Thursday, January 22, 2009

Once in a Lifetime

I feel like there's been a real dearth of news and blog postings about the inauguration, so I thought I'd write about my time in DC.  

Isn't it crazy that the asshat is out of the White House? It was amazing to be in DC for the past week. I stayed with a great friend who lives right in town and we hung out and ate and laughed for five days. God, I miss living in a city that has normal things like cupcake stores and a subway. 

We went down for the end of the concert on Sunday - god, it was amazing hearing Bono's voice, and then hearing Obama's voice threw us into a frenzy of excitement. All the crazy feelings and the intense energy that you would imagine was exactly what I felt. I went back downtown alone for the inauguration and ended up getting stuck in a crowd (imagine that) by the purple gate. I was three inches away from the cannons for the 21-gun salute - that was loud - and basically couldn't see anything or hear much at all. I eventually went back to Union Station to figure out what was going on, and caught Obama's speech on a radio with a bunch of people gathered around. It was incredibly touching, lots of tears, and strangely it felt great to be with a small group to experience that moment versus being one of two million across the street. All of Union Station cheered when it was done - a wonderful sound. And then it was just dealing with the DCPD shutting down the Metro due to overcrowding and trying to get the hell out of there. No easy task. 

It's hard to believe we have a President who appears to be competent and isn't a complete embarrassment. If I had a dime for every time I was asked about Mr. Bush when traveling in a foreign country, well, I'd probably have about $3.00. But that's a lot of questions, and they were all along the lines of, "Your President loves war, doesn't he?" Always derogatory, always embarrassing, always me trying to say something to put distance between the most well-known and hated American, and the one standing in front of them. No more.

Yesterday on the Metro on the way to National Airport (wow, that was a clusterfuck) to come home, I was wondering when I became such a country bumpkin because I was truly so excited and impressed with myself to be finding my way around. I was listening to my iPod and loving life, feeling very metropolitan and everything, and suddenly I looked up and the doors were closing on my stop. Bummer. I changed plans (because I can do that) and decided to transfer at the next station instead. So I transferred, but got on the wrong train - orange, blue, it's very confusing. I finally just got off the train a few stops later, found myself mysteriously in Virginia, called my friend, regrouped, and made it to the airport without a second to spare. Hello.

It's always great to get home after a trip and sleep in your own bed and do laundry and snuggle your kitty and kiss your Mac, isn't it? My Flickr photos are here.


  1. How could I forget to say that I also played Wii for the first time ever on this trip and strained my right butt cheek muscle?

  2. That comment deserves a post of its own.

  3. I've said this elsewhere but I can't think of a better way of putting it:

    I don't recall any previous Inauguration that has been covered so comprehensively here in the UK. It feels like he's a President for us, too. I felt so proud to be witnessing it and was fighting back tears at so many points. Way to go, America. I never thought that all the respect that Bush squandered could be so quickly recovered but looking at that huge crowd today and hearing Obama's measured address, I felt moved by the grace and power of your great nation.

  4. I'm jealous that you got to go!

  5. What a great memory to have on such a memorable day! I feel so uplifted seeing so many people care about the Presidency. I can't recall ever seeing so many people clamor to attend an Inauguration or stop what they were doing to listen/watch the President speak. It's phenomenal. I hope the energy keeps going and growing.

  6. That must have been so exciting to be there for the inauguration. But I bet it was also overwhelming. It must have been so crowded everywhere!