Inauguration Trip Tuesday

twittericon up at 5:30 for early start into D.C. 5:57 AM Jan 20th

twittericondecided to drive to Rosslyn metro. route was blocked but used navi 6:44 AM Jan 20th

Originally we had planned to try to take a bus from Aleix's to Rosslyn.  However, the parking garage we parked in on Sunday was pretty convenient and reasonably priced (~$40 for inauguration day), so we decided to drive to Rosslyn and park.  The route we'd taken on Sunday to get to Rosslyn was closed (except for buses and taxis), so we were briefly worried about getting there.  However, we were able to use the navigation to head in the right direction and arrived without much difficulty.  We were also worried that the trains would be packed by the time we got to Rosslyn.  It was crowded, but we were able to squeeze onto the first one.

twittericonnow on packed train but not moving due to sick passenger on a train ahead of us 6:46 AM Jan 20th

twittericontrain inching along. dressed too warmly for sardine can 6:57 AM Jan 20th

twittericontrain moving pretty steady now 7:04 AM Jan 20th

Here's a photo outside the Federal Center South West metro stop.


twittericonate hot dog outside metro station. Donovan McNabb got out of a limo right beside us. 7:32 AM Jan 20th

Since we didn't eat breakfast, we grabbed a hot dog (unexpectedly, they were spicy) and Coke outside the metro station.  While we were standing there, a limo drove up next to us.  A cop was yelling at the driver to move it out of here.  We were surprised to see Donovan McNabb and several fur-clad ladies (looked like his mom and aunts, perhaps) get out of the limo and start walking toward the inauguration.

twittericonstanding in line. gate opens in 15 minutes. 7:46 AM Jan 20th


Here are a couple of videos from when we were standing in line:

At one point as we stood in line, a group of elderly African Americans broke into a gospel song.  Too bad I didn't get it on video and that they didn't continue singing because it was nice to hear.  We should have encouraged them to keep singing. 

twittericonline turns into a sea of people but no progress is evident 8:43 AM Jan 20th


twittericonmoved a little 8:46 AM Jan 20th

twittericonwe're through security 9:29 AM Jan 20th

Here's a picture of security:


After a couple of hours in line, we were finally in our ticketed area to watch the inauguration.  We were in the silver section.  It was so far away from the action, that Lisa didn't even realize it was a ticketed section when she first looked at the map of the inauguration area.  We were basically on the mall, just in front of the mall area where you didn't need a ticket.  Since the steps of the capital were so far away, we positioned ourselves in front of a jumbotron.

Here are a couple nice photos from the AP (from the nice collection on the Boston Globe's site) where I've indicated our location.


A photographer named David Bergman took a 1,474-Megapixel photo during the inaugural address.  You can zoom around in the picture.  If you zoom into the area of the jumbotron in background on the right hand side just past the water, you might be able to catch a glimpse of Lisa's green hat.  Here are the links for that:

1,474-Megapixel photo: link

Post on David Bergman's blog: link

The audio was poor.  It wasn't loud enough, there was a delay, and you also heard it with even more delay coming from other places on the mall.  I was surprised that at both the concert and the inauguration they didn't have the technology to have the video and audio in sync.  At least at the concert it was loud enough.  I followed things by reading the closed captioning.  For shorter people like Lisa, that wasn't much of an option either.  It was quite cold.  The crowd blocked the wind, but your feet became quite cold.  Everyone was complaining that the toe-warming packets weren't working.  Standing for so long took quite a toll on our backs too.  All in all, it was great being there with the masses of so many different kinds of people sharing in the moment, but the conditions weren't so great for actually viewing the inauguration.

twittericonstanding in front of a jumbotron with the capital rising behind it 9:46 AM Jan 20th

twittericonis it capital or capitol? the latter, I think 9:47 AM Jan 20th

twittericonat least the sun is out but it's still so cold 10:20 AM Jan 20th

twittericoncrowd chants Teddy 10:43 AM Jan 20th

twittericonchorus of hearty boos for Lieberman 10:47 AM Jan 20th

twittericoncheers for Colin Powell 10:49 AM Jan 20th

Here are some photos I took:

20090120-114341      20090120-114120

Here is a video of the crowd:

As soon as Obama finished talking, many folks starting trying to leave.  We did too because Lisa's back was bothering her so badly, so we missed the last prayer.  However, it still took quite a while before we were able to get out of the venue.  People were taking apart the fences to try to get out but still having a hard time finding an exit.  Here is a photo of the area afterwards:


twittericonwalking to Rosslyn after hot choc and a cookie 2:06 PM Jan 20th

Rather than waiting in line to get on a crowded metro, we walked out of the city and back to Rosslyn (after stopping for hot chocolate and a cookie).  It took about an hour.  Here are a few photos from the walk:

 20090120-132035 20090120-143902

Here is a video I took while walking out:


twittericonBaja Fresh Mexican Grill before hitting the road 3:06 PM Jan 20th

By the time we got back to Rosslyn, Jonathan was starving so we grabbed a bite to eat and then hit the road to head back towards Michigan.  We didn't have much trouble getting out of town except some initial difficulty due to road closures. 

It was a fun weekend and quite an experience.  We were definitely glad we only had 2 tickets (and therefore decided not to bring the kids).  I doubt we'll do it again (unless we have much closer tickets!).