Washington, DC always presents opportunities for exciting experiences, but some come along once every few years. We are fortunate that our time in the area coincided with a presidential election and inauguration. Not only are we interested in elections, but we were able to experience events like the inauguration first hand.
Lea planned for an early departure to get ahead of the crowds, and this part of the plan went off without a hitch. We headed to the National Mall around 6am, arriving in time to secure excellent seats toward the front of the public space. We were still bright eyed and excited at the crack of dawn.
The crowd quickly filled the Mall and we struck up conversations with lovely people who had come from all over the country: a higher education administration Master's student from Chicago and her parents, high school students from New Jersey who spent all night on a bus, a couple from Georgia with a great sense of humor, and many others. The mood was positive and friendly all day long.
We were on our feet most of the time, but Carter was incredibly patient and enthusiastic, even though it was chilly.
Our long wait was rewarded with a great ceremony. While the return home was a different kind of adventure - requiring lots of walking, massive crowds, and detours galore - it didn't diminish the feeling that we were able to have another once-in-a lifetime experience here in DC.