Sunday, January 25, 2009

The Regular Person's Inauguration Weekend

Don't believe what you see in all those press pictures. This is what real people did Inauguration Weekend (hint: it involved lots of waiting). Was it worth it? Hell Yes!

So, I managed to convince my mom to come to Baltimore to see Obama's "whistle stop." The sun was out, but the temperatures were still arctic. Literally, I could count all the Fahrenheit degrees on one hand. At least we only have four more hours to wait.

I was visiting from San Diego and failed to anticipate the FREEZING cold. It's too cold to smile. I spent about $90 at Sport Chalet purchasing survival gear (but that hat is sweet, right?).

Baltimore arranged for a Billy Blanks wannabe to come out and lead some aerobics. The funny thing was, we actually did it. It was really that cold.

I just thought this guy was cool. He was all about the peace sign.

My first shot of Obama. Of course the teleprompter is blocking his face.

That's better. You can't really tell, but we're pretty close. It was awesome!

You'll notice there are no pictures of the concert on the Mall. That's because it was (again) freezing cold and I can really only tolerate so much. So, I visited friends in VA instead. But, on Monday, I was returning my rental car to the airport (parking in DC is hopeless at best anyways), and I was treated to a preview of some of the parade floats. The cops literally blocked off the intersection right in front of me. Not sure what the Cinderella carriage is all about...

Code Pink looking good. Keep it up!

I decided to walk around the Capitol Monday afternoon. I figured it would be as close as I would get (I was right). Apparently a lot of other people had the same idea.

Ok, let's get to the good part. Inauguration Pics!!

Sunrise on the Capitol. This was about two hours after we headed out. At least we got in (some were not so lucky). AND, you have to have a ticket to get this close (yea, I got hookups!). This is the view from the silver section. I figured that only gold and platinum would be ahead of us. Wrong. Purple, yellow, blue and orange were ahead of us. Apparently the color designators don't know their rankings. I think this should have been renamed the puce or "flesh tone" section.

Inauguration Weekend friends. You can't tell how excited I am because I look like I'm dying from exhaustion. I was trying hard to make facial expressions, but apparently my face was frozen.

OMG!! It's Obama! Can't you see him?!?! Hahaha

Thank God for the Jumbotrons. He got it right in this shot, but for some reason, the teleprompter typist kept typing "threat ring" instead of "let freedom ring." Weird...

After the sun rose higher in the sky, it cast a shadow on the jumbotron and I gave up trying to get any good pics. I wanted to be there and absorb the moment. Besides, other people got way better shots than I ever could.

The official moment. It was incredible (and I'd like to point out that all those people were farther back. See the tickets were good).

The second biggest cheer came when Bush flew over for the last time. One guy yelled, "Take him to Guantanamo!" Most people gave him the finger. Good riddance!!

And, of course, after a shower and a nap, we celebrated like all young, urban professionals. Sushi and sake bombs!!

I do wish I was able to get better pictures on my own, but I was just so thrilled to be a part of this incredible weekend. People ask, where were you when Kennedy was killed? When the Challenger blew up? When the towers came down? And when people ask, "where were you when Obama became president?," I can say: I was there. Simply amazing.

Ok, back to work!


Patrice said...

Thanks! I've seen many pictures and each perspective is unique, so I had not seen the inauguration from your point-of-view yet.

Particularly happy that you caught that raised salute: Power to the People! and Solidarity, margotb!

Emily said...

Very nice pics and I'm jealous you were there. :) Sake and sushi is an awesome way to celebrate. Just no squid for me. :)

KBaglin said...

Hi Margot! Thanks for sharing your pics:) Love the photos and the commentary from both the Whistle Stop tour and Inauguration Day. Wish I had been there too; it was a very special day for our country! You look great; love the cap:) Karen

Brian said...

Awesome! what a cool experience. Gill and I were actually in Panama for the inauguration so we kind of missed out on the fun. It was like 80 degrees though, so we had that going for us.

We were gone for two weeks and we had a number of people from several countries tell us how happy they were about Obama taking office. There was Obama merchandise in every country we went to! (which was five) so the rest of the world is clearly as excited as we are.