Monday, November 1, 2010

The Rally to Restore Sanity

Well, we're finally home and I'm caught up enough to sit down and write up my experiences.  The trip started out inauspicously. Before we even got on the plane, Youngest called to say she had gotten into a fender bender. Fortunately, our car seemed to be okay and we ran her through the drill. She was pissed more than anything.

The rest of the evening went well and we managed to stagger into Williamsburg just before midnight. The next morning came all too soon and we headed out about 5:45AM to try to get to DC by 9AM. I managed to get us to Springfield without falling asleep at the wheel and we joined the already growing hordes on the Franconia-Springfield Metro train. The Metro workers were great, providing the same bit of information over and over again without loosing their cool.

The train ride was relatively uneventful. When we got to the Smithsonian exit, we joined a huge number of people (which really wasn't huge. That number came later.)

We hurried over to our pre-arranged meeting place about 15 minutes late. I managed to get calls out to both of the bloggers I had arranged to meet but they were still on the road. Another blogger had emailed me from the road but I was never able to connect with her either. You all know who you are. I am so sorry that we weren't able to meet. I never expected that cell service would be virtually non-existent. I thought you all would be able to call me when you got to the mall and we'd meet up.

The number of people was truly amazing. Even at 9:30, two and a half hours before the rally started, there were a lot of people and more arriving every minute. My husband and I wandered around for awhile looking at signs and taking pictures. (Those are for another post). We finally made our way to a spot to the left of the stage and about 100 yards back. We had a good view of the jumbotron and preceded to wait. Since we had decided to leave the chairs at home thinking why pay $25 to check a $5 folding chair, we stood. Ouch.

 Aside from that, and the fact that cell service ran out, food and water ran out and merchandise ran out (no one really anticipated the number of people who showed up.), the rally was great. One of my favorite parts was the song with Yousef Islam (Cat Stevens), Ozzy Osborn and The O'Jays. It was funny and great music. In fact, all the musical entertainers were really good. Even Kid Rock, who I'm not a huge fan of, had a great song.

But of course, the best part was the last. Jon Stewart's speech at the end of the rally was poignant and spot on. He appeared really moved at the number of people who came and who were interested in joining in the great experiment that is our nation.

I hope you got the chance to watch the rally on Comedy Central. If not, here is Stewart's speech.

Washington, DC was great but by the time the rally was over we were exhausted. We wandered around a bit but finally decided that it was just too much and there were too many people and sightseeing would have to wait for another trip. Besides, we had to get back to Williamsburg and officially check in with the resort. Seems getting your key and talking to Security at midnight doesn't count as actually checking in and since they closed at 10:45, we headed out around 4:30. Which was a good thing because we had to wait almost 45 minutes for a train that was packed like sardines. Oi. 

Of course, when we finally made it back to the train station in Springfield, it seemed that no one had listened. Getting out of the garage and on the highway was a perfect example of first it's my turn, then it's your turn. Problem was everyone wanted to go first.

We spent Sunday in Colonial Willamsburg and then headed home. The trip back was uneventful until we got to Dallas. At which point, I left my phone on the plane. To whomever finds my Palm Pre, please recycle it. It's already been deactivated and replaced since American claims no one has turned it in. So, bad news was I lost my phone. Good news is I have a brand new Evo 4G. So, silver lining and all that. Thanks, Youngest, for sacrificing your upgrade for your dumb old Mom.

I am still tired and it may take a few days to catch up. I'm sorry that I didn't get to meet the folks I went to meet. That part well and truly sucked. But, I'm sure you all had a great time. I know I did.

If you haven't already, please vote tomorrow.


Cirze said...

It's great to read a first-person account (and listen to his speech again)!

Thanks so much.

You attended for me (but you didn't know it until now), because I didn't have the wherewithal.

Again, my sincere thanks!


Nance said...

I am so sorry I missed you! We were at the mercy of our host and hostess, who were in charge of then entire agenda...much to my surprise. Mr. Host had a son in D.C., who took over and told us what to do. I was grateful for the free digs, the ride from Fredericksburg to D.C., etc., so I was in no position to dictate anything. Had thought we'd be more on our own. Once there, the sheer size of the crowd took hold. I couldn't hear my phone in my backpack. We were moving with the flow and I couldn't stop to get my phone out, got worried about getting left behind, etc.

On the one hand, I was thrilled by that crowd! On the other hand, it was a little overwhelming, wasn't it? I am glad to say we were there...good memory...and sorry to have missed you.

Ahab said...

Glad you could make it to the rally! My friend and I attended as well, and the sheer ocean of humanity on the Mall took our breath away.

I think the more level-headed citizens in America needed this rally, so kudos to Stewart and Colbert for sensing the need.

Chris said...

I had heard the speech before on JMG's site....the best ever! Too bad our politicians can't say those things! Glad that you were there and were able to share!