Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Inauguration '09: Part II - Planes, Trains, & Homecoming

Buzzing cell phone alarm. Drive to airport in darkness. Quiznos for breakfast. Making our flight on time. The trip is off to a good start.

We flew from Albuquerque into Midway (Chicago). Our flight had a short delay before departing from Midway to Philly. Luckily we beat ice storms that were looming overhead. Young female who looks like my first college roommate sits next to us, hopefully it isn't my old college roommate - we didn't get along very well to say the least.

Lindsey is from Phoenix, about 22 and works in local government. She took a hiatus from work to join the Obama campaign for approximately two months - turns out she was assigned to Las Cruces, NM during that time period. Fastest way to make friends - share some free drink tickets. Trip is off to a good start.

Lindsey became our partner in travel crime for the next few hours. Shared stories about her campaign experience as a volunteer recruiter, managing the status of grants in her office, and her passion for wine (she's a bartender / manager at a wine bar in Phoenix). She shared that her next trip after Inauguration is to take a one-week cheese course so she can become a master cheese monger, a cheese connoisseur of sorts.

Smooth arrival into Philly. Typical East Coast skies - grey, cloudy, with lots of chill in the air. Three of us split a cab ride to the 30th street train station, just a few hours earlier this was where Obama kicked off his train ride into DC.

Delays were experienced, but not half as bad as we anticipated. We kill time hanging out in a pub enjoying vanilla stout beer, hummus and bruchetta. Pieces of confetti and wrist bands on the floor of the station from grandeur earlier in the day.

Train ride from Philly to New Carrolton, MD. Sit next to a woman from town (Bloomington - Normal) next to Mike's hometown (Chapaign, IL). Her daughter worked on the Obama campaign and has tickets for them to attend a ball. She also scored a hotel reservation within walking distance of the Mall.

Arrive in New Carrolton, just ten minutes from my parents' house in Glenn Dale, MD. Familiar spot. Many childhood train rides on field trips to museums commenced at this location. In high school I celebrated new found independence taking the train to loud concerts. This is also the station I'd navigate to from College Park, MD for food and laundry visits with my folks. Full circle. It feels good to be home.

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