All About Trey

Life, Travel, Adventure

Obama-rama 2009

Notice how I threw 2009 in there? That's to separate it from Obama-rama 2013 when he's sworn in for his second term. Nothing like a bit of . . what's the word I'm looking for . . . . oh that's right . . . hope!

So I was at ground zero for the Obama-rama and while I did not partake in a lot of the festivities, I did go down to the National Mall to see him sworn him. Me and the other 1.8M people. But it was such a great experience.

Superlawyer, his children, and and his BF crashed at my place Monday night since the bridges to the Commonwealth were going to be closed. We all crashed around 11PM and then I heard an alarm go off at 430. And I'm like, if we're leaving at 0530, why are we getting up at 0430. And Superlawyer is like, "You obviously don't have kids, do you." Ah, good point. And even getting up at 0430, we didn't leave until 0545 where we started to trek down to the Mall. Coming up to Scott Circle is where we saw the first of the military guys standing watch. It was harshly cold and they were bundled up pretty well. We hit the Caribou Coffee at 18th and M and then started walking down 18th towards the Mall. When we hit Consititution, we cut down 17th between the Washington Monument and the WW II memorial. Once we were on the south side of the mall, we cut towards the Capital. Needless to say, it was already a mob scene by 0630. And by 0700 we had come to a forced stop right in front of the Smithsonian Castle. Not anywhere close to the Capital, but we just hit a wall of people. So we stopped, pulled out the blanket that SL had brought, and sort of sat down.

Now as the Mall began to fill up, people were packed in all around us, and trying to push their way through the crowd. While we were playing Uno. Um, hello, see this blanket. No you just can't cut through. Where you want to step is the discard pile. Please go around. And most people did, and some people just ignored us. For the most part it was okay and there was very little ugliness by anyone. And I'll have to say that part of that was due to the cold. It was FRAKKIN COLD!! The weatherman had said mid-30s, but they lied as usual. SL, the expert planner, in addition to the blanket and Uno had brought sandwiches, snacks, and water to help tied us through the morning. At some point the jumbotrons started playing the We Are One concert. Which was good. It helped take your mind off of the cold. And then the pre-ceremony stuff started being shown. And the crowd was loving it. The huge cheers for the Obama children, and the big boos for W and Cheney. I said nothing and just observed the crowd around me and their reactions. Black, white, young, old, and everything in between. And the reaction was nearly unanimous. No one was sorry to see W and his cronies leave town.

The oath. Dear God! You're the Supreme Justice, you couldn't read the oath properly! I froze a bit when it happened, but it's all worked out. And then the speech. It wasn't great. But it was good. It was a somber reminder of the situation our country faces. The challenges we need to overcome, both here and abroad. And the thing I like about it most, is that we finally have a President who will speak to us as adults. No platitudes, not obfuscation. We're American's, we can handle the truth. And we finally have a President who will tell us the truth. During his speech, he mad some comment about how we weren't going to trade our freedoms and civil liberties for security, and just when he said that, the jumbotron cut to W and I just had to smile. That's right. We don't. America is strong enough in our ideals and our principles to have the civil liberties and freedoms that all of our ancestors have fought for, while still maintaining our national security!

After the speech, we bailed. Sorry about the poem and the benediction. We'd been there for over 6 hours, we were cold and we were leaving. And we weren't the only ones. We cut through the Smithsonian Castle gardens to Independence Ave. A couple of narrow gates caused some severe bottlenecks and people were just trying to push through. Again, it was a recipe for some ugliness, but I saw none. SL and his crew headed east to walk to Eastern Market to catch the Metro. And I started west. It was hard to fight the crowd down around the Washington Monument. I felt like a salmon going upstream against the masses of people heading L'Enfant Plaza. But that was nothing. As I wormed my way across the Mall through the masses, I finally hit 18th St and looked up the street. It was just a sea of people, from building to building, all the way as far as the eye could see. It was just insane. And I knew most of them were heading for Farragut North Metro, and that would just create more of a cluster. So being smarter than the average bear, I thought, I'll skip over to 19th, walk up that and avoid all of the madness. Good plan in theory, but . . . . 19th, 20th, 21st, and 22nd were all closed to PEDESTRIAN traffic! WTF?? That I don't just get. But figured it was not a smart move to ignore all of the soldiers who were directing traffic towards 23rd. So needless to say I took a very round about way back to my condo.

That evening Museum Man, SL, and his BF and I hit 1789 for a celebration dinner. Dressed up in our tuxes, we looked great and had a great meal. I had the smoothest cosmo and then a little wine with dinner. We toasted to our new President and it was just a fantastic way to end the day. Well, sort of. SL and his BF headed back to the Commonwealth so since MM and I were all dressed up and no place to go, we would hit the ultra-hip lounge near my place. Had a drink there, which was not so good, and then finally went home since I wasn't feeling so well. Had a really rough night. Sort of like Andrew's: "I swear I didn't drink too much and suspect food poisoning or some bug, but I spent much of the night projectile vomiting into the bathroom porcelain. Maybe it was some kind of psychosomatic response to the end of the Bush administration."

Well that too, but I think it was some severe dehyradation (since I didn't want to battle the masses for the port-o-potties) combined with some strong drinks and rich food.

Anyways, that's the wrap up of Obama-rama 2009. It's a new adminstration, a new point in history, a new day for America.