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INAUGURATION: The Zittels Check Out the National Mall

By Jackie Burrell
Friday, January 16th, 2009 at 7:43 pm in Inauguration 2009, politics.

Smithsonian Museum of American HistoryOur intrepid guest bloggers, Linda Zittel and her son Adam check in after their first day in Washington, D.C. This one’s from Adam…

January 16th, 2009
It’s cold. VERY cold. I wore four layers, so my body was warm, but most of my face was left exposed.
The result? After about three minutes, my nose was burning cold. Luckily, we didn’t stay outside long. As we walked to the Smithsonian, our route crossed the mall where we will stand and watch the inauguration on Jumbo-Tron TVs. The entire field was ringed with a double layer of Porto-Potties. Five thousand of them, said a friend. Never have I seen so many in one place.

Stepping into the museum from the freezing outside, the sudden warmth fogged my glasses. We wandered the Smithsonian for a few hours. After about three hours, I’d seen all I wanted to see, but my mom was still looking, so I returned to my favorite exhibit. It was a simulation of a train ride in the 1950s. The car shook slightly, and on the wall was projected a looped scene in which passengers got on, talked, and got off. The simulation was believable enough that I almost took a nap. I sat there for a good twenty minutes, watching real and virtual passengers enter and exit.

And from Linda…
We’re staying with friends in Fort Mead, Maryland, and coming into D.C. by Marc Train and Metro Subway (think BART.) My favorite place today was Union Station. This huge, ornate marble station was filled with people, food shops, and inaugural souvenirs. There were stores selling Obama T-shirts, sweatshirts, key rings, and buttons. People were taking pictures of themselves next to life-size cardboard cut-outs of a smiling Obama. Over one station doorway there were three identical signs saying, “Hope,” with the round symbol from Obama’s campaign, a sun rising over the horizon, in place of each “O.” Even my Metro ticket had a picture of Obama on it.

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