The hotel is feeling empty and quiet after the exuberance and activity of the last few days. No one was in the lounge this morning. In past mornings it was musical chairs in trying to find a place to eat a danish and drink the java. Quiet, quiet, quiet.
As you may have read there were a couple of major complications on Tuesday in terms of people holding tickets to the ceremony. For some reason two access gates to ticketed areas were closed and thousands of people walking through the vehicular tunnel in order to reach other access gates were stuck in the tunnel for hours--never making it to the ceremony. I can't imagine the disappointment these people experienced as their dreams of being present evaporated. I read today that Tyra Banks and Jesse Jackson were among those stuck in the tunnel. What a disaster!
This is a picture from a friend's son's website. He was in the crowd and, after traveling from California and having tickets, did not see the ceremony. You may want to read his account--Capitol Punishment.
Senator Feinstein announced today that she is launching a major investigation into what happened. This is the announcement regarding this Investigation. I guess it will be good to identify the problem but little consolation to those who were left out.
We are feeling fortunate as we had planned on walking to the ceremony which meant going through the 3rd Street tunnel. At the last minute we changed our minds and embarked on the perilous metro trip I described in an earlier entry. But now, discovering that we would never have made it to the ceremony at all, our ordeal seems well worth it--at least we got there.
The tunnel involved is the same one we walked through after the ceremony on our way back to the hotel. While going through it, I noticed the large amount of trash strewn about and wondered why--now I know.
If you are wondering why people would walk rather than get a taxi, it is because most streets anywhere near the Capitol were closed and there was no vehicular traffic allowed--even taxis and limo services. Walking was the motation of the day--even for the rich and famous.
But--for most of us, we were there, we were mesmerized and our efforts justified. It all continues to seem surreal--even the humor in President Obama needing to retake the oath yesterday after Chief Justice Roberts' flub at the inaugural. All's well that ends well.
Now--time to close up, call the bell captain and return to Dulles for the flight home. Our memories are intact and we're ready to answer the questions that are sure to come.