We watched the first of the poll returns from Downey's on South Street. The place was virtually empty yet all TVs - including the big big screen - were tuned to CNN. We caught some of the projections but couldn't hear much and we were too busy talking.
Over at Dave & Buster's, the TV screens were either ESPN or CNN. We were so excited about watching history change in front of our eyes. I kept checking the numbers, watching them slowly creep upwards. At one point the electoral votes total was 207. After that, we were lost in conversation once again.
220. Wow...this could really happen. Really happen!
Then the bar erupted into wild cheers, hoots and w00ts, whistles and applause. CNN projected Barack Obama the winner!
"But he only has 207."
"No; that's 297!"
I was stunned. We immediately left D&Bs - we wanted to hear the speeches!
As we drove through the city, people were honking horns, chanting, yelling and smiling. Sooo many people were so genuinely happy - it was such a sight to see! It was such a thrilling feeling! We heard McCain's speech on the drive back to the hotel.
As we said our goodbyes and parted ways, I raced upstairs to the lobby. The image I saw? Jesse Jackson with tears streaming down his face. I got chills.
I called my parents...Dad used to register voters in the South, not seeing Mom for days. I wondered how he was feeling, what he was thinking...of course, he was out playing tennis.
I watched Barack Obama's speech from my room - what a beautiful family! He was so calm and steady, like he's been throughout the campaign. I felt so proud to be an American.
Change. Let it begin.