Before this trip, I had literally never been to DC before. I’ve traveled a lot, but never had the opportunity. I have to say that it was a little different from what I expected! LOL! I think I just expected everything to be easy to see all from one location. You know, “Hey! It’s the Washington Monument! And the Lincoln Memorial! And the Capital! And whoa! The White House! Oh, look… Ford’s Theater!” As if they would all be so instantly recognizable and close that it would be easy to see everything in about 2 minutes.
Not so much. I was floored at how huge the Mall was – 2 miles from end to end! I never even saw the Lincoln Memorial. And the Capital was soooo teeny when I was at the Washington Monument. And I could only get a small glimpse of the White House. Wild!
But I’m getting ahead of myself….
Ginger and I drove into town searching for Maggy’s apt. With the maze of one way streets and crazier than normal traffic (although seriously NOT what I was expecting – I thought it would be MUCH worse), it took a little while. But not super long.
We dropped off all of our stuff and went to get the tickets to the Ball. Unfortunately, no one was there and since we were both about to starve, we grabbed lunch at the hotel so we could be there when she got back. But even though I went down 4 times, the Colorado Ball lady didn’t show up. Bah.
So Ginger and I went to the White House and the Mall to scope things out. Although it was ostensibly to see where to stand and give me a quick peek, I was just amazing by all the fences, structures and monuments I’d never seen before to really absorb what my plans should be the next day. It was fun being on the parade route almost exactly 24 hours before the new president. And to see the Washington Monument – wow! I hadn’t realized I’d be so impressed with it! I had far too many photos. LOL!
But the thing that cracked me up the most was the plethora of people selling their wares. Obama wares. Buttons, hats, shirts, scarves, bags, earrings. Yes, earrings.
It wasn’t until much later, though, that I realized a pervading theme. When I was on my way to DC, I thought I’d have two distinct projects – me and my perceptions of the whole thing (for those of you not aware, I did a self portrait a day for a year project last year) and me recording the reactions of others. Once the inauguration was over, I realized that this wasn’t the theme. It was “peace”. But it wasn’t until I got home that I really saw how much said “peace”. I actually edited several photos that had the word “peace” in them without even realizing it until I sat in front of my computer. Having this feeling of peace come over me while I was at the inauguration and then having it driven home so hard once I got home really gave me the chills.
On this day, though, I hadn’t really thought about that whole thing. On this day, I noticed just how kind and considerate everyone was. Crowds were everywhere, but on this day, no one shoved. No one yelled. Everyone was patient. Pretty extraordinary.
We walked to the White House with it’s bleachers and rocket launching box waiting for the president to view the parade. We saw the thousands of porta potties surrounding the Mall and the Washington Monument. We looked at the enormous jumbotrons set up along the way. And we flagged down a cab to make the trek back to the apartment to get ready for the Colorado Inaugural Ball….
More photos can be found here.
To be continued….