We (Lisa and I) got up at 5:15 am and quickly got dressed. I wore full body thermal and thermal socks, 3 shirts, my flannel pajamas, and jeans. I thought all that layering would allow me to beat the cold. I was partially right. Hands and feet were frozen solid within the first hour of me being exposed to the outside elements. I was jumping up and down in line acting a plumb fool to keep myself warm.
As you can see in the pictures below, the Metro was crazy packed. Everything went smoothly. I think credit partially goes to Lisa. She knows the DC Metro system pretty well. All I had to do was cling to her arm and hold tight to avoid getting swallowed by the crowds.
When we got off the train and was heading up the escalator to the Capital, the crowd went nuts when the reality kicked in that we are “finally here”! Everyone was screaming and chanting “YES WE CAN!” and snapping pictures.
At that point, Lisa and I had to separate. Her tickets were for the silver gate and mine were for Blue. I was expecting Alesia to show up any minute or at least text me to let me know here where abouts. Turns out she overslept and I didn’t see her for at least a full hour later. She was very lost and 4 different people gave her wrong directions for the gate. On top of that, she kept getting blocked by Secret Service Agents informing her she didnt have access to get to her location from certain points of DC. She ended up having to walk on the 395 tunnel.
Once we got in line, we kept each other company telling funny stories and making (light!!!) fun of some of these church ladies in fur and rhinestones. I understand that some of these people came from all over, on church vans and tour buses. But why wear you best Sunday clothes? Its cold! Be comfortable! Who knows, maybe that fur was really warm?! I know for many of the elders that were there, this event was something that they once assumed they would never see in their lifetime. Hence the reason to wear the fancy jackets and hats. Hey, to each their own….
After 3.5 hours in line, frozen toes, frozen hips, and frozen fingers, we finally made it past the security and on to the Capital grounds. We had less than 45 minutes before Barack was to be sworn in. The air was thick with excitement. (Oh, by the way, just know that it was challenging for me to type on my blackberry, sending you all regular blog updates. But sooo worth it. I’m glad to hear from all of you who appreciated it.)
The roamed the area looking for a good view. We could not even get to the handicapped area of the section so that we can have access to a sign language interpreter. It was jammed packed. I told Alesia that I did not stand in line to look at the back of people’s heads.
We left the crowed and roamed a distance off to the left. There we found the perfect spot. A clear view of the jumbo tron and direct sunlight to warm our tushies. We snapped lots of pictures and made movies our on cameras. We heard Aretha did her thang and we were disappointed that we had to hear the violin show before we see Obama. (Yes, I’m sure that guy was pretty good at what he does, but we all were like “Hurry up and give Obama that Bible!”) Finally it was Obama’s turn and he did his thang and next thing all of us was cheering like crazzzzzzzy!
Oh I just have to mention, When the cameras showed Obama walking down the hall to enter the podium area, his pose, his facial expression, his whole swagger, was 10000% sexy! I literally swooned and melted right there. When I saw the re-clip of that scene later again on the news, I screamed and swooned all over again. My friends thinks I’m totally nuts. (I’m okay with that.)
After it was all over, Alesia and I agreed we can catch his post inauguration speech on youtube and decided to hightail it out of that area before the mob hits again. Upon arriving at the Metro, there was a large crowd. Once again, we got in and out pretty quickly and we were in Alesia’s car an hour later.
We headed back to my friend’s place and we had a cup of tea and shared our stories. I did not want to go back out in the cold again after semi-thawing out when everyone suggested we go out to eat. I knew that I had to eat because I did not eat a single thing up to that point. Yes ya’ll, I stood in line, in the cold, for 8 hours, with no water or food. There were no hotdog or coffee vendors in the area where I stood in line. How I managed to survive, I do not know. I think the whole excitement and buzz of the day’s event just killed any hunger I had. Obama filled my cup. (poetic and corny, yes, I know!)
I wanted to watch the parade in the comfort of my friend’s condo. After some negotiation, I agreed to meet with them after the commerical break. 3 Commercial breaks later, and I made a quick bee line, 4 blocks, to the restaurant my freinds were at. My eyes were glued to the tv the whooooole time. Anything inauguration, Obama, I was obsessed.
I’m glad to the report the obession was waned down for now.
I’m sooo excited for the future of this country. I know alot of peole will agree with me when they say this is the first time in a long time that we are all excited about the leadership of this country. We eagerly look forward to these next four years. I totally trust Obama to deliver 110% to revitalize our country, our brand, our image, and our patriotism.
Okay – – I have been on this computer alll morning! I’m going shopping!!!