And guess what?!? I have tickets! A friend of a friend... it's so delightful to have Washington connections coming out of my ears around here. They're not great... silver, standing room, behind the capitol reflection pool, but they're inaugural tickets... I get to go through security... and attend a reception after... (although don't you think the Utah reception will just have brownies and punch? How much would you laugh if they had jello? or BYU sparkle? At least let's hope they are those mint brownies! You know exactly which ones I'm talking about...)
It's the buzz in conversation everywhere. Everyone knows the schedule: yesterday was the inaugural concert at the Lincoln. Swearing-in at 11:30 (security gates open at 8; plan to be through security by 9); parade at 2:30 (impossible to attend both events because of the crowds; choose one and get there early!). Balls all the night long.
It's been all over the news for weeks now. Road closures, bridge closures, weather reports, maps, crowd control. In fact, electric signs started appearing on the freeways a week ago, stating "DC event Jan. 20." My university finally decided to cancel their scheduled first day of class for Tuesday (which makes me ask myself, when did they realize that 20 January 2009 would be inauguration? I mean, it's been that way for over 50 years, people! The 4 March inauguration hasn't happened in decades!). And flags everywhere. The big gorgeous banners lining the capitol. Flags all along Pennsylvania Avenue for the parade route. All the metro buses have flags rippling in the wind.
And the next question: how are you getting there? Walking across Memorial Bridge? Taking the metro? Bike valet at the Jefferson?Handwarmers are sold out in the metro area. Every unused porta-potty in the adjoining five states has found its way to the National Mall (please oh please let there be a few inside the ticketed area!). No bags bigger than 8" x 6" x 4" (is that the size of a sandwich bag?). No glass containers or coolers or umbrellas. Bring a newspaper to stand on--it prevents the cold ground from seeping up your feet.
But greater than all these little details that will fill my dreams tonight in order for me to be up and out my door by 6:15 tomorrow morning is the anticipation of our future. What will happen? No matter your political affiliation, what kind of change will we see? My favorite part is the renewed vigor and patriotism. Hope in a strong future. I support that. I support the teamwork. I'm a believer.