Sunday, October 31, 2010

Rally Recovery

As soon as we heard about the Rally to Restore Sanity my husband and I thought it would be fun to go. We are both fans of The Daily Show and Colbert Report and of the clever thoughtful comedy they produce. And since moving to the DC area two years ago we have seen many big events on the National Mall highlighted on the news the way most of the country sees them. This is a place where history is made, people come together to express their views, protest, celebrate, etc and boy, wouldn't it be something to be a part of something like that?

Every time I would think that to myself it would immediately be followed by thoughts of the crushing crowds, the jammed Metro, the smokers and drinkers, the summer heat or winter chill or bright sunshine and I would come to the obvious conclusion that I don't want to see or do anything bad enough to put up with that kind of crap. But for some unknown reason I thought it might be fun to go see Stewart and Colbert and so did my husband.

So we got up early, packed lunches and a blanket, bundled up and drove to the Metro station. We counted ourselves lucky to be locals with Smarttrip Cards that allowed up to bypass the outrageously long lines to purchase fare cards. But that just got us underground, where the subway platforms were so packed people were waiting in line to even get on the escalator. This was not the furthest station out so by the time the trains arrived they were already packed with people. Fortunately most cars had at least one or two people getting off so at least a couple more people could get on. But you can imagine how slow this made the entire process.

I wanted to turn around after we saw train after train come and go with little to no progress being made to get on one. But my husband wanted to go and get pictures and some video and maybe put together something for his work. And I really wanted to be there for him as I often feel like my migraines limit our activities. So we managed to get on a train and were downtown in no time after that.

We walked through the huge crowd that had already formed and found a patch of grass to sit on and eat our lunches. The rally was to start at noon and it was about 11 ish when we arrived. People brought dog, and they weren't supposed to. People were smoking. People got drunk in advance as no alcohol was allowed. And the crowd just grew and grew and grew. By 12:30 we had spent a 1/2 hour listening to a band we didn't care for a loud group of drunk people were invading our space I asked my husband if he was having a good time. He said no so I told him I wasn't either so we packed it up and headed home.

As we were leaving we saw that the crowd was still streaming out of the station and down the sidewalk. The trains were still packed and the lines at the fare card machines were just as long. We were both SOOOO glad to be headed home and away from the madness downtown. I honestly don't know what we were thinking. I'm still in rally recovery mode.

We won't be making that kind of mistake again.


  1. My youngest daughter(23), and her best friend decided to drive up to DC Friday afternoon to attend the rally on Saturday. She told us how crowded it was, and it made me sooooooo glad that we don't live in the DC area anymore. She's young, active and pretty darn healthy, so she can handle a last minute road trip, and being squished in crowded places. I sure wouldn't have wanted to do it! She had a good time though, and that's what counts! She doesn't think she will do another road trip for a long time.

    What I loved about living there was going downtown during the holidays. I love all the decorated trees from each state, feeding the 'reindeer' (caribou), and standing by the huge yule log to keep warm while drinking the thermos of hot cocoa we brought! Those were the days!

  2. Wow, I am a crowd avoider - your picture gives me claustrophobia. But it's great you live so close to a "real" happening. I might have tried too! I HATE it when people paint Hitler moustaches on people who aren't Hitler!