Back from Inauguration

What a tremendous weekend I had out in DC and witnessing the swearing in of our 44th president. Indeed, I was one of the 1.5 million people that braved the elements on January 20th, 2009. I will never forget the experience. Of course, knowing me, the weekend would not be free of my usual antics and hi-jinx.

My friend Kim joined me out in DC for the weekend. We had a fairly smart setup. Our hotel was in Fairfax, VA and was less than a mile from the metro station so we had no issues getting around. In fact, it was better to stay further out because by the time the trains arrived DC they were already full from all the suburb people. The problem with Kim and I is that we decided for various reasons to stay up until midnight the night before the inauguration. We knew darn well the metro trains started running at 4 AM and we wanted to get up at 3:30 AM. But for some unknown reason, we stayed up fooling around on the internet and formulating a "plan" for the next day which ultimately proved to be worthless. In any case, it was the best 3 hours of sleep I think I've ever had.

We get out to the national mall and there's a significant amount of confusion. Nobody, including the police, seem to know where the non-ticket types are supposed to go. There's pushing, squeezing, and a mob mindset. We finally find our way into the mall and pop a squat in front of the the 3rd jumbo tron back. Thank goodness I had sense enough to bring a blanket. Kim takes a nap on the ground while I shoot some footage. Here's what things looked like when we first arrived that morning at 5:30 AM:

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So we're all huddled around waiting for the sun to come up...hoping that with the appearance of our closest star the temperature will rise. It does not.

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Here's where things start to get scary. The port-o-potties are all on the sides of the mall. In order to get through them you have to shove yourself past thousands in the crowd and then attempt to return to the hapless little spot where you positioned your blanket but is now getting trampled on. Kim went first and then I went. I honestly did not know whether I would ever make it back through the masses. At the point where I was about to give up, I recognized the weird looking lady who had been standing behind us and she was my beacon back to the promise land. From that point on, there would be no more trips to the port-o-pottie. I'll pee right where I stand before I go through that hell again. Some people were even trying to make it through the crowd with hot chocolate in their hands. Good grief!

More later...it gets better.