Yesterday was the day mom and I have been waiting for for what seems like forever. We decided a long time ago that we were going to attend the Women's March and not long after that mom bought her plane ticket for the event. We were both a bit nervous and unsure what to expect but we were more excited than anything and couldn't wait to see what it was going to be like. I'll say now that our first protest was an absolute success and extremely exciting!
I knew our day was going to be awesome as soon as we turned onto 295 and saw dozens of buses headed to DC. It was a slow ride to the metro with all that traffic but we made it there around 8:45 am, 15 minutes after I'd told my friend Lisa we'd be there. Parking was a mess but luckily the businesses that were near the metro were allowing people to park on their lots with no towing. We parked in one of those lots and walked over to the metro station where we were absolutely stunned to see the swarms of people waiting in line for tickets! Luckily we'd pre-ordered ours and were able to skip right to the front and go through the gates.
We were able to jump right on a waiting train right as the doors were closing but it was standing room only; we stood pressed against at least 100 other people. It wasn't uncomfortable though because it was clear that every other person on that train was headed in the same direction for the same exact reason. It was an amazing sight.
After 11 stops we reached L'Enfant Plaza and HOLY SHIT was it crowded. Quite a few people got off at the stop before ours but our stop was still so jam packed that it took upwards of an hour to get out of the terminal! We had lots of people to chat with though and there were many spontaneous bursts of cheering and "Hey Ho! Hey Ho! Donald Trump has got to Go!" It was so overwhelming and loud but completely invigorating and exciting at the same time! We loved reading all the signs people had made.
Once we finally emerged from the station we headed towards the rally.
It wasn't far from the metro stop and it was certainly easy to find since we were able to just follow the other thousands headed that direction. My friend Melissa was due to meet us at L'Enfant but because of the crowds and excessive wait times we ended up walking all the way to the rally while she tried to navigate her way towards us. The cell signals were spotty because of the crowds but somehow she and I were able to get across to one another well enough that she eventually found us...and then we found lady liberty herself! 🗽
Aside from the amazing spirit of the crowd and the pure energy of being a part of something so awesome there were some great signs! If my phone hadn't died I'd have tons more to show but I did get a few that I loved...
There were MANY speakers and we stood listening (as best we could) for hours. (We were standing near a group that was protesting women's rights and they were screaming into their megaphone so oftentimes it was difficult to hear the speakers we wanted to hear.) The crowd would ebb and flow a bit and at some points we'd have room to move and shift feet while other times we were elbow to elbow with those on our sides. There were times when it was hard to turn in a full circle but none of us ever felt any kind of uneasiness. Everyone was so pleasant and helpful; it was unlike any other crowd I've ever been in.
When mom and I decided to head out we jumped in line with some people moving the direction we needed to go. Over the loud speaker we heard that there was a surprise guest and that turned out to be Alicia Keys. I'm a fan so we stopped to listen to her for a few minutes...the crowd wasn't letting anyone move anyways!
After listening to some of "This Girl Is On Fire" we started pushing past the people to try to get to the outer edge of the crowd. It was a relief to finally break through the throngs of people and move freely! The area of the metro we came out of was closed so we had to find another route in. After walking around for a good 10-15 minutes we finally found the long line into the metro station. Someone told us that the wait was 3 hours and mom and I about had a break down at that point but then decided we'd just deal with it. What other choice did we have? Luckily that lady didn't have any idea what she was talking about and we were down on the platform after about a half hour wait.
The ride home was great because we got seats and were able to rest for a bit. The train started out empty-ish but a few stops in and we were packed in again. The ride back to New Carrolton station seemed much shorter than the ride in and before we knew it we were back in my van heading home. We got back to the house around 5:15 pm and boy were we tired! It had been a great day and mom and I were proud of ourselves for doing something for a cause we know is worth it.
While a protest was never something I'd thought about doing, I'm glad I went. I was nervous and excited but I absolutely felt like it was worth it all. I'd do it again in a heartbeat...