Some time in 2007 I bought a button that said "1.20.09 Bush's Last Day In Office." Not only did that day finally come but I was able to get a good enough seat to make sure that the dude actually busted out.
This morning I got up bright and early and headed over to a friends house for the walk down to the Mall. We had preferred standing tickets SE of the Capital steps, so had to get down there and actually circumnavigate the Mall. With the help of a cab driver who took us to Chinatown we were able to get there in about an hour.
While walking in to the orange section we were shoulder to shoulder with some kid from High School Musical, some NFL player I didn't recognize but the men I was with were really excited about, and.... OPRAH! That's right, we followed her and Steadman right in and some how managed to sneak past the preferred standing area in to the seated area, which had a much better view.
This plan was working really well until a Capital police officer informed us we were blocking an aisle and not only did we have to move to the side, but if we wanted to stay there we had to KNEEL so people behind us could see. As you can see from the video below, this mandate applied to everyone - from the Catch Up Lady to four star generals.
I mean seriously, some people should not have to kneel in freshly laid sod for 2 hours - General Wesley Clark is one of them. Also, there were some real asshats in the seated areas yelling "down in front" like we were at a freaking Redskins game (and there was anything to look at at that moment.) But hope was on the way!
Here is a video of Obama getting sworn in. He is the dot to the right behind the blue plated glass.
Leaving the Mall was a wholllle other story. Let me tell you there were about 10,000 websites, newspaper articles and newscasts dedicated to telling you how to GET to the Inauguration - but I would have paid a ransom for directions on how to get OUT. I mean, this was easily the biggest cluster fuck I'd been in in the last year - which is saying something since I went to the Super Bowl and the Beijing Olympics in the last 12 months.
It took me about 2 hours and a near-crowd induced panic attack to walk down the mall and back to Georgetown - which was do-able. Not to mention that whole seeing history being made thing, which really made it worth my morning. Now, off to get my hair done and then to dinner at Nora's and the Eastern Ball at Union Station!