What a glorious day!
I'm still a bit chilly but my fingers have thawed. So, as promised, here's my story of Inauguration Day.
We breezed into the city in 20 minutes. I'm not kidding. I have spent weeks obsessing about our transportation plan--metro? metro bus? walk? What do to? Then, just a few days ago it hit me--everyone, and I mean everyone, was either planning to walk or take Metro. The bridges from Virginia were closed but the routes from Maryland were wide open.
Dare we go against all recommendations to take public transportation and actually just drive?
When I first suggested it, Abel laughed. Then, I ran the idea by our cab driver Sunday night and his reply was "brilliant!". The more we thought about it, the more it just made sense. I figured if we hopped on 50W to NY Ave. then cut down south and even got a few miles we'd be golden. We could park in a neighborhood and walk from there. We left our house by about 7:10am and literally zipped into the city--zero traffic. We made it the whole way directly to Abel's work parking space 1 block from Union Station in just under 20 minutes.
We even used the bathroom there quickly before walking the few blocks to our purple gate.
Oh, purple gate, purple gate, how you let me down.
It has already been named "Purple Gate Conspiracy".
Read the comments here.
It all started out fine. Yes, hoards of people and long lines and some confusion, but that was expected. People were happy, talking to their neighbors, a few cheers of "Yes we can!" and "Fired up! Ready to Go!" could be heard in different sections of the line. Then, we--and hundreds and thousands of other purple ticket holders around us--started to get nervous as it approached 9am then 9:30am then 10am then 10:30am then 11am with NO MOVEMENT. Well, slight movement, but I'm convinced that was just the crowd condensing itself.
Something went terribly, terribly wrong at the purple gate.
Thousands of people, including us, didn't get in.
Mostly the crowd was jovial. At first. Then people started to get upset. There was chanting "let us in! let us in!"
Rumors were flying. Some people said that they heard that they "forgot" to post guards at the purple gate. Others said the purple gate had already closed.
One woman was quite certain "they" would realize what was wrong when "they" looked out and saw that the purple section was empty. (Um, lady, who, exactly, is "they"?) One woman called her Member of Congress. (Honey, trust me, the lowest staffer is the one manning the office today; everyone else, including your Member, is already in place to watch the inauguration!) Another woman (why were these all women?) was convinced they'd hold the ceremony and wait for us to all get in. (Yeah, we all know that Obama is for the people, but there's this little thing called the Constitution that is pretty clear about when this show needs to happen.)
So, as it inched closer to noon and the line continued to be at a standstill, we decided to bail. We briskly walked back the 4ish blocks to Abel's office and caught the oath and speech on TV.
I'd like to think that all my tears were tears of joy and hope (and relief!) for this historical moment. But, I have to be honest that some of them were most certainly tears of disappointment.
The important thing is that this moment has happened. The important thing is that this dawn has come. It does not matter if I was on this side of the fence or that side of the fence when it happened.
Yes we did!
P.S. We left immediately after the benediction and got home in less than 15 minutes. Needless to say, our friends who were watching Lucas were shocked to see us back so soon!