If you're friends with me on Facebook or follow me on Twitter, then a few of you might have been aware that this past weekend I flew down to DC to attend Jon Stewart's/Stephen Colbert's Rally to Restore Sanity and/or Fear. I don't want mix my political views on my Sabres blog (but really, you should go out and vote today), but I know a few of you wanted a recap about my experience, so at the risk of me maybe getting a little "too political" for some people's liking, here it is...
My mom and I flew down to Baltimore on Friday morning and arrived to DC via train around 11:30 am. I have been to DC twice before, and my mom lived there for a few years before she was married with kids, so we decided that we weren't going to spend too much time doing any sight seeing. Both times I was in DC that's what I did, but other than that I wasn't very familiar with the area. I wanted my mom to show me around the places that she used to go when she lived there, so that's what we did. We decided that we should check out where the rally was going to be so we could scope out the area and figure out what the best way to get there would be and where would be the best subway stop to get off at.
Everything was set up already and we were able to walk right up to the stage and there were a few other people hanging around the area checking everything out. My mom and I decided to get a picture of us by the stage because we knew that tomorrow was going to be crazy and we probably wouldn't get another chance to be so close to the stage.
After we checked out the stage, we grabbed something to eat and then headed up to Georgetown. Georgetown is gorgeous! There are many restaurants and high end shops and there are so many beautiful townhouses that have been around for hundreds of years. This was my favorite place to take pictures. I couldn't get over how beautiful the townhouses were and how posh I would feel to live in one of them. My mom and I went to the clothing store Anthropologie which was a lot of fun because we don't have an Anthropologie around here but I get their catalogue and it's always fun looking at their beautiful clothes.
Townhouses on Potomac ave in Georgetown
Clothing store on Potomac
After we spent some time in Georgetown, my mom wanted to take me to a restaurant called The Fish Market in Old Town (Alexandria, VA) that she used to eat at when she lived there. Old Town also had the swanky, high end feel like Georgetown, but it also had a more charming, quaint feel to it as well. I liked that it was so close to water (the Potomac River) and it was a real enjoyable walk to the restaurant. My favorite food is probably seafood and The Fish Market definitely did not dissapoint. My mom and I got peel-n-eat shrimp which were delicious.
Walking into the restaurant, I noticed there was a sports bar called Bugsy's. I did a little bit of research before my trip to see what bars in the area would have the Sabres game on and Bugsy's was one of the places I found in my search. At the time I didn't even realize it was right next to The Fish Market, so it was a nice surprise when I walked up and saw it was right there. Bugsy's is owned by a man named Bryan "Bugsy" Watson who is a former NHL player who won a Cup in Montreal. He was a real nice guy and he walked around to make sure that everyone was enjoying themselves. He also bought my mom and I a few drinks which was real nice. I knew I was in the right place when I saw old pictures of Bugsy back in his playing days. There was also a guy wearing a Sabres jersey and a hat waiting for the game to start. Later on a guy came in wearing a Miller USA jersey. There were a few people in there who were former Buffalonians so it was nice talking to them...the bartender was also from Buffalo. Even though the Sabres lost, I still had a good time talking with everyone and watching the game with everyone. If you happen to be in the DC area when the Sabres are playing, this is a perfect place to watch the game.
The next morning, my mom and I woke up at 7 am and we were planning on heading to DC by 8:30. The rally started at noon, but there was a pre-show at 10. We knew that there was going to be a huge turnout, so we wanted to get there as early as possible. When we arrived at the train station around 8:30, we discovered that trains to DC were sold out until 12:30. We quickly got a few other people to split a cab with us to take to DC which cost us around $20 bucks a person. Our cab driver was awesome! DC was a mess with a ton of traffic and roads closed because of the rally, but he was able to drop us off right by the mall right where the rally was held. I am very grateful for that because later I found out that many people got stuck in the subways due to the abundance of people riding them to the rally and they didn't get there much later. It was a blessing in disguise that the train tickets were sold out by the time we got there because we probably would have been among the people who were stuck in the subways if we had gotten on the train. A cab driver told me that some of the lines at the stations were so long that they streched up above ground and wrapped around the block. Yikes...talk about an uncomfortable train ride! I also heard that many people got stuck in Baltimore due to the trains being sold out and a lot of cab drivers refused to drive people to DC because of the traffic. So we really lucked out.
