21 January 2009
Sorry for the disappearing act in the middle of healthy desserts week. I didn't realize just how crazy things would get in the middle of DC during inauguration weekend and that, combined with still no internet at home, kept me offline for 4 days.
So- as you can see above, I had a ticket to the blue zone of the inauguration. My friends and I (no Zach, he had to work) spent the night in the District, had our recommended 3+ plans for getting to the inauguration (which we used as they kept shutting down metro stations as we were in the train) and got to our security line. After going to the concert on the Lincoln on Sunday (amazing) we were expecting more of the same- neatly organized security lines that were long but moving. What we found instead was chaos. There appeared to be a large crush of people that extended toward the Blue Gate. The people in the crowd had blue tickets and believed they were in line, but no one official could confirm that for us. After standing for an hour and a half and moved approx. 100 yards toward our goal (that was still about 2 blocks away) we made the decision to abandon ship.
All of us were really disappointed not to make it in, but we decided the next best thing would be to make a run for a bar to at least see it on tv. Luckily a friend used to live in the Capitol Hill area, so I knew where we should head and we managed to get a table, a hot drink and access to a real bathroom while watching the inauguration on tv. The atmosphere in the bar was pretty cheerful considering pretty much everyone else were blue ticket-holders like us and overall I had a great time. It was an amazing day and I'm glad I could be there for a part of it.
I've heard from and about quite a few other blue ticket holders that couldn't get in yesterday either. It seems like it was a combination of very bad planning, too few security staff and a possible power generator breakdown. It's just too bad that with all the time and money spent on the inauguration so many people who had traveled so far couldn't get in.