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Jan
20
2009

6:30 am: Rick and I leave our kids with my in-laws in Cherry Hill, NJ and depart via car to attend the inauguration of Barack Obama.

rick-in-car-1

Come on Rick! This is historic. This is momentous. Let’s see some enthusiasm.

rick-in-car-2

There you go babe.

We park our car in Maryland and take the metro up to the Capitol. And that’s where things get a little hairy. Because there are massive amounts of crowds.

crowds

Like “I’m getting really goddamn nervous” kind of crowds. We HOLD TICKETS but can’t even get to the security checkpoint because of the throngs of people pressed up against us and absolutely no crowd control. And we aren’t the only ones shut out.

Here I am, longing to be on the other side of this security fence…

kelcey-behind-fence

Here’s Rick when he realizes that we can’t get in before the ceremony starts…

rick-getting-pissed

11:30 am: We’re screwed and abandon all efforts to get to our ticket area. We decide to look for a hotel or bar where we can AT LEAST see the speech.

Except we can’t get in anywhere. The hotels are only letting in guests and the restaurants are all holding private parties. We finally, desperately, make our way to Union Station where we sneak into a private party at America Restaurant and witness history on this…

tv-at-america

Yes, a TV.  And it’s sort of like watching it at home, except for the mean hostess who’s pacing back and forth, kicking out inaugural party crashers. Somehow Rick and I stay under the radar.

As I watch the new President speak, tears fill my eyes. Hope and joy overwhelm me.

And heck, at least I’m not cold.

After the speech, we thank the party coordinators on our way out, “Great party! We had a wonderful time. See you in four years!”

And then we have lunch at the Union Station food court. And by the way, in case you’re wondering, they do not accept unused inauguration tickets in lieu of cash.


48 Responses to how we missed the inauguration (sort of)

  • Tara says:

    If it makes you feel any better, even though Wendi had seats and was there on time (7am) she was freezing her ass off!!! 🙂

  • wa says:

    Still, amazing you were there.
    I’ve been weepy with happiness for two days straight. Thank goodness “American Idol” is on again tonight.

  • Rhea says:

    I heard about lots of people who didn’t make it in.  That totally sucks, but I’m glad you were warm and got to kind of see it.  Very cool.  It was so momentous and awe-inspiring to watch.

  • Diane says:

    What an amazing day – and a great story to tell your kids when they are old enough to appreciate it! I’m sure it will only get better with retelling over the years. I must say this – it sure looked cold out there.

  • Portia says:

    Rick should have carried a press pass just in case!  What an inspiring moment in history!  I am elated when I think of what the future holds for this great country under The Obama administration!!!

  • Aunt Marcia (Guess Whose?) says:

    Save the tickets, in 1 month they’ll be worth more than the U.S. Dollar.  I hate to tell you this, but we’re heading for a Depression like my parents went through.  Be happy you kept warm…

  • Rachel says:

    That stinks!  So sorry you didn’t get in, but at least you had the experience!  I was watching from the comfort of my couch in my jammies!  Perfect!

  • Marisa says:

    That bites.  I’m not sure I could have stood out in the cold, on my feet for that long being this pregnant.  It was nice to be home in PJ’s watching it on TV while eating a cupcake.   yum!

  • sam says:

    an “a” for effort!!  but what a wonderful glorious day!! we have a new president and he is not a complete idiot!  rather, he is incredibly smart and there is hope!  wooohoooo!!!

  • Stephanie (Tyler's Mom) says:

    HUGE bummer!!!  Like everyone else said, the good news is we have a new president!!!  My daughter and I watched him together as he took the oath.  I even got her to finally say “Obama” which I have worked on for months.  I am still in awe of this day and SO looking forward to the next four years!!!

