January 22, 2009

Barack Obama's Inauguration!

My friend Dana, her cousin, and I were up in Washington DC doing our best on inauguration day to be a part of the event. Unfortunately I have a hard time waking up early, so we didn't get out of the apartment until around 7AM. You'll see here a kind of time line of what we went through.

First we were in the streets trying to filter through one of the few checkpoints. The long image showing five photographs in a row is a 360 degree view of what we stood in for three or four hours in the early morning cold trying to get through the first checkpoint. Fortunately, due to the large number of people, we were huddled together like penguins in Antartica... the body warmth I am sure kept us from getting too cold to last.





You can see in this next picture that after hours of patiently waiting with excited people, singing songs to keep us warm with our new found friends, we made it up to the police line and were excited about getting through so we could move our arms and legs.







Dana, Kristin, and I were very cold, so we went into a Mexican restaurant to warm up with some food and Mexican coffee. We heard cheering and saw flags waving from outside and realized Obama had been sworn in. Our new found friends that we were just singing songs with in the crowd had a small phone that we watched Obama's speech on. Filled with emotion and hot liquids, we set out again to try to get to where the action was. There was another barricade keeping us from the parade route. This barricade was not made of police tape, but of a metal fence guarded by secret service men and army guys. We were stuck in what I called "no man's land." Between the two barricades there were no public places to use the bathroom and there were no vendors to get hot drinks from. Regardless of this fact, the celebratory mode continued on.































We waited another hour in the last barricade, the Secret Service checked our bags, our cameras, took my water bottle, and at last we made it through to the parade line! We were so lucky because the parade started right after we arrived. When Obama and Biden arrived, they got out of their cars and walked and waved. Needless to say everyone was yelling "Obama, Obama!" Dana compared him to a a magnet, while all the observers were like little metal shavings. In the commotion and freezing temperatures, I didn't keep a steady hand and have a few blurry pics to show for it. I decided to put them up here anyway, because heck, it is Obama and Biden!


































What a wonderful long day it was. We walked back to our apartment, the distance that took us ten hours to travel that day, took five minutes to cover on the way back. In the apartment I got in my pajamas, made some hot chocolate, and watched the rest of the glorious event on the television. I felt content on the couch as I heard Obama's motorcade whiz him from ball to ball that evening outside of our apartment. We now have a new president!

3 comments:

Dana Marie Villalas said...

What an AMAZING photo journal of our trip!!! Thank you for sharing and for making the trip delightful!!!

Camille said...

Geez, what a whirlwind! I really cannot believe that you had to stand in a checkpoint for hours. Sounds like Israel! Thanks for documenting the event so nicely.

de Berry Photography said...

Yay, yay, YAY! Thanks for the great photos, Jess. Especially love the portrait of the woman in the fur coat and the shot of flags flapping in the breeze. And the shot through the fence. And also...and....and did I mention...
Lovely work, lady! Nice to see "behind the scenes". Let's get together soon.