Inauguration Day countdown: West Seattleites in D.C.

(photo from Carter, showing the space that’ll be jammed with people on Inauguration Day)
Over the past few weeks, we’ve received e-mail from several West Seattleites who will be at the Presidential Inauguration on Tuesday – and they’ve promised to send updates on what it’s like to be there, both before and during (maybe even after). We have our first dispatch tonight from Carter and Dan, Upper Fauntleroy residents who’ve already arrived — here’s what Carter wrote (with more photos, added Saturday afternoon):

Dan and I are in Washington, DC. We arrived late last night despite our airline doing their best to keep us away. Yesterday, we sat in our plane on the tarmac at O’Hare for 3:40 with a
coagulating fuel problem due to the cold.

Today, we cruised around checking out the National Mall and Museums. Word of warning to those attending – its bloody cold! We had the foresight to go to Costco and pick up those little chemically
activated hand and toe warmers. Anyone attending will need them!

First thing we did was go and buy warmer gloves and long johns. I bought a $50.00 pair of these high tech gloves and they did not do the job – at all. Fifteen minutes after being outdoors, our fingers froze. We packed double lined ski pants, and outdoorsman thermal clothing, it was enough walking the few minutes between museums – but that’s all. We couldn’t imagine 5 hours of it! We fired up those
little warmers and we felt like we could take on the outdoors and the frigid cold.

You would not have a clue about what was happening in a few days if it wasn’t for the block long banks of port-a-potties along the National Mall and side streets. Due to the cold, the streets are quiet. The Metro is quiet. The restrictions mentioned on-line apply to ALL planning on being on the National Mall – not just the 240,000 with tickets near the Capitol building. So, no back packs, umbrellas (you won’t need them), no strollers, no thermoses.

CNN’s Election Express and a bevy of media truck and satellite dishes are lining the mall.

We have met people in Starbucks (gotta have a
familiar cuppa) and museums that are from all over the country and
excited. But it is nowhere near the build up of the masses we
expected. I’m sure the weekend will bring a new face.

Tomorrow, we’re getting up early and combing the city neighborhoods
for what makes Washington, DC what it is – besides the political
blowhards. BTW, it was cool seeing The Hope Diamond (The
Smithsonian’s single most popular attraction), The Gem and Mineral The
Declaration of Independence, Dorothy’s Ruby Slippers, Bobby Orr’s
Skates, Lincoln’s Top Hat, Stradivarius violins, and on and on.

Forty degrees sounds balmy . . . . Cheers, Carter

More from our D.C. correspondents as we get it. And we’re still compiling that ever-changing list of who’s doing what around here on Inauguration Day/Night – here’s a WSB Forums post with some informal info on what’s going on, for starters.

5 Replies to "Inauguration Day countdown: West Seattleites in D.C."

  • OP January 17, 2009 (12:57 am)

    Let the mindless slobbering begin….oh wait, that started back in 2007.
    In all seriousness…wait…I was being serious….

  • austin January 17, 2009 (3:27 am)

    Let the bitter jealousy from the far right begin… oh wait, that was always there…

  • WSB January 17, 2009 (4:08 am)

    And let the record reflect that inaugurations are cool no matter who’s getting inaugurated. (This is the first one in WSB history, as we launched 12/05.) We may even stream it live here; friends who work at say they’ll be offering an embeddable player to anyone who wants it. (We used their embeddable electoral-vote/state-by-state results graphic on election night.)

  • PDieter January 17, 2009 (8:14 am)

    Note from local fly fisherman: Take a “neck/shoulder” thermacare patch and stick it on the small of your back before all the warm layers. Makes a huge difference in keeping warm while standing out in the cold.

  • Smitty January 17, 2009 (9:24 am)

    50 million dollars?

    Don’t we have people starving on the streets and living under bridges who could use that money?

    Oh wait I forgot, that was the mainstream media line in 2005.

    It’s all good.

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