By leroyk on Jan 21, 2009
Well, I spent Tuesday at my first inauguration. What a day. So many people. Sharing experiences. It was great seeing Barrack sworn in. Seeing Barrack, MIchelle and the girls in the "beast limo" was way cool. Kudos to the new first family.
My morning started early. It was a 5am morning. Got up. Checked the news. They were reporting the metro stations had lines back to exit with people trying to park their cars. So I got my butt in gear and got going. Got to the metro station at 6:30am. The lines were horrible because everyone was waiting for garage #1. Luckily I knew about garage #2 which had no wait.
My second kudos goes to Washington's Metro. They had their stuff together. Lots of employees at the Shady Grove station. They even relaxed the rules when there were long lines. Like letting people through the turnstiles with out needing a ticket to board a train. Kudos. They even upgraded the chime system when the doors close. It has been that long since riding metro. The system does not usually go where I am going. The bad, you still do not want to be caught in the doors. Although similar to elevator doors, these are merciless. Groups of teenagers forced to save one of their own that was straggling behind.
Got to the metro center station at 7:30 am. Not bad. Now I am worrying about having 7 hours to wait. Here is where it gets interesting. There were two security checkpoints. One with a line moving briskly and the other stalled. After waiting 45 minutes in the slow line I move to the brisk line. Here they are are processing tons of people and just performing pat downs. So I get through this line in 10 minutes. I think this is too good to be true. Yes it was. My seating area cannot be accessed from this entrance. So I need to exit and re-enter through the slow entrance. Back out I go.
Well long story short. I spent the next 4 hours of my life in the a line that was 2 blocks long. I was in the first 50 feet of the line. This line had metal detectors and people had to remove their electronics. It felt as though this line was being choked for security reasons. It gets interesting when you spend 4 hours back to chest to back with people you do not know. When the line moved, we moved as one. Literally. The whole crowd would move 6 inches whenever they let 5 people through the line. The crowd swayed as one when Aretha sang. Not out of choice because we had to. Someone started and we moved together. Kind of uniting in a way. In fact the last 45 minutes in line I do not think I stood on my own. I had a young lady behind me go to sleep on my shoulders.
Third kudos. TSA, I will never let anyone say bad things about you ever again. You are a model of uniformness and efficiency.
Fourth kudos. Plenty of restrooms on the parade route. Cannot speak about the mall but Penn avenue was great.
The parade was great though I snuck out after Barrack and Michelle went by. The aluminum seats had finally taken their toll. It was 5 pm. Time to go.
All in all a great day, even with security and the cold. Something everyone should do once in their lives.