Monday, January 19, 2009

Maybe we shoulda started earlier

Posted By on Mon, Jan 19, 2009 at 12:25 PM

Welcome back! The exciting news is that we're here in Washington, D.C., ready for the big day! OK, we're almost in DC. Actually, my wife and I are in a rented minivan, parked on the exit ramp to a filled-to-the-gills rest area near Arlington, Va. We only have a quarter-tank of fuel left, so we need to get moving pretty soon and find a gas station. Trouble is, all the roads are packed and at a standstill. Looks like everybody and their brothers and sisters came to D.C. for the inauguration and now we're all screwed except for the smarty-pants who showed up early or made actual hotel reservations months ago. I hate people like that.

Could be worse. Got to see a good bit of the inaugural concert yesterday on my laptop, as soon as the excerpts were put up on YouTube — who knew Hardee's had wi-fi? Man, Stevie Wonder is huge these days, huh? Good thing he can't see himself in the mirror. But I digress. So, last night we stopped at a rest area around Richmond after having a celebratory inauguration meal at Denny's with about 200 other cranky folks who also got a late start to the inauguration. We left the Richmond rest area, though, when a horde of Springsteen followers started fighting with a bunch of fans over who'd get to play their music the loudest.

Here at the Arlington rest area this morning, the atmosphere is festive, with Obama banners on lots of cars and vans; American flags hanging from antennae; bleary, red-white-and-blue eyes providing patriotic color; music blaring from several vehicles at once; cheerful young folks burning trash and cardboard boxes to keep warm; jolly vendors walking from car to car, selling coffee in special Obama styrofoam cups for just $15; and ... Oh, great — now it's snowing. Jesus, what next? Hope the snow stops soon, or our plans to hitchhike into D.C. and hopefully run into someone we know with a hotel room are history.

Ah, to hell with it. That's all for now. I'll be back on line as soon as I can, to keep you up to date about our big, historic trip, right here in my exclusive, Obamathon Inauguration Blog. Stay tuned!

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