....sometimes they're not!

Trip Start Feb 20, 2012
Trip End Apr 15, 2012

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Flag of United States  , District of Columbia
Wednesday, February 22, 2012

...parking in DC (a primer by a Country Bumpkin)
I try not to use the word, but I HATE parking & to a lesser degree driving in DC. It took us over 45 minutes to find a parking spot even with 'Jill' (our GPS) helping. There are (apparently) no parking lots/buildings - unless you are a permit (read diplomat) holder. We eventually found a spot on Constitution Avenue, one of the BIG streets. Oh yeah, we saw LOTS of spots before that which had meters, but you had to have an IPHONE app to access them! What - does Apple 'own' DC now?!? Anyway, found our spot, Donna used credit card in meter. It was $2/hr, for maximum of 2 hours, we got there just after 2:30 so we're good to 4:30. So off we go, as we near the White House we start to take time into account and realize we didn't understand each other earlier. Donna tells me we have to 4 not 4:30! So we turn tail and head for the car, which is quite far. As we walk I think why was it we could only get it to 4 pm for $2.97? DUH!!! Because you can't be parked there after 4! Picture 2 middle age  (or at least me) race walking down Pennsylvania Avenue! I keep checking my watch - 3:58 - 4:01  - 4:03 we round the corner and there's are car  - NOT - vanished! OH NO!! MY god where will they take it, how much is this going to cost! We see a tow truck on a side street and decide we should try to ask him what to do (since the phone number on the sign doesn't work!) But we're too late he's pulled away. I say to Donna "That looks like our car" down the side street. Sure enough it is. They've towed it around the corner. Whew! We go over, keep in mind that it STILL isn't 4:10! A $100 ticket AND a $100 tow ticket, issued respectively at 4:01! and 4:06!!!!!!!
JERKS!! Oh well, lesson learned, but wait! There's more...
...with our nerves jangled, we get in to go back to Baillie's. I start the car and 3 warning lights are on that we've NEVER seen before. NOW we're frazzled - pulling out the manual etc. deciding to drive back anyway, then look for a Toyota dealer to take it to the next morning. We end up driving right by a Toyota lot as we reach Baillie's, so we go in and talk to the service guy. He tell's us it will require a reset - only $130! So I arrange to be there when they open Thursday at 7am. A poor end to a good day.
Thursday dawns a little better as the warning lights reset themselves over night. We talk about parking with Baillie & Robert and have a better plan going into DC Day 2. HUH! No more tickets, but not much less pain. It still takes a half hour to get to where we can park - for a while, so I 'watch' watch all morning, then move the car again. I decide I've had all I can take of DC and don't relish the thought of spending 2 hours+ in morning rush hour to get out on Friday morning. So it is decided we'll leave Thursday at suppertime and drive an hour out past Annapolis and find a place to stay. We say goodbye to Baillie & Robert and thank them for their hospitality.
TWO HOURS later Washington DC has finally released us from her disgusting traffic system (not before myriad detours, reversed directions on 6 lane freeways! etc.) and we are regaining a bit of sanity. Found a nice place to lay our heads, but more on that another day!
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jenny laing on

Sounds like a recipe for deterring terrorists. (Or creating them!)
Keep posting!
lots of love

Kelly (parking nazi) on

Well it looks like you should listen to Donna more often Dave. Don't go to Philadelphia because I don't think they put your car down on the side street and its way more expensive to retrieve. I,m glad it wasn't me I would have lost my mind lol. Hope that you don't have anymore of those days on your trip. Love the blog keep them comin.

Sue on

Had a similar and costly experience like yours in Toronto; came out of a massage to find my car up in boots on the back of a tow truck; two tickets....and so much for the relaxation of the massge......enough to make a girl want to drink-but that would have been oh so wrong and more tickets...;-)

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