January 22, 2009

The Air I Breathe

Being in DC for Inauguration weekend was similar to being at a concert with a favorite artist. There's something about being in the same proximity of someone famous that sends a chill down my spine. I get a thrill out of breathing the same air.

Saturday
We left for DC Saturday afternoon once the kid's basketball games were concluded. The Gatlins from Texas and Mississippi converged on NC and formed a caravan that was five cars deep. Together, we drove north into the evening until we reached Uncle Napoleon's house which is situated in the suburb of Lorton, VA, about 45 minutes from the heart of DC by way of subway.

Sunday
We woke up and headed to Mt Vernon to see George Washington's estate. It had been almost 30 years since I last visited this place. As we drove along the winding road that paralleled the Potomac, chunks of ice drifted in the water and Canadian Geese flew so close to the water's surface that you could see small ripples from the wind beneath their wings. We arrived at the site, purchased our tickets and explored the estate. Of course, some things were the same but much had changed.

Monday
As the inauguration grew closer, I longed to chant, "O-Ba-Ma". I had small moments where I would burst out into a chant all by myself and the kids would give me those, "ma, you are embarrassing me" looks. We toured the Smithsonian because Christena wanted to see the Hope Diamond. Then, we crossed the mall to visit the Air and Space Museum at Daniel's request. Later in the day, we met up with Casper (the friendly ghost) and her daughter and had a late lunch at the McDs at the Air and Space Museum. As we headed towards the subway to head home, we stopped by the MSNBC studio van where a large crowd had gathered. As the live TV camera panned the crowd, a cheer erupted, "O-Ba-Ma". I finally got my 'cheer on!' and Christena joined me as we raised our hands and shouted the name of our new president of these United States! That was the highlight of my trip!

Tuesday
We sat by the fire and watched the event on the big screen, in the comfort of Uncle Napoleon's home. As we headed back to NC, we were still full from feasting on that historic moment.

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