The Journey Begins: 2013 Presidential Inauguration Coverage

I arrived home for the start of my first ever college winter break, when I got a phone call from the Fitzwater Center asking me if I would be interested in joining a team of Franklin Pierce students going down to cover the 2013 Presidential Inauguration. I did not even have to think twice before giving a very energetic “Yes!” I had never been to Washington DC before and I was always looking for a way to get down there. The fact that I could go sightseeing while capturing the excitement in our nation’s capital through news articles was a dream come true for me.

With help from my Aunt, I got a last minute deal on a cheap flight down to DC and counted down the days until I would embark on my journey. When I arrived at Logan Airport I was surprised to see that there were very few people there, and then I remembered that it was a Thursday and not a very heavy travel date. I passed through security with ease, but not without some apprehension; I was nervous that my bags would be too big to bring on the plane. I had to cram all of my belongings and equipment that I would need for six days into a small suitcase and a backpack, so as you can imagine, I stuffed as much as I could into the luggage I had.

I made it on the plane, and with just my luck I got the all hated middle seat. I am a pretty social person and I can make friends easily but nothing is more awkward than sitting in-between a grown man in his 40s who is more obsessed with a video game on his iPad than a teenager would even be and another man who was so fixated on staring out the window that you would think he was trying to hypnotize the sky. So being left in the middle of two very unsocial people, I made best friends with the mini TV screen in front of me; thank God Jet Blue has cable on their flights!

I landed in DC in little over an hour and had to fight my way off the plane because no one seemed to want to let me out of my seat to grab my bags from the overhead bin. As I got off the plane, I knew what I had to do; I needed to follow the signs to the metro station. Now you would think it would be easy to follow signs to your destination, but the signs will always find a way to trick you. Throughout the duration of my stay I planned to stay with my best friend, Tyler Gibbs, at American University. I was following his directions to get from the airport to his school, and when I got to the area where I needed to buy my ticket I carefully observed what buttons the “metro-regulars” were pressing in order to purchase their ticket. After staring at strangers and getting a couple weird glances back I learned what buttons I had to press; I guess the saying “monkey see monkey do” really applies to life.

The metro was just like riding the trains in Boston; something I was used to doing. This being said, once I got to my destination I had to face the escalators of doom! I have never seen escalators so tall and steep before in my entire life. There before me stood an escalator that was literally a mile high. One would either get altitude sickness or a nose bleed by the time they reached the top, and as I was ascending into the heavens, I held on for dear life.

I got to American University in one piece and was proud with myself that I didn’t get lost or mugged; although I was asked for money by at least three different people, I considered my trip a success. I met up with Tyler and he gave me the full tour of the campus before I met his group of very outgoing and boisterous friends; needless to say I think I fit in well with their group. Dinner was good, but I have to admit that college food tasted different after a month of not eating it.

We spent the evening planning some activities that would further immerse me into all that is DC. I retired to bed around midnight, very tired after a long trip, but to my surprise I forgot a sleeping mat. If you want to wake up and have your body crack in every which way then I highly recommend you sleep on the floor. All in all, I had a good night sleep and awoke in the morning to say hello to my first full day in Washington. I sit now in one of the many Starbucks awaiting the hand on the clock to hit noon so I can venture down to Capitol Hill to get my Press Credential to the Inaugural Ceremony on Monday.

DC is beautiful and I am so excited to have the chance to soak it all in and report on a national event of such importance.

Stephen Keimig
Pierce Arrow Blogger

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