Californians flocking to Washington for inauguration

Merced Sun-StarJanuary 19, 2009 

WASHINGTON, D.C. -- The security bins, overflowed with heavy coats and high boots, were packed tight on the conveyer belt. Their rounded edges formed a dull, grey chain link at the security lines in San Francisco International Airport on Sunday morning.

Inside, 36 people huddled around the ticket booth at Gate 86, waiting to get on a flight to Chicago, connecting to Washington, D.C

Inaugural chatter flitted through the terminal.

The Boeing 767 outside only held 244 passengers; some would not make it on.

As the day wore on, standby lists grew larger as some of the one-million-plus expected spectators filed onto D.C.-bound flights.

Young men decked out in their Sunday best, women with long designer suit bags, and people of all walks decked out in Obama paraphernalia criss-crossed the busy terminal.

Among them were Cathy and Mike Aydelott, a married couple from the Bay Area city of San Carlos. He was wearing a red, white and blue checked dress shirt, she had on a navy blue Obama T-shirt and a red hooded sweatshirt.

The couple decided they would come to an Obama inauguration a week before the Nov. 4 elections. They waited to buy the tickets until Nov. 5, when the election was signed, sealed and delivered.

"We are very excited about the new administration and we wanted to be there to witness the change," Cathy Aydelott said.

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