I could feel the energy as soon as I stepped out of the taxi and started walking towards the rally. Everyone was very excited and there were hilarious signs all around... The closer to the rally the more crowded it got. There were people in costume, photographers, and reporters all over the place. I even saw a few people wearing Miller USA jerseys! I was disappointed in myself for not thinking of wearing mine... It would have been a perfect way to be patriotic while showing off my Ryan Miller/Buffalo pride all at the same time. My mom and I saw the ~VIP section~ and like "jedi masters", as some guy referred to us as, we snuck in haha. We were really close to the stage! It was really cool. We were right next to the "real" VIP section where the press and others were watching. It was cool seeing those people walk in. I saw many people from the Daily Show and Arianna Huffington which was neat. Here are some funny signs that I saw at the rally...there are a bunch of hilarious ones that you can view here.
Since we were so close to the stage, it was hard for us to really grasp on how many people were in attendance, but from the loud cheers that echoed off in the distance and seeing countless people endlessly pour in, we could tell that there were a lot. The rally started off with The Roots peforming and then John Legend joined them. They were great and it got everyone pumped up. The whole rally was aired live on Comedy Central, so I'm not sure how many of you watched, but I'm not going to give a total play-by-play rundown of the rally just incase. My favorite parts of the rally was Guido Sarducci's benediction. What can I say? He's just hilarious and he provided some great humor. But my favorite part was seeing CAT STEVENS! I am a HUGE Cat Stevens fan and I was both surprised and ecstatic when Jon Stewart introduced him. It was hilarious when Colbert interrupted him playing Peace Train and then had Ozzy Osbourne come onstage to perform Crazy Train. I was almost in tears when Ozzy Osbourne and Cat Stevens were battling onstage trying to peform their respective songs. I think it was the highlight of the rally. The only complaint I have is that I wish Cat Stevens could have performed more songs (or at least finish Peace Train).
Me and some patriotic dudes
Marilyn even made it out to the rally!
Colbert & Stewart
I took a bunch more pictures...you can view the rest here and if you want to see the rest of the pictures I took around DC, you can view them here.
All in all, it was a great event and in the end my mom and I were so glad that we decided to take the trip. I'm glad that the rally was held by two comedians, it made it more welcoming for people from all over the political spectrum to attend. It wasn't about what your political affiliation was, it was about people wanting to finally feel like they can have a voice in the direction they want the country to head without being too extreme about certain issues. I think in the world of politics as of late have just gotten so polarizing and black and white, and I think that most of the most reasonable and knowledgeable people in this country have felt shut out. People have been turned off by the constant bickering and mud slinging and the extremeness of it all. It's not surprising that a lot of people have become jaded by politics, but it's also disappointing because I think that as citizens we should all try to be more informed about what's going on and try to be a little more involved...we all live in this country for better or for worse, and we all have some sort of duty to ourselves to want to be apart of it. I think that this is what this rally was all about... People are sick and tired of the complete opposite ends of the political and social spectrums getting all the media attention, when there are so many of us in the "middle" who want a voice too. The point of the rally is in its title...to restore sanity. It was really inspiring and assuring to be around so many people who feel the same way. The rally was a fun, light-hearted way for us to show our pride and to say that we have a voice too.
After the rally, my mom and I decided to head out of downtown DC because it was completely mobbed, so after walking a few blocks we found a cab and headed back to Georgetown for dinner. After dinner I wanted to check out another bar that I found in my research that played the Sabres games. I ended up at Kelly's Irish Times on Capitol Hill. When I walked in I wasn't sure I was in the right place because the entire bar was decorated with police patches, but tucked away behind the bar surrounded by all the police memorabilia, I saw a Ryan Miller picture with the saying "Miller Saves" on it so I knew I was where I was supposed to be! I met a guy who went to UB and I also talked to a guy from Boston who said that the Sabres are his 2nd favorite team (behind the Bruins). I also talked to some Caps season ticket holders who were kind enough to buy me a shot of tequila while I was watching that debacle of a game.... Thanks Navi, wherever you are!
Sign I saw at the bar. I like that there is an Orchard Park Fire Co. hat next to Ryan's picture!
After my mom and I made it back to Baltimore we immediately went to bed after our exhausting weekend. Our flight from Baltimore left around 12:30. Being in the airport on Halloween was a lot of fun because a lot of people were in costume. It was funny seeing some girls in their skimpy little costumes in line at security, since security is supposed to be such a no nonsense, serious zone. I even saw two people dressed up as the Spartan cheerleaders from SNL and they did a routine at their gate. We made it back to Buffalo in time for me to carve pumpkins, pass out candy to trick-or-treaters, and get in my costume (I was a she wolf, ah-wooo!) and go out with my friends.
It was a crazy weekend but it was so nice to get away for a bit and do something like that. I'm glad that I can say that I was there!