Monday, February 23, 2009

Our Inauguration Day Story...

Since election day I told J that I wanted to be there no matter what. For us and for everyone around the world (whether Obama supporter or not) it was a day of spectacular history. The USA had its first African-American president. And whether you voted for him or not you had to acknowledge the unprecedented way in which this man ran his campaign and eventually one the hearts of millions of people in this country and gave them something to believe.

OK I'll jump off my soap box now, and just fill in the details. At first I was determined to take the peanuts. The year they were born, 2008 this will probably be the most notable event. But after much counseling by my practical husband we decided to leave the girls behind :( with Grandma and the nanny. This day was also the very first time I would go a whole day without seeing my little peanuts. Mommy seperation anxiety I called it..anyhow we move on. The girls wore their Obama shirts to commemorate the day from home warm & cozy unlike us.

We took the Greyhound bus from NYC Port Authority around midnight. There were lines & groups, everyone with the same destination in mind....DC or BUST! As J likes to say "Greyhound got it right!" They had a decent priced ticket & just lined up buses to move people out as they arrived. So off we went on a packed bus with Obama paraphanalia on every person & arrived safely in DC at around 4:30AM...say what!!???? What would we do for 3 hours until we could stake out a spot on the mall?? Ha ha ha we would soooon find out.

Everyone, after a quick potty break, made their way to the mall. I thought well maybe there's some place to get some coffee & a snack. And when they open up the mall at 7am we'll just walk in. UUUH yeah ok, NOT! Come to find out everyone was making their way to the point of attraction because you were better off making sure you got to the entrance before they decided to close it without you. We got in touch with some friends who were also making their way to the mall & were trying to just get in line to get in. Does that make sense?? It didn't to me. But anyhow we skipped the coffee AND the snack & I followed my sensible half lead the way. He's also better with maps & directions & the whole north east south thing. After trying to reach our friends and not connecting we decided there was too many people & we'd meet up inside some how. So we move on...

All these decisions, which way to go? What entrance should get near?? Should keep walking up?? Walking down?? Oh gosh I honestly felt like a contestant on the Amazing Race! Constant second guessing ourselves, was nerve racking. I mean we came a long way to not see it or be close to the events. And J's only mission was to not get stuck behind the monument. He hates obstructed views. So we finally decide on THE door that will get us in at 7am...the funny thing is that there are people on the other side of the gate! What the?? How'd they get in there...oh darn another wrong decision RATZ! Ok we're here so we wait. As the time gets closer to 7am we see there aren't any officials, police, horsemen, rangers, NADA. Someone yells out from the crowd..."they aren't going to open the gate!" OH F*%$# are you friggin kidding me?!

We decide it's time to move out move out move out move out!!! Easier said then done. Pushing & squeezing our way out of a crowd that's about 40 people deep was no easy task. Then, out into the street & run (I do mean RUNNING) down the next entrance which we figure is about 10 or so blocks down. Suddenly as we're gasping for frigid cold air we see some people crowding this tiny gate near the Smithsonian. What's that?? A possible entrance into the mall?? Check it out...quick!! There were about 20 people trying to squeeze into this door before some body with a uniform or red volunteer hat realized that it shouldn't be open (I mean really there was no security checking or anything). In my mind I figured go for it...push man puuuuuusshhhhh! Get in! So we finally make it in but of course I'm still running (I've never been to the Washington Mall) cause I don't know what the heck I'm looking for.

Finally Jorge yells out to me "Ok ok we made it we made it." SO I stop & look around at people scurrying everywhere & the view to the capital building & the giant jumbo tron & it was like time stood still for a hot second. After taking it all in we were off to find the best spot possible. Goal was reached, we were in front of the capital building & NOT behind the monument. We found a nice dusty dirt spot in front of a jumbo tron and the capital building in the distance. And now we had nothing left to do but wait........

After the hype died down for a bit I realized it was a LONG time till 11:30AM. There was a refershment stand & porto potties nearby (maybe like 30 feet or so). I figure Jorge would be up for a refreshment. The man was taking NO RISKS he got us there & he was not budging. Are you serious??...thank God I bought some snacks and drinks but it was freaking COLD! I could use a cup o' joe man! No dice. If I wanted to go I was on my own & if I got lost...I was what we like to say @$$'d out. He played to my fearful side. I stayed on my blanket & tried to take a nap on the cold ground. After a couple of hours of leaning on some people next to us I woke up & needed something to warm up. I ventured out & we were packed in tight by now. So I was really taking a chance. Quick story... I was walking out to the side where the refreshment stand it & I see this guy with about 8 cups of coffee,chips, some kind of bread. He's barely keeping the coffee cups upright only now he can't find his group. I ask him, "Hey Mr. how long did it take you to get that coffee??" and he says "like 3 hours!...YVETTE!!! GRACE!!! YVETTE!!!! GRACE!!! HEEEEYYY!!" Yeah, he was lost alright.

Anyhow I tried to make my way to the refreshments & everyone's story was the same 2-3hours still on line. EEERRR bad idea. Next potty long is the wait??? oh about 20 people deep. EERRR bad idea. I walked back to try & find J (we never did find our friends). So I weaved my way through people and I swore I found him like 4x only to find out it was someone else holding up the same glove wearing the same black jacket. UUUGGHHH I did finally make it back. And the look on his face of course was that of "I told you so."

So we waited and the moment arrived we realized it was SO worth the long & adventurous trip out to Washington DC to watch live & in person with millions of strangers the swearing in of our 44th President of the United States.

And THAT my dear friends, is history!

No comments: