January 27, 2013

Inauguration Day In D.C.

I'm home!  Hot damn!  It has been 5.5 years since I've been here.  Wow, picking out landmarks and wondering whether we're going to be dropped off at Union Station or at RFK Stadium with the other buses. Brnng!  Who would be calling me?  It's my brother announcing that he is at the Shady Grove Metro Station and will meet us at Union Station.  Alrighty, then.

One minute I am in Virginia, the next I am in Maryland, flying through Rockville, there's the Mormon Temple; flying around the beltway, through Wheaton, down the B/W Parkway, passing my first real estate purchase...a condo in Bladensburg, through Deanwood, down H Street, N.E. What are those ugly things?  New buses?  Who approved that design?  Safely delivered to the garage behind Union Station. Through the connecting doors and the line for the potty goes on forever.

The place to check bags is at Gate A.  My brother is still en route.  How is that?  I think we were in Chantilly or Dulles when he hit Shady Grove.  Guess everyone has the same idea. Check the bags; cheaper than we were told.  Ooops, I forgot to retrieve the hand warmers.  "Pardon me, miss, I forgot to get something out the bag, would it be too much trouble to...?"  Give me a break, sistah.  I just gave you the damned bag and you just opened for business, so you can't be that damned frazzled. One D.C., attitude calls for another.  Retrieved the hand warmers and moved on. Here's brother with a...what?  "You can't take a chair on the mall."  "I brought it for you."  He's so thoughtful.  But the bag has to be checked.  Won't make it through security.

Grabbed a bite and we're on our way.  Need an all-day pass for the subway.  I'm getting the souvenir pass for a keepsake.  My research says to take the train to Farragut West and walk to 18th Street, down to the Mall.  They are not allowing you to cross Pennsylvania Avenue (the parade route).  Kaye and I are picking up souvenirs as we make our way to the mall.  Okay, why did we end up on the wrong side of Pennsylvania?  By the time we made it through security, there was no hope of getting to the mall.

Alright, we'll listen to the ceremony and see the President, live and in living color. See, we have a prime spot with an unobstructed view.  And we waited, and waited, and waited. Now, we know that parades don't start on time.  We also know that it is quite a distance between the Capitol Building and the spot where we were stationed, between the FBI building and the Old Post Office building. But it's past 3:00 p.m., and we've been standing here since 11:10 a.m.  What is the hold up?  One of the military men whispered that there had been an accident.  Really?

A phalanx of buses continually passed by.  For a while, I thought they were just sending the same ones down the route, over and over again. Oh, here's a band and the motorcycle police.  We're in business.  And then the folks bum rushed the spot we'd staked out.  Get out of here! I couldn't see a thing! Not to worry.  I calmly passed my camera to the military gent standing on the ramp above me.  I didn't come all this way to go back without a picture!

VP Biden
We know the President and VP are at the front of the parade and the press trucks let us know that they were passing by.  Cheers and waves.  Great excitement!  My military friend didn't disappoint, although he could have pulled the shots in closer.  His photos of the Obamas weren't anything to write home about but...beggars can't be choosey.  I'm satisfied.  We've lost Kaye in the crowd.  While we wait for her to show up, we talked to a fellow who had some serious camera equipment draped on his body.  He promised to send photos and I thank you, Rodney Thompson, from the bottom of my heart.

The Obamas

Now that's what I'm talking about.  It's almost 4:00 p.m.  As far as we're concerned, the event is over.  We've got time to see the MLK Memorial and make it to Phillip's restaurant to meet my son, Kevin, his friend, Natasha, and my grandson, Kevin, Jr.  We're off.

Be Safe.  Be Blessed.

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