Tuesday, January 20, 2009

"For the world has changed, and we must change with it."

J, Lacey, and i braved the freezing weather to attend the inauguration today. NO! we are not crazy! we all thought that since we lived so close, it was too crazy not to go, to be a part of this truly historic day in our nation's history.

we left she-town around 5.30 and made it to Shady Grove an hour later, with no traffic or parking troubles, despite what the media/other people were telling us. the only scary part of the whole metro experience was when we switched over to the blue line and people were shoving to get into the trains. one man kept pointing people out and telling them to scoot a little so he and others could cram themselves into the cars. talk about feeling like sardines!

my plan was to enter the mall from the south (as the Post had suggested), but couldn't because the southern metro stops were to plugged up with traffic, so we entered through Federal Triangle. we got there with hours and hours to spare. it was already jammed packed with people, but we were determined to look for our friends who had arrived around 5.30 by way of Greyhound. we ended up never meeting up with them because we were blocked by gates and guards. instead, i managed to find of my friend's sister and her friends...out of millions of people, we were standing right behind her!!! so we walked around with them for a bit, trying to find ways around the gates...that never happened and soon, we were separated.

basically, nothing went as planned and things soon got stressful...but we found loopholes around it and made it work. we doodled around (stood in line to go into the Smithsonian Castle for a little more than an hour...probably not the best idea, but it definitely killed our time) until the swearing in process started. all i have to say is...WOW!...the crowd's energy was awesome. every time Obama showed up on screen, everyone cheered and waved there flags. all i kept saying was "this is amazing!" i mean, when in my lifetime will i ever get to hear the legendary Aretha Franklin perform "My Country 'Tis of Thee," or see Yo Yo Ma perform, or when will i ever get to see the first African American president get sworn in again!?!?

the best part was definitely President Obama's speech...

does he write his own speeches? Lacey says yes, J says no...me, i'm just not sure...i'll make sure to google it.

i'm pretty sure the worst part of the day was after the festivities. he headed back towards Federal Triangle to get on the metro...we quickly and abruptly found out that we were blocked, by miles and miles of gates and guards. we waited for a while after a policemen told me it was going to be open around 1...that never happened (cause i asked one of the guards on the other side of the gates after one). so we took a parade volunteer's words and headed towards 18th street to get around the parade route. i don't think i've ever talked to more strangers in my entired life!! on our way there, i stopped a man and asked him why he was going the opposite way, and as luck would have it, he told us that the way was blocked, so we headed towards L'enfants metro station. yep! that was closed. it just felt like total chaos. it felt scary! there were people everywhere asking just about anyone how on earth we were going to get home. broken down this, blocked that, how were we going to get home?!?

we stopped at the National Museum of the American Indians to grab some lunch, but it was packed, and the line for the food court wrapped all the way up the steps to the second floor! so finally, i decided to we the premise and get out of the city, one way or another. walking towards anything, we saw people walking onto the highway. i whipped out my trusty map that i had printed from the Washington Post, and found a way out!!! could you believe it? we were walking in a freakin' tunnel! that is some zombie scenario waiting to happen!!!

we finally made it out and that's how the chaos and stress ended. we came out on Mass Ave and walked over to Chinatown, where we decided to go bowling! walking into Chinatown, we were greeted by street vendors selling Obama memorabelias and knick knacks...now that's what i'm talking about! if you remembered the last time i was in Chinatown, i complained about the lack of vendors. this time, there were tons! we played three games and ate a huge lunch. burgers, yum!

after hours in the cold, we are home, satisfied with today's events and warm (yay!). sorry i didn't get a chance to put up the pictures tonight, hopefully i can get around to it within the next few days. what did you do today? did you stay in or go out?

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