Well, for one she's goes to class. My semester started that day so it was off to "Media Audiences" for me. (Sidebar: for those of you who heard my complaints over Christmas that no one on the entire campus seemed to know what the heck media audiences was...it's a theory class about how audiences react to various types of media...go figure). After class two of my fellow Americans and I popped over to Madame Tussauds because they were letting Americans in for free! They were unveiling their new Obama figure. It was very cool. First, because I have always had this weird fascination with wax museums. Secondly, because of all the Americans that were there. Third, standing in the replica of the Oval Office next to "Mr. Obama" was very cool.
Then we headed over to the Hard Rock Cafe. I had heard they were having a big party and broadcasting the inauguration. So we went and had lunch...and found out they were not actually showing it in the dining area. They were showing it downstairs in a separate part of the restaurant which was all booked up. Our waitress was really sweet and kept updating us on what was going on. She told us they were going to do standing room downstairs and when we finished our lunch we could go line up at the side entrance to try and get it. I couldn't believe there was a line down the sidewalk. We were fairly close to the front of the line. Everyone was really nice. There was a couple in front of us from Arkanas. The woman was passing out Obama buttons and bumper stickers that she had brought with her. When we got to the front of the line a woman came out and told the doorman she had a table w/ 3 extra seats...perfect for Mary Anne, Julia, and myself.
So we ended up with seats a table right down in front.
The place was packed. There was an Obama look-alike taking pictures with everyone. There was tons of paparazzi. And they were showing the speech on a big screen. I know it's been said but can I just reiterate how amazing it was to watch (and experience) all of it. Seeing the millions of people in DC who were there to show support. Seeing Obama take the oath. Listening to his speech. I won't lie, I was in tears. Witnessing the culmination of years (decades!) of work. Knowing that a change IS being made.
Perhaps what made the moment 10x more amazing was believe it or not, being HERE. That restaurant was not just full of Americans. It was everyone! The support people from other countries now have for us is amazing. Knowing we are beginning to shake the stigma of being...America. I can only liken it to being a kidnapped child who finally escaped their captor. There's going to be a lot of readjusting (maybe even a little therapy) but ultimately, we have the support of a whole lot of people who, frankly, were showing very little sympathy because we had gotten ourselves kidnapped in the first place.