It is just after 7 a.m. eastern time, and we are leaving our hotel, headed to president-elect Barack Obama's inauguration.
With the delays yesterday morning, the Frazier family and their tour group on a "Road trip to the White House" were quite antsy by the second rest stop last night to refuel the bus, in Breezewood, Pa.
But as the "Are we close yets" started to come, the Trailways bus driver got lost. His GPS went haywire. So the group didn't pull up at their Best Western hotel in Denton, Md. (half the group continued to a Best Western in Smyrna, Md.) until after 5 a.m.
And with all the anticipated traffic into Washington, D.C. this morning, they had to be back on the bus at 6:30 a.m. Folks were tired and quiet. Some of the 103 travelers clearly were not happy, but resigned.
Just when you thought all that could go wrong had gone wrong, we found the hotel had no hot water. Best Western's switchboard lit up with angry calls. There was nothing they could do, the twenty-something lady with an afropuff at the front desk explained. Everyone staying at the hotel about 90 minutes outside of D.C. was up at the same time -- the crack of dawn -- trying to leave for D.C.
Finally, we are all back on the bus, in various degrees of rejuvenation.
As our graying driver, Bob Arne, pulls ioff, the cheers from yesterday morning go out again.
"Yay! Obama! Here we come!"
It is now 8 a.m., and we are crossing the Chesaspeake Bay bridge from Maryland into D.C., along with what seems a million other cars.
The bay is fozen. The bridge is magnificent. The sun is shining.
This tour group, we, are filled with anticipation. There is something in the air. You can feel it.