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View Diary: How Michelle Obama Saved the Day and Other Inaugural Tales (163 comments)

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  •  Our Inaugural Tale--They are our Kennedys (2+ / 0-)
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    Thunder Road, FarWestGirl

    I enjoyed your diary so much.
    We too bought plane tickets to D.C. after the election and just trusted that we would figure out the rest.  I wouldn't let my 14 y.o. skip school to go see Obama's rally in Dallas during the primaries last spring.  Hey, the Obama kids don't skip school for anything, so I still feel okay with that decision.  But when I found out he had a four day school holiday including inauguration day (MLK day Monday + teacher training day Tuesday) I knew we had to go.  
    We were at the welcoming concert on Sunday.  We  ended up on the hillside below the Washington Monument for the concert -- so we were probably near you.  We sang along and cheered and it was fun to be in the crowd.
    We went to a gala Monday night and it was fun to see everyone dressed to the nines in tuxes, ballgowns & furs, riding the metro.
    My college-age dau. got a ticket to the swearing in at the last minute from a friend -- she was ecstatic.  They were in orange and got in okay, but even there they were misdirected twice on how to get into the gate after being dropped off just a block away.  She had a parade route ticket as well, but she and her friends could not get through the maze of barricades, security and human gridlock to get to their parade seats and finally gave up and walked 18 blocks back to their hotel.
    The rest of us had a great place to view the parade from a private party with a terrace overlooking 15th street.  We got to see Barack and Michelle get out of the limo and walk the last two blocks.  Her yellow coat dress was like a ray of sunshine among all the dark-suited Secret Service agents and black SUV's.  Sadly, there was  row of bleachers along 15th that was nearly empty -- the tickets were sold out, but we heard that there was a big problem at the security gate to get into that area.  We met a couple of people at the party who had tickets to the swearing in and couldn't get in, and one man whose family climbed over a wall to get into their assigned area (which was not full) after being turned away from the gate.  
    There were crowds and lines for everything, it was wicked cold at times, and there were perhaps a couple of tense moments jamming into the metro on Tuesday, but all in all everyone was remarkably friendly, calm, peaceful and patient.  So many times strangers struck up friendly conversations with us, and so many times cameras were exchanged between strangers so every one could get photos of their entire families.
    After we got home we watched video of the welcoming concert on HBO's website and when the Obamas appeared on the screen, my dau.  remarked "they are our Kennedys"  That has stuck with me.

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