Like many Americans, I can say I was there. Granted, I could see very little (even with the jumbo-trons) and part of my experience was more about listening than watching, but I can always go home and watch it over again. You can’t attend it over again, right? Right.
I wouldn’t even have considered going, but Mrs. Parnham’s father and his wife have a townhouse at 4th and G SW, and they were out of town. So myself, my mom, Taylor, Mrs. Parnham, and another family friend Julie drove in Monday night, slept there, got bundled up Tuesday morning and had a relatively hassle-free walk to the mall! Mobs and mob-mentalities can often times be annoying, but when you’re there for such an historic event, and everyone there loves and supports and probably voted for the guy, everyone is pretty civil and happy and considerate with each other.
We ended up standing right in front of the Smithsonian Castle, which is about halfway between the Washington Monument and the Capitol. Our position was pretty good, but being short makes it difficult to see the jumbo trons when the people really start packing in and everyone chose to wear giant fur hats.
We didn’t stay for the parade. Once the Inauguration was over (we started moving when the poet started…sorry) we walked up the mall to head home, stopping only when the guy speaking the benediction busted out the “black won’t be asked to get back, brown can stick around, yellow can be mellow...” lines – we all stopped and started laughing, along with everyone on the mall. So then we cut through the Air and Space Museum, got a few seconds of warmth before heading back to the townhouse and watching the parade while eating a hot lunch and warming up. It was pretty perfect.
Surprisingly there was NO traffic when we drove in and out of the city. Like, less traffic on 66 than there are on normal days. There weren’t any restrictions for out-bound travelers so I really expected traffic going home, but there wasn’t any. Oh well, I’m not complaining!
Plus there were a bunch of cool little extras. Seeing Luke Russert taking pictures with everyone (I was too shy to do it, so I just stood and stared. That’s much less weird) and walking by the MSNBC tower and seeing Keith Olbermann! Then, if you were watching C-Span around 1pm-ish, you would have seen all of us! I was last in line to walk by, and you can hear me, like a total weirdo, go “yay, Virginia Tech!”. It was because I didn’t even think the camera was live, and the camera-man had VT gloves on. For some reason I expected some sort of acknowledgement or response from him…now it makes more sense. Oops.
I only took a few pictures, but I’ll get more once I steal them from everyone else :-)
Keith! I heart you.