Live, from Capitol Hill

Out with the old, in with the O.

I can only imagine what George W. is doing right now. He’s probably saying, “Laura, look at all these people that come to say bye to me!”

It’s below freezing, the underground Metro is packed and I am loving every minute of it. Washington D.C. is friendlier than usual this weekend. A feeling of unity and hospitality warms my heart better than a triple grande soy vanilla latte. It’s a good place to be. For once, everyone in this city is in political agreement. Say goodbye to partisan nonsense for a few days!

Sunday I spent the afternoon with half a million other Obama supporters at the Lincoln Memorial for the Inauguration Celebration. Actually, I was closer to the Washington Monument because the crowd stretched that far. The news had warned visitors not to bring bags, strollers, umbrellas and other various items that might make the Secret Service nervous to this event, but I think I was the only one who tried to stuff a purse-full of items into my pockets. I saw bags and strollers everywhere. That’s the last time I obey the rules.

And I had never seen so many Port-a-Potties; there were thousands. The inauguration itself is supposed to have 7,000-that’s 1 for every 6,000 people. I think I’m going to try to hold it, but I’ll bring hand sanitizer just in case.

The greatest part about Sunday’s event was the free concert-Bono, Beyonce, Usher and Stevie Wonder, just to name a few. The worst part was the walking. Our hopes of finding a taxi were quickly shattered when we found every surrounding street to be closed, so we hoofed it halfway across D.C. to the nearest Metro station (making a quick stop at a local bar on our way, of course.)

As expected, vendors up and down the streets were selling Obama souvenirs but it was a little out of control. This is my fifth inauguration to attend and never had I seen so many people trying to make a buck. One guy making fun of the vendors put it best, “Obama flat irons for sale! You think your hair can’t be straightened, you’re wrong. YES IT CAN!”

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