Last year, on January 21st, 2017, my family and I joined 100,000 in Oakland, and 4M people worldwide in taking to the streets and saying we are here, we want our rights, and we will not go quietly into the night. Being part of the Woman’s March was one of the most exciting and proudest moments of my life. Hearing that a march was again planned on the one year anniversary weekend, we knew we had to take part. But we were going to be in Carlsbad, CA the day before. So we decided that the best course of action was to take part in the march in LA.
I booked a motel in downtown LA, about 1.5 miles from the start of the march. The plan was to walk to the March, then afterward, drive to see my friend in Thousand Oaks and stay with her for the night. But when we made that plan, we did not know that we would be so tired. We didn’t truly realize that a week as jam packed as we planned it would be so exhausting. We didn’t understand we would all start to be feeling ill.
As we pulled into our motel for the night we contemplated our choices. My husband wanted to get up early and leave straight for home. He wasn’t feeling well and wanted to just end the vacation. I too wanted to go home. But I knew how close we were to the March. I remembered how strong and powerful it felt last year. I would be so sad if we missed it. So we compromised. We agreed to go to the rally for a short while, then return to the motel and leave for home.
We got up and dressed, and loaded up the car in the morning. Then we took a Lyft to the Westin in downtown LA. It was a few blocks from the start of the rally, but away from the blocked streets. Plus, they had Starbucks coffee inside. We grabbed a quick bite to eat, then joined the stream of pink hats and signs walking toward Pershing Square.
At Pershing Square, the atmosphere was electric. People were happy, excited, energetic and hopeful. The square was full already and the side streets were filling up. We took some pictures, and talked to the kids about why we were here. Then a crew working on a social media campaign saw us and said “Hey! A nice, multicultural family! Can we film you for our campaign?” That’s not something often heard in LA, so we let them take a photo of us. Our picture and video didn’t end up making the cut, but we enjoyed doing it.
After a while, the crowds became bigger and more restless for the march to start. And we started to worry we wouldn’t be able to easily escape the crowd. So with sad hearts, we turned around and headed back to the Westin, to try and get a Lyft back to our hotel. We had spent a total of 30 minutes at the rally, much shorter than the hours we spend marching last year. But we all tired. We had all had a long week. And we were ready for the long drive back to the Bay Area. So we turned around and took one last look at the beautiful display of power, the beautiful end to a week of excitement and wonder, and then headed back to the Bay Area, ready to resume the fight for another year.
This was our last stop in our Great Southern California Adventure
*Stared photos taken by Atma Photography