God sometimes gives us unexpected gifts. Our gift has been a grandson who enlivens our lives and makes retirement very different than the one we anticipated. He is a special joy. And that's "Casey." In 2006 we fulfilled our dream of living in Italy for a year. It was every bit as wonderful as anticipated. This blog begins in 2005 as we prepared for that experience. Since then we have explored many places together. That's the "Travel." And finally, I am a person of opinions--spiritually, politically, on just about anything and that's the "Other Stuff." Welcome to my blog.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Inauguration Day

This day has been exhausting, exhilarating, memorable and totally awesome. I am exhausted and we still have dinner to do.I can not imagine needing to go to ball tonight.

We began early--up at 6:30. In the metro at 7:15. Got to the turn stile and were told--along with hundreds of others--that the station was closed and we needed to go to one up the street. We did so. Jammed ourselves into the metro car when it came. And that was the beginning of an almost horrifying experience with crowds. Quickly to say that a number of times Casey was sobbing as he was so frightened by the closeness, crowding and dynamics of the crowds. Which is not to say people were poorly behaved. The calmness and consideration of the thousands of people we found ourselves a part of was amazing. People suffered together and were nice. But...it was still overwhelming to an already tired 10 year old. In the end, he is so happy that he was there and by the time President Obama was speaking, he was cheering at the appropriate places and jumping up and down along with everyone.

Our ticket area was far enough away from the platform that we could not see the people. But we could see the stage and where it was all happening. I guess there is no way to adequately describe the emotions of being here and the sense that time is changing. At the last words of Obama's oath, an African-American man from Pennsylvania shared hugs with Casey and me--what a moment.

So many streets are closed that getting into and out of the capitol area comes close to the definition of impossible. For us to return to our hotel, we had to walk away from the mall for several blocks and then finally to highway 395 which was closed to vehicular traffic. We then walked on the highway, through the 3rd Street tunnel and then several more blocks back to our hotel. However, after the morning metro experience returning that way was not even considered.

Now, we are in the hotel room, watching the parade on TV--just as you are doing where ever you are.

These are some photos from today. They aren't very good. My camera was acting strangely--probably from the cold. But you will be there with us. They aren't in proper order--I'm too tired to do that right now.

Stage from where we were.

Walking on the Interstate

Security HumVee

Hotel Flag

Ken and Casey on 395

Casey at Inauguration

Our View

Another View from Us

Viewing Ground

For my Canadian Friends
Sheena, Janie, BGE, Jerry et. all


Giulia said...

Jane, I'm so glad to hear your story and to be able to share a bit of this!
I thought of the three of you seeing images of people freezing in Washington today!!! :)

Annie said...

Jane, thank you so much for sharing
this experience with us! I have been watching it on TV all day and have been teary-eyed and also filled with joy and gratitude.

I can relate to the crowds - I remember the ordeal I went thru just to go to a campaign rally, and it's nothing compared to what you have endured.

Love seeing your photos!

I'm so glad that you and Casey got to experience it. Safe travels home.

nancyhol said...

Oh, Jane, what a wonderful experience (except for the Metro).

I have been thinking of all of you as I watched today's activities and wondered how you felt actually being there.

Thanks for the photos and for keeping us up to date.

Palma said...

Wow! What an amazing and emotional day. How exciting for all of you! You survived the crowds and even the cold. Fabulous!

Trekcapri said...

Hi Jane, what an awesome and amazing experience to be there for this historic moment. Thank you so much for posting and sharing your wonderful photos!

I'm so sorry that Casey got frightened by the crowds but am so happy that he was jumping and cheering during Obama's speech. Priceless!

Hope you have a nice dinner tonight and safe travels home!

Anonymous said...

It sounds like a greta day for all of you (and all od us really!) I'm glad that you were able to experience it.

Anonymous said...

I thought of you all today and was glad to hear that you had survived the cold, the crowds, and the metro and were still excited about having experienced the day in person. What an amazing day it was and how exciting for the future of our country.
Mary Pace

Andrew M said...

Jane, just following your news occasionally, it's so good to see that all of you experienced this special day.

Anonymous said...

Wonderful, wonderful and more wonderful! I'm so happy for you and for us all! What a day of remarkable history making. The photos are great.
Barb cabot

Anonymous said...

Jane, I'm so glad you all could experience this! And really, I think you could see the stage pretty well. Casey will soon forget that horrid Metro experience, I'm sure.

I was trying to watch it on the CNN website, but it went black at 11:55 am!! At least I was able to listen on the radio.

Vicky said...

Wow, did my comment make it? Something weird happened when I tried to put in my name...

Chiocciola said...

Fantastic photos Jane! You had a good view! It really was a special day. Thanks for letting us see it through Casey's eyes, too.

Anonymous said...


Thank you so much for sharing the experience with us! Next best thing to being there. So happy that Casey had this awesome experience. How was Fogo de Chao?


Jane said...

Thanks all for enjoying our time with us. It is quite amazing how close so many of us are from ST--even Giulia from Italy. Sheri, Fogo de Chao was a fun experience--something good for one time. I don't eat enough to justify going there often but we had fun. Casey loved it.

girasoli said...

Jane, I have been loving your blog posts on your DC experience. I am thrilled that you were able to get in that day. I was worried after hearing about some of the people who were turned away. Your photos are fabulous! You were much closer than I thought you would be in that huge crowd. What fabulous memories you, Ken, & Casey will have from this amazing day!