Word broke late Friday afternoon that President Obama would be speaking at CU Boulder and immediately I knew I had to be there. The President of The United States, in my town, at my alma mater? My enthusiasm waxed and waned as rumors of the student ticket lines were deep into the thousands, I assumed there wouldn't be many tickets left for the general public.
The big question Monday morning was, did I want to wait and try to get tickets? I sent my husband by the ticket line on his bicycle commute to work to see how it looked. At 8:45 in the morning, the line wasn't bad at all, so I decided I'd give it a shot.
When I arrived around 9:30 am, I was around the 100th person in line with an estimated 1500 tickets available, so I was guaranteed a ticket. Luckily I was waiting in the shade and was sitting around some pretty friendly people. The time passed fast, before I knew it I had these in my hand:
The tickets were handed out in a pretty straight forward fashion, one ticket per person. I scored two tickets because J dropped G off in line with me after she got out of school! It was later decided that I would take Sj with me to see the President speak, just because of logistics. I anticipated there would be lots of waiting around, due to the security to get into the event. I was correct, there was a lot of waiting, but Sj was great company.
This was the second line to get into the building and from what I later learned, the short one! It took us about 45 minutes to get through the security. The screening was by Secret Service Agents, it felt like mock airport security. The Secret Service Agents were very professional, but were sweet to Sj asking her if she was excited to see the President. Of course she was, she was beaming the entire time!
Once we settled into our seats, we had to wait yet again! Sj being a cordial and friendly 8 year old taught a group of CU Law students how to play go fish. We ran into some friends that sat right behind us and once again, the time passed quickly. At one point during our wait, I found out via twitter that President Obama and his motorcade stopped on The Hill to pick up some food. While the waiting was hard, I thought it was awesome he took the time to meet some people on the street.
Finally the moment we were waiting for! Here's one of the worst photos you'll ever see of the President. Still, I couldn't refrain from the photo op. I only had my iPhone on me, decided to keep my load light due to security warnings. I took a few shots when he first arrived on stage, then put down my phone to focus on his speech. I have a lot to say about his speech on student loan interest. As you can imagine The President was a very charismatic speaker, we felt so lucky to be in his presence!
After his speech ended, Sj and I made a bee line for the closest spot we could grab to the stage. The President took about 10 minutes to stop and chat with the students that were lucky enough to get a spot right on the railing adjacent to the stage. This is by far the best photo I captured and of course, he had his head turned! Shucks.
The Denver Post had a great photo gallery and this photo was my favorite! When I was scrolling through the photos online, I couldn't believe I found one that featured us in the audience! Now, you can barely tell it's me (the circle I used for editing washes us out), but I promise it is.
If wanted to get technical, I could boast that there was a photo of us and the President featured in the Denver Post. I mean come on, don't we look fabulous? Tee Hee!
The reaction to his speech has to come separately, but I promise it's almost finished! What an amazing adventure, I would wait all those hours again to be in the presence of the President any day.
In case you are interested, here's the speech: