The Chicago Sun-Times is chronicling the inauguration journey of the Frazier Family of Marquette Park, and blogging about it. Catch our first story in the series here.
Morning. Grrrrrrr. So it's 6 a.m., and we're loading up the bus. Exhaustion has set in for this road warrior.
Can anyone say "flight ticket?" Oh.....wait a minute. A last-minute ticket would cost my left arm. Hmmmm......wonder if they'd accept my left foot. It aches, along with it's friend on the right......
Back to reality. These inauguration-goers aren't done yet. Suitcases packed, hotel rooms evacuated, they're off for one last mission in D.C. before Chicago beckons. The U.S. Capitol and a tour of Congress, here we come.....
We arrive at Capitol at 10 a.m. D.C. still wearing its inauguration clothing.
Chainlink fencing used to barricade miles of streets lay on curbs. "No parking" signs and trash blanket the federal neighborhood.
It's even colder today than on Inauguration day, if that's possible. Single digits. We may as well be in Chi-Town, which we hear is even colder.
The west end of the Capitol, where the inauguration ceremony took place, is still draped with the flags under which Obama took his oath. Walking the periphery of the Capitol, you can't help but think, "What a magnificent structure!"
I'd thought everyone in the world had gone from D.C. by now but us, but we encounter busloads of high-school students -- still wearing their inauguration badges -- and other stragglers.
Seems we're in school today, the Fraziers and I. First stop in the Capitol tour. We're herded into a theater to watch a movie on the history of the building, of Congress and the tenet principles of this Democracy led by a black man for the first time since its founding.
This building is where our Commander-in-Chief is sworn in, where we've bid farewell to several in death, as well. The Fraziers are moved by the black history represented here. It was built by the sweat of slave labor, their emancipation -- human and civil rights -- amongst greatest battles ever fought here. Civil rights icon Rosa Parks was the first woman ever to lay in state in its rotunda.
The Fraziers are glad we made this last stop. The Capitol is hopping, congested with tourists. Lunch in its cafeteria is pricey!
We're done. All the magnificent art, sculptures and historical artifacts have been perused, all the pictures taken. We watch workers taking down the draped flags on the building's west end. The lawn where dignitaries and celebrities like Oprah Winfrey sat on Monday is still fenced off -- ice and other VIP amenities left in their wake.
Reporter with British SKY-TV approaches as we await bus, interviews the Fraziers about Beyonce-gate, the lip-synching controversy. The Frazier grandkids are shocked, not their girl Beyonce! Pamela, however: Whatever!
Homeward bound from this "Road Trip to History." Thank God! .....Er, I mean, it's been fun. 14 hours on a bus ahead of us: Oh joy.........
The Sun-Times followed the Frazier family on its first Road Trip to History on Jan. 20, 2009. Revisit the series here: http://blogs.suntimes.com/roadtriptohistory/