Prior to this weekend, I was excited about all the crowds descending on DC. 1.8 million people--Every single one of them super excited about Obama (and the accompanying BJs for Obama). Young, good looking, fun crowds. But then I had to wait in line every where I went. The bars, clubs, lounges, restaurants, Subway, Cab lines. And that was before the inauguration even started.
Never has a t-shirt meant so much to me than during the inauguration. I could've handed out 1.8 million I don't do lines t-shirts and it wouldn't have been enough.
Living in DC, we felt it was our duty to head down to the capitol to celebrate Obama's victory. On Monday, I drove down to the Rayburn Office building to pick up our tickets for the inauguration. With all the street closings and sidewalk barricades, I knew that we had some difficult days ahead.
Monday night we brought my brother out into DC to witness History. He was wearing some raggedy shoes, jeans, and a parka that was a cross between a large tent and a moomoo. But we got him into the VIP room of one of the hottest clubs in DC, "Current." The night ended at around 4 AM rocking out on Rockband 2.Three and a half hours later our alarm went off and we set out on our journey. Armed with hand warmers, hats and gloves we mapped out our 3 mile walk to the Capitol.
It would take about an hour, in the blistering cold, but we knew Obama would do the same for us. Then we stepped outside into the freezing cold; we hailed the first cab we saw.
He drove us as far as he could and we got out of the cab only to follow the crowds, in the wrong direction, for about 10 minutes. There were so many street closings and restrictions that figuring your way around DC was almost impossible. But we chose to go to the inauguration not because it was easy, but because it was hard.
We finally got to what we thought was our security gate. We weaved through the line and passed security in record timing. We were psyched. It was about 2 hours until Obama took the stage and we figured we had given ourselves enough time to get settled. We videotaped a victory speech of sorts--detailing our journey and our tribluations. The Mission was accomplished. We only needed to cross one street and we'd be at our gate. But between us and the street crossing stood hundreds of policeman on horses, metal gates and big concrete barricades. I pointed to the wall and yelled, Mr. Policeman, tear down this wall. That didn't work out too well.
So we spent the next two hours fighting the crowds and racing thru tunnels. At T -1 hour our hopes looked grim. We were in lines that weren't moving. There were hordes of people as far as the eye could see--and rumors circulating that they weren't letting anyone else thru the gates. But there are those who look at things the way they are, and ask why... I dream of things that never were and ask why not. So we resorted to using exit only lanes, jumped fences and bull rushed the last line of defense to get to our spot just in time for the swearing in ceremony. And with that, the torch had been passed to a new generation of Americans.