotic flannel for the occasion.
Will.i.am and I hang out post-interview, enjoy some delicious coffee. The Black Eyed Peas mastermind was sort of the de facto MVP of Inauguration Weekend (aside from Obama, of course) performing and attending tons of parties, talking up causes like increased funding for science and art programs in public schools, and, of course, wearing amazing jackets.
Hey, it's MTV News producer Rya Backer with former NBA great/man-mountain Dikembe Mutombo! Even if he didn't do his patented finger wave, meeting Dikembe was unquestionably the highlight of the Hip-Hop Inaugural Ball ... except for maybe when 2 Chainz took us backstage.
This is our view from outside the National Mall, waiting to get inside on Inauguration Day. It would be another hour before we made it to security, then another 30 mins before we were through (at least the pat-down was tender). But, we persevered, and finally ....
... we made it inside! However, as you can see, my beard didn't. Told you security was tight.
And here's our view from the National Mall. We had a pretty decent view of Obama while he delivered his Inaugural Address, and, perhaps more importantly, plenty of room to fall all over ourselves attempting to find adjectives worthy of Beyonce's performance of "The Star-Spangled Banner." Can we vote for her and Jay in 2016 yet?
MTV News is on the ground in D.C. for Inauguration Weekend bringing you the latest from the presidential events, performances and parties right through the final ball tonight. And although the election's over, you can still get involved by heading over to serve.mtv.com.