Last Saturday was an amazing day. It started off at 2 o’clock in the morning when I awoke from a sound sleep with the horrible realization that I still had two more pussyhats to make. Part of me was just going to let it go, but the other part knew that if I did, I would just be staring at the ceiling, unable to sleep anyway. So, I stealthily tiptoed into the living room where my sailor son (he’s home on leave) was sleeping on the couch. I searched through the bicycle basket (they make lovely yarn holders) for yarn and needles and retreated to my bedroom. There, I turned on the bathroom light and parked myself on the floor for the next several hours. I hoped to have time to make both hats, but unfortunately, only had time for one: a black-and-blue checkered one for my son, Lars. His brother is still waiting patiently for his.
The rest of the family started to get up around 8 and my son, Keegan and I worked feverishly on our signs as everyone else finished getting ready.
After walking the dog (got my first complement of the day for my hat by a passerby walking to the metro), I think that we finally left the apartment between 9 and 9:30.
Walking down the street, you could see large groups of people in pink hats with signs walking towards the Vienna metro stop. Dean accidentally forgot his phone, so he walked back to get it. I haven’t seen so many people at the metro since Obama’s inauguration! It was incredible! With all of the people there, we were pretty sure that Dean would be able to meet us before the train left.
Luckily for us, we had put money on our metro cards, so we were able just to walk right in. The platform was fairly crowded, but not awful. A full train sat on the one side. After a few minutes, another train pulled in and we got on. Anais and I even managed to get a seat! Unfortunately for the people on the other train, it went out of service causing a rush to get onto our train. People were still in a chipper spirit however, and everyone was excited to be on our way. Dean missed our train, but caught the one after.
It was a long ride into the city. You could tell everyone was from out of town because they really didn’t know how to squish more people into the car and they kept trying to tell the passengers trying to get on that there wasn’t enough room, but they loved them anyway. Silly out-of-towners. Isabel did great and didn’t really get fussy until the end. Everyone loved her hat and she even got her picture taken! People sang and were happy.
People on the platform cheered as we pulled into L’Enfant Plaza metro station. We got off onto the platform and found our way to a line for the elevator. Since there was a line, Lars, Keegan and Anais’ friend, Giorgi (hope that I’m spelling that right) went up the escalator while Anais, Isabel and I waited for the elevator. It took us up a level and we merged into a massive line trying to leave the station.
As we were waiting in line, some women pushing a stroller yell out to us that there is no elevator in this line. They had waited until the front of the line, only to discover that they couldn’t go up. We joined these ladies, as well as another family with a stroller and made our way against the stream to the other end of the station where we found the elevator. This elevator took us up one flight to another completely filled platform and another very long line to the elevator to the street. When there were only a couple of trips left in front of us…the elevator broke. That left us with the options of waiting to see if they would fix the elevator or taking Isabel out of the stroller and carrying everything up escalator (we would have to walk up the steps, as all of the escalators turned off due to the amount of people in the station). We chose the latter. There was also a couple with a wheelchair and walker that decided to attempt the steps (they were able to walk, but couldn’t for long). People in the line offered to carry the equipment for them and told them to take as much time as they needed.
We emerged to a sea of people. It was just incredible! It also had pretty much zero cell phone coverage. At least in the metro station we could sort of send texts, but now there was nothing. And we didn’t have a clue where the others were.
So, I took some pictures as we looked. Also, a head’s up…there are plenty of bad words and pictures of reproductive organs from this point forward. If you can’t handle it, you probably shouldn’t look….just scroll quickly down to the bottom.
Now, while this was happening, Dean was looking for us…as was Lars, Keegan and Giorgi. While Dean waited, he took some pictures:
He took a lot of pictures. Haha.
After several spotty text messages, our three groups miraculously managed to find each other. We then spent a good portion of time looking for a bathroom. I really needed to pee!! I figured it might be easier to go into a museum, but there were so many people jam packed-together that we couldn’t fight our way through…and we even left Isabel with Anais, Giorgi and Keegan so we wouldn’t have to mess with the stroller. We eventually gave up and made our way back to them and took some more pictures before returning to our search for bathrooms.
I want to say that these pictures were taken at the intersection of Independence and 4th Street.
We eventually found some porta-potties…3…with a line halfway down the block. Across the street, there was a McDonald’s. It had a line halfway down the block, too. So, we continued walking.
We decided to walk up a block and try to make our way over to the Mall. Some officers advised us to try the porta-potties by the Capital. They weren’t sure if they would be open or not. We split with Anais, Lars and Keegan at the Capital (she had to work and the other two were tired). They headed home on the metro. We did find some some porta-potties that were available, but decided to wait to get to one of the museums because I had to change Isabel. The crowd was too large to get into the American Indian Museum, so we continued across the Mall, walking another block and entering the art museum. The staff was happy to point us toward a clean, fairly uncrowded bathroom, just asking us to leave the signs outside. Also, while we were walking, we found out that they weren’t able to formally do the march because there were too many people. Everyone was just making their way to the White House any way that they could.
By the way, these pictures are out of order and a combination of my photographs as well as Dean’s. I will have to fix later. Super squirmy baby on my lap.
Before jumping into the crowd walking down the street to continue our journey, we took a couple of quick pictures.
We then entered the mass of people walking between the museums towards Pennsylvania Avenue. As we turned onto Pennsylvania we noticed that marchers had taken over the parade stands. Heehee. We cheered and chanted as we made our way down the street. A cheer would start from blocks down the street and grow into a roar as it got closer to us and then soften again as it continued on its way. My favorite cheer, by the way, was “We need a leader, not a creepy tweeter!” And in the middle of all of this, Isabel fell asleep. I have no idea how she could have slept through that. She even stayed sleeping as a police car put their siren on right next to us (crazy loud). Impressive.
And then we came up to the Trump Hotel. Protestors do not like the Trump Hotel.
We continued down the road, turning onto 15th Street to pass the White House The White House area itself was blocked off, but we marched a couple of more blocks before people started going their own ways.
The crowds were still incredible as people started to go their own ways. Lines at metro stops wrapped around buildings. Restaurants were packed.
We actually continued walking all the way to Dupont Circle to take the metro there. We sat in a crowded Starbucks for 45 minutes or so drinking coffee and watching marcher after marcher continue on down the street.
By the time we got to the metro stop, it was fairly easy to get down to the platform, and we settled in for a nice ride home.
I am thankful to have been a part of this amazing march. I am proud of my family for coming along for the ride. I enjoyed the unity and love that I saw there. The diversity made it so special. Young, old, straight, gay, whatever, women and men, all colors, different viewpoints…wow. We need more of this.