Saturday, October 25, 2008

We saw Senators Obama and McCain throw down in Denver!

Last Sunday, Diane, Taylor, Olivia and I decided to go to the Obama rally at Civic Center Park. It was a a spur of the moment decision, and we figured we wouldn't get in, but thought it would be a fun adventure to have with the girls. The day was a little cold, like sweater weather...or so I thought when we left our jackets at that was a mistake. By the time we arrived down town the wind started to kick up, making the sweater weather, more like 'thick jacket with sweater weather'! This mistake resulted in lots of whining from the 7 year old set. We decided to push on anyway.

Since parking is a bit of a nightmare on a daily basis in Denver we decided to park on the other side of I25, walk across the pedestrian bridge that spans the highway, across the bridge over the Platte River, across the park and then across the Millennium bridge and take the 16th street mall bus to Civic Center Park. I thought it was a brilliant plan... as did about 1000 other people. The bus was packed with Obama supporters and when I say packed, I mean by the end of the trip, had the bus tipped over, none of us would have been jarred from our positions. The bus trip went on for way too long, at least the girls enjoyed it, both thought it must be what a roller coaster is like.... maybe we need to take them to one of the local amusement parks so they experience what a roller coaster is really like. On the other hand... the mall bus is free....
When we got to the park, the rally area was already filled with 50,000 people with another 50,000 or more standing in the surrounding area. From the stage all the way back to the capital building, the place was filled with people just waiting to hear Obama's voice. There were people all the way around the rally area and even on top of buildings waiting for him to arrive.
Since we couldn't see the stage at all, we decided to hang out near the Greek columns. The fountain there was empty of water, but filled with little kids 'skating' on the smooth concrete. From there it was easy to hear the loudspeakers for the rally... actually, it was easy to hear the rally for a couple of blocks surrounding the park! It was fascinating that so many would hang out just to hear a candidate's voice, there certainly weren't that many that could even see the stage.
While there we saw these 2 little boys, one was dressed as Obama, the other was dressed as McCain. As it turned out they were brothers wearing their Halloween costumes. Pretty clever costumes if you ask me! At one point they started to wrestle and it was pretty funny. It was easy to picture the real Obama and McCain kind of wanting to go at each other like that. I'm not sure who would have won in this physical contest, the Obama kid was faster and had better reach, but McCain weighed a little more and liked to fight dirty. Mom came along and broke them up... Needless to say, both ended up in a timeout for trying to choke each other!
Between the speeches from various politicos and their flunkies the loud speakers would blare some catchy tune to keep the crowd up beat. The girls had a great time dancing together to the music and playing with the other kids. All the running around helped keep them warm and less whiny.
After waiting for awhile (Obama was late) the girls started to get really bored, cold and hungry. To try to keep them busy we walked closer to the capital building. We were hoping to find a vantage point where we could at least see where the stage was located. Unfortunately that didn't happen, but I did get some good snaps of the crowd and this one of the capital.
We stayed a little while longer and listened to the beginning of Obama's speech, but the girls were getting hungry and cold, so we went to McDonald's to stem the tide of whining. The bus trip to McDonald's was much nicer. The girls were amazed that there were so few people on the bus. There was a lot of counting and announcing of how there were only 12 people on the bus rather than 2000 (this number was Olivia's inflated number...I'm fairly sure there weren't 2000 people on that first bus!)
During lunch we sat at a the table next to an older lady that had also gone to the rally. She was so excited about the whole election and shared some of her stories about how Denver had changed during her lifetime. I don't know if the girls were really listening to her, but I hope they got an idea of how historic this election really is.
After lunch, we hit the crowds as they were leaving the rally. It was still less crowded on the bus and the trip was pretty pleasant. On the way back we did a little more of the touristy stuff as far as taking pictures and the girls got to play a little. At the park they rolled down the steep hill right by the sidewalk. One lady walking by and watching the kids roll down the hill commented, 'that is something that only a kid would enjoy!' How true, once you reach a certain age, avoiding falling down a hill becomes more of a priority.
Even though we didn't get to see anyone 'famous', it was a fun adventure and the girls had a good time.

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