Erin, Abby and I put on our cutest hats and set out to meet Dawn and Sharlene to celebrate the second inauguration of Barack Obama. Our plan to drive to the city quickly got derailed by a massive number of street closings and pedestrians. We turned around and parked at the airport so we could hop on the metro instead.
A few stops later we emerged in Chinatown. We waited around with McGruff until Dawn and Sharlene arrived and then started walking towards the security checkpoint.
Along the way, we popped into Bruegger’s Bagels for a quick bite and to chit chat with some of North Carolina’s finest.
When we arrived at the security checkpoint, we lined up with the masses to huddle in line.
There were tons of things you couldn’t bring into the mall area, like firearms and explosives and balloons and fruit.
Apparently adult juice boxes were no problem though because Sharlene was packing two of them and made it right thru!
We crossed the parade route and headed over to the mall. Along the way, we picked up a few flags.
We staked out a spot with a good view of the Jumbotron just in time for the start of the show.
First up was Chuck Schumer. Then there was a prayer. Erin and Abby cheered when their Senator spoke, though they weren’t sure who he was or which party he represented.
Then the Brooklyn Tabernacle Choir totally rocked out. Really, I had chills! Next it was time to swear in Vice President Joe Biden.
The next performer was James Taylor, a favorite of ours since the Tree Lighting Ceremony! Well, we saw him at the Tree Lighting Ceremony, anyhow. Finally, Barack Obama took the stage. Michelle was wearing a very smart coat with a subtle print and the girls were adorable with a bold color palate.
There was some blonde country singer who sang a patriotic song I can’t remember and then a poem by Richard Blanco.
After another prayer it was time for what some of us considered a highlight of the event.
We tried to rush the stage,
and lingered for a few photos before starting to head to the Metro.
Our intent was to get out of the Mall and meet up with Ethan for a late lunch at Nellies. Sadly, we were a bit like salmon trying to swim upstream. After shuffling along with the masses we decided most people were heading towards the parade and we might be better off trying to board at L’Enfant Plaza. Sadly, they had us penned in like cattle being herded to the slaughter. Normal 0 false false false EN-US JA X-NONE
We stopped on the way to take a peek at the back of Anderson Cooper’s head and then made it to the human funnel that was several hundred thousand people trying to exit from a single three foot wide gate.
Once we got through, we were confounded by thousands of people blocking the door to the Metro.
We decided to head north and try to enter through a different door.
Sadly, that didn’t work either and when we arrived Dawn and I got separated from the rest and fell a bit behind. When we finally spotted the rest of our gang, we started rushing towards them. That’s when the giant bump in the road tripped me and I sailed through the air until the curb caught me… on my cheek. Thankfully, my friends rescued my hat and various other items that had flown from my hands as I flew through the air.
A very kind policeman approached and helped me over to sit on the bumper of a parked car. Sharlene found some napkins to mop up the blood.The police officer came back and escorted me to an ambulance. When we arrived, the paramedic told me I was fine which was odd since I didn’t feel fine and the whole side of my head was starting to swell. We asked them if they could clean out the cut on my face but they apparently don’t carry any first aid supplies with them. I asked if I should go to the hospital in case I had a concussion. He told me that he could take me there if I really, really, really wanted to go, but that was up to me. He suggested that maybe I should walk it off and then try to go home in a few hours when the crowd died down. I decided to go to the hospital instead.
Erin and Abby rode along. It was my first ambulance ride and frankly, I thought it would be much more exciting. Sure we had the lights and sirens on, but we had to go less than 20 MPH because the damn crowds wouldn’t get out of our way and then we got lost.
Fortunately, the driver had an iPhone and was able to ask Siri how to get there.
When we arrived, I had to hop from the back and walk in to the building. Then stand there while they took my vital signs and other information. I was a little surprised they didn’t seem to have any seats, or wheelchairs, but it’s my first time in an urban hospital, so maybe that’s normal for them.
They sent me to the urgent care side where at least they had seats and a TV so we could watch the parade, and let’s be honest we probably had a better view!
When I finally got called back to the treatment area, they decided to give me a tetanus shot and some Tylenol with Codeine.
So to sum up…
- Inauguration was awesome.
- Crowds were ginormous and totally jammed up the Metro.
- Ambulances don’t carry any first aid supplies.
- Ambulance can help you avoid the crowded Metro stations, though they would make better time if they knew the way to the hospital,
- Hospitals don’t have many seats or wheelchairs but do afford a better view of the parade.
- I’ll never forget when I got my last tetanus shot.