  • ErinB says:

    just having a story about how you were even there is exciting! I cried numerous times during the whole thing- it was just nice to hear words of hope for a change. I am so sick of everyone harping on the negative- yes everything is a disater, no its not going to all get better tomorrow but have some faith people- the last 8 years is a big old mess to clean up and that isn’t going to happen by clicking your heels 3x. At least we have someone who wants to take responsiblity and take charge and make the USA strong again! I look forward to the future and wish our President all the best as he takes over. What a job…I would never want it!  Come home safely :-}

  • Karen Bland says:

    Many people – hundreds of thousand, they say – will tell their stories of today. But few will have such a funny story as the TV and food court – at least you were “there” for the event, and that’s all you need to tell your kids:)

  • Kristin Kutscher says:

    There was a lot of electricity in the air – all the way up here in New York.  It was a remarkable day.  I have never felt so much hope in the air as I felt today.  We gathered around a radio in the hospital (the live feeds on the computers were terrible) and listened to our president take the oath of office.  The phone did not ring; no one came in to buy anything.  That feeling must have been magnified a hundred-fold  down in Washington.   I got goose bumps just watching all of the people on the mall.  And you were part of it – even if it was in Union Station.  Kudos for the road trip!  

  • mackbeth says:

    Thank goodness for a technology – you can say you were there, you felt the energy (the positive energy that is!) and now you can watch it on tivo at home!  That sucks that the hotels couldn’t let people in!  Cools photos anyway!

  • tracey says:

    Oh sweetie! I’m sorry. I know how badly you wanted to go to that… And then to not have anywhere decent to even watch it?

    At least it’ll be replayed for hours and hours these next few days. Hopefully you dvr’d it?

  • OHmommy says:

    Oh no.  How frustrating… on that tiny TV.  At least you were warm and surrounded by crowds of people that set a mood for the day.  What an incredible day.

    I was surrounded by toddlers.

  • Sandrine says:

    Oh Kelcey how frustrating, I’m glad you got to see it at least…I almost missed it too and my husband and I ended up at BestBuy on 23rd and 6th ave, I cried, screamed and hugged someone I didn’t know but I still wish I had gone to DC…

  • Nap Warden says:

    I feel like a total martian. I was in airport hell, and missed the entire event:P Talk about out of touch! I even missed the news. Thank goodness for my boys John Stewart, and Stephen Colbert…caught me right up;)

  • johanna says:

    hooray for you for even attempting those crowds! at least you can say you were “there”!! its your effort that counts. i cried during the whole thing which is probably the first time ever ever that politics has brought me to tears. amazing times. 

  • Wow!  How exciting though.  Like many others said, at least you can say you were there.  No one needs to know that you didn’t actually get in.  Er, although I guess the whole world does now.

    ANYWAY!  Very cool. 

  • Aunt Marcia (Guess Whose?) says:

    It could have been worse.  You could have SEEN IT from inside an ambulance as Sen. Ted Kennedy did. 

  • Pearl says:

    Ugh! What a disappointment 🙁  The last time I was in a crowd like that was London on the Thames at the turn of the millenium.  It was almost scary enough to ruin the fireworks display.  Almost. 
    But hey, on the bright side, your husband is obviously a good scarf tie-er. You gotta love a man who can manipulate accessories! 🙂

  • Sad!  It reminds me of the first time Clinton/Gore won and we were invited to an inaugural ball in DC.  Decided not to go because there would be plenty more in the future.  Urgh!

    See if you can use your tix for Obama’s second inauguration.  🙂  Just don’t lose them over the next 4 years.

  • No, no! I can’t believe you couldn’t get in.  Ah, well, we couldn’t get near tickets, but now I don’t feel so bad.  At least you have some awesome memorabilia.  E-bay may pay for your girls’ college yet!

  • Madmad says:

    BUMMER! All that effort, and not getting in! I’m not 100 percent sure that’s as bad as my experience, though: watching it with 50 first and second graders on a white board at school… yeah.

  • Annie says:

    It sounds like a total madhouse!!  I love your pictures though…did you at least get some good food at the party you crashed?

  • jolynn says:

    Wow, was that a tear I saw on your face? I bought a pkg. deal in April’08 for my oldest son to go(graduation present) and he left his hotel in DC @ 4:30 AM to get to the mall!! That’s where you two messed up!! You should have left NYC @ midnight or better yet, stayed there after the HBO special!! Too late now, IAM SORRY-there’s great pictures on my sons facebook if you want to see them!!


kelcey kintner


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