By Les Kretman, NBC News White House producer
As one White House spokesman put it today in a note paraphrasing a Peter, Paul and Mary song "my bags are packed I'm ready to go."
Getting out of town after long, long days and nights they're going home, turning the house keys over to the next family and the work space to new fresh faces who guaranteed will quickly morph into tired faces in a month or so.
The President on Monday was racking up a big phone bill contacting President Sarkozy of France, Chancellor Merkel of Germany, Prime Minister Putin and President Medvedev of Russia, President Peres of Israel, President Lula da Silva of Brazil, former President Fox of Mexico, Prime Minister Aso of Japan, Prime Minister Brown of the United Kingdom, President Saakashvili of Georgia, President Lee of South Korea, Prime Minister Rasmussen of Denmark and Prime Minister Berlusconi of Italy.
Tomorrow, NBC by the luck of the alphabetical draw is "travel pool" (travel pool changes daily) ... which means we move in the motorcade with the President, stay for the swearing in at the U.S. Capitol ... and then head back to the White House and rejoin the new President and First Lady Michelle Obama for a night of Inaugural Balls beginning with one at 8:30pm and finishing up at 3am at a final gala at Union Station.
As for ex-President Bush and Laura, by then they'll be home in Texas where Mr. Bush promises to make coffee at breakfast time for the former first lady. That will be happening about the same time the new first family will be getting ready for the dawn.