Today was the day that all Congressional offices invited their constituents into the offices to pick up their inauguration tickets. Anyone can normally come into the offices, but this was the first and only day for most to make it to the office during regular hours. It was organized chaos at its best.
Lines for the three house buildings snaked around every side and every entrance. While I didn't need a ticket, I wanted to experience life inside the House buildings when they were bursting with energy. They are normally a pretty sleep place.
So I waited. And waited. For two hours. Worth it? Totally.
Minutes after joining the line for the Longworth building to get to Rep. Keith Ellison's office, my eavesdropping personality paid off. Standing right behind me was a group of Minnesotans. Two people back, there were even more. Two hours can fly by (almost) when you have something to small talk about.
Some came for the historic nature of the day. Some came because they truly felt an American spirit in the air. Others wanted to have their own voices heard.
When we reached Ellison's office, we found five Minnesotans who rented a van for quite the road trip. The guys, ages 24 to 27, packed up their van and made it to Washington, D.C. in 18 hours. Only two of them have tickets, but the rest came anyway.
The excitement of Tuesday didn't stop them from thinking about jumping back into the real world. Many of them have to go back to work on Thursday after a week of very little sleep and two 18-hour van rides. But for now, they are living in the moment.
Here are some other Minnesotans and their stories: