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Monday, January 26, 2009

At the Inauguration

We awoke at 4:15 & left our hotel all bundled up to brave the circus around 4:45. The Metro stop was only a few blocks away and we were lucky enough to be on a train by 5AM. There were some people already on the train & we stood, but it got packed at the next few stops. Exiting the Metro at Federal South was an orderly mess, but fairly well-handled.

We arrived at the blue gate at 5:45 and there were about 30' of people in front of us. As we sat and huddled for the next 2 hours, we visited with our new neighbors and tried to keep warm.

By about 7AM, the crowd was a LONG way behind us & I think we arrived at just the right time to get a good place in line.

I can't tell you how many layers of clothes & accessories I had on, but my feet were still cold! Those hand-warmers are a life-saver though. I only wished we had taken a radio so we could listen to updates while we passed the time until the gates opened at 8.

The entry through the gates was a big chaotic, but as orderly as could be with so many people. We were sent into "cow chutes" and then through metal detectors. They made us take out electronics and peeked into my little sling-bag backpack. We arrived at our spot in the South Blue standing zone by 8:45. We were about 15 rows back from the people and to the right of center of the Capitol. The orange seated section was in front of us & you can see the jumbotron we watched as the trees blocked our direct view of the podium.

Even with my 10x zoom, this is the best photo I could get of the podium. Most of the action was actually further back on the stage and we watched the event on the screen. As we were leaving, I realized that the people behind us probably couldn't even see the screen since they were further down the hill. We got really lucky & I feel awful about some of the horror stories I've heard about other ticket holders.

While waiting the 2 hours inside the gate, we kept trying to look around at the crowd, watch the celebrities pass in front of us in the sitting zone, and find the secret service agents on the roofs of adjacent buildings. I loved having my 200mm lens on my nice camera & this is an uncropped shot of hte rotunda. I love the details and can't wait to go inside of it one day.

We had my nice camera & my new camera with us, but I was mostly too cold to take out the new camera and take any photos. However, H was quite zealous with the nice camera, taking about 542 photos of the jumbotron. I think this one of Obama taking the oath is my favorite.

Just thought I'd capture the crowd reaction when George W. Bush walked out. There were more polite than I thought they'd be. I was cracking up that they were singing the old song "Nah Nah Nah Nay Hey Hey- Goodbye". They actually booed more loudly for Joe Lieberman than for Dick Cheney, although Colin Powell got some love from the crowd.

This other clip is the moment that the announcer introduced Obama & he made his appearance on the podium. It was electrifying to be in the crowd and feel the excitement from so many thousands of people.

GOOD NEWS OF THE DAY: Gram is back home from the hospital for the 3rd time in just a few months. Hopefully we're done with all the hospital visits for a while.

1 comment:

Dennis the Vizsla said...

Oh my gosh, I can't believe they were singing that song for Dubya! I hadn't heard that mentioned anywhere!

Glad your Gram is out of the hospital.