Tuesday, January 27, 2009

My Inauguration...

I know it's been a week since the Inauguration of our new president.  I'm so happy that I was fortunate enough to be one of the millions of people that braved the cold and crowds to witness history live.  Here's an account of my experience.

January 20, 2009 - Silver Spring, Maryland
3:00am ~ The alarm is going off on my phone and I'm "unaware" of it doing so until one of my "inaugural roommates" comes over and awakens me...(Thanks again!)

3:50am ~ I'm out the door and headed for the subway station.  They are scheduled to open @ 4 am and it's my intention to get on the 1st train smoking!

3:59am ~ I decided to stop in the 24 hour drug store to get a bottle of water, a box of granola bars and a Washington Post.  Much to my chagrin, the stores computers are down and they don't have much change.  This experience takes much longer than it should have because the cashier had to go to the shelf and check the price of each item I purchased:-(

4:07am ~ I finally make it to the subway station and am on my way!

4:25am ~ The crowds along the stops from Silver Spring are UNBELIEVABLE!!!

4:30am ~ I get to Union Station and find a police officer to help me find the line to stand in to get into the Mall without a ticket.

5:00am ~ After some walking, I'm in line and waiting to go into the Mall...

8:00am ~ ...The police come out and tell us that they need our patience and that they are about to start getting people in through security 50 at a time.

8:07am ~  I start to notice people "weaving" their way back out through the crowds and I'm wondering why.  I ask someone that's leaving and they inform me that the line I've been standing in for more than 3 hours, in the freezing cold, is the WRONG LINE!!!! I've standing in the line for the Parade Route, and not the Inaugural Swearing In Ceremony. :-(

8:08am ~  I start to "weave" my way out of the line and find a police officer to guide me to the entrance to the National Mall.

8:16am ~  I'm told to go down a "tunnel" to get to the Mall, I notice the same phenomenon I noticed in the first line, people leaving.  It turns out that so many people had come to this entrance, they stopped letting people in this entrance if you didn't have a ticket.

8:20am ~  After being told by another police officer and then a volunteer to go down this same tunnel and then being shown a map (up-side-down) of the National Mall and being told that maybe I could walk around to another entrance, I began to contemplate the possibility of NOT witnessing [The Moment].

8:23am ~  A guy comes up to me, taps me on the shoulder and asks me, "why are so many people coming out of the tunnel?"  I told him that if you don't have a ticket, they'll turn you away.  He says to me, "you don't have a ticket?  Well you do now!  You're coming with us!"  It turns out that this guy had an extra ticket because his brother-in-law got sick and couldn't make the trip.  He was looking for a person by themselves to give it to!

8:24am ~ Me and my long lost "cousin from New York, Deven" now make our way to The Capitol Building.  The ticket that he gave me was a "Yellow" ticket.  (Quick tid-bit about the "Yellow" tickets...They're right up front!)



8:55am ~ A guy says "excuse me" and passes through the line we're standing and I say to the others, "hey, that looks like Don King!"  He over hears me and turns after he passes and says, "Only in America Baby!"  It WAS DON KING!!!  I couldn't get my camera out fast enough!

9:24am ~  We go through security like we're at the air port!  I'm getting sniffed by dogs, got my arms in the air, and this guy is squeezing my pockets just to be sure!

9:30am ~ We're in the 1st check point and me and Deven run to the Port-A-Pottys...no line, no waiting in the Yellow Ticket area;-)

9:35am  ~ We get through the last check point and am standing up front, waiting for [The Moment].

At this point, I'm happy that I was able to get in, thrilled that Deven found me and bequeathed his sick brother-in-law's ticket, and completely in awe as to what  I'm about to witness.  You'll even notice in the picture above, I've taken off my gloves.  Somehow, it wasn't as cold as it was "outside" to me...yeah, I know, I'm really still "outside".

For other pictures of my MLK/Inaugural Weekend in DC, check me out on [facebook] or simply click here.


Thed Weller said...

Thanks again Deven! For the Inaugural Experience of a lifetime! ;-D

Slyde said...

man, im envious... i wish i could have gone. my friend was able to take his daughter.. im sure the memory will last a lifetime..

Nashville_fan said...

Thanks for blogging this . . . soooooo cool . . . I'm getting all giddy again just reading it . . . wishing I could have been right there with you but knowing that if I was you wouldn't have got that golden ticket! :)

All I can say is you deserve it man . . . let me know if President Obama gets back to you on that job you applied for! lol

the boss hogg said...

good post thed,

Maybe when my guy Mike Huckabee wins in 2012 you can ride to his inauguration w/ me! LOL!!