06 September 2011

East Coast Escapades Part II: Washington, DC

As a preface, this is the second post concerning my Labor Day weekend, so if you'd like to read about Reed and Rachel's wedding, see my earlier post.

Post-wedding, I headed to DC as I was going to stay with Alden for the night before I headed home the next day, Labor Day. The plan for the trip back had been for me to pick up Ashley the next morning and have her company up to New York so that I didn't have to drive the whole way back alone. Unfortunately, the streets and drivers of DC confused me so much that I did something very silly. While trying to find parking near Alden's apartment, I followed another car to a parking garage. It had a metal gate in addition to the normal wooden barrier, but it had opened for him, so I grabbed a ticket and followed him in. Turns out that the parking garage had actually been closed to the public at the time and the man I'd followed had a monthly pass. Not only was the parking garage not technically open when I parked, it wasn't supposed to reopen until after the holiday (Tuesday morning). I will admit that I very much panicked at this point, not least because I was afraid I was going to have to use an emergency exit just to get out of the garage and onto the street. Luckily, another monthly parker entered while I waffled at the entry, so I was able to get me and my stuff out, though the car was still in the garage. I then successfully found Alden's apartment and gained entry with the key she had left me at the front desk. In my already quite frazzled state, I was had no idea how to deal with the fact that she and her Mike were asleep on the couch. So I proceed to call my Mike in an utter panic and cry about it all. Eventually Alden did wake up, and eventually I did calm down after her and both Mikes reassured me that we could figure out a way to get me out of the garage by Tuesday. [As a side note, not being able to leave would not have been a disaster. Alden would not have been greatly inconvenienced by it, and I didn't have work until Tuesday night anyways. So my panic was truly unfounded.]

After I'd calmed down, we chatted for a bit and watched the tail end of Bourne Ultimatum. I did have enough presence of mind to let Ashley know she should get a ride back with someone else (she had to be in NYC by 7pm) as I wasn't really sure when I'd be able to get my car out. We then went to bed determined to get my car out the next day if possible, though we'd decided that we may as well sleep in and get brunch first as I wasn't really in a rush to leave anymore. We got brunch at a cool place called "BusBoys and Poets," which is a small chain in DC. I got french toast, of course. After an animated conversation about interior design with Alden, during which I managed to bruise my ankle, we decided to go and see what we could do about my car.

Turns out that the lot I parked in is attached to an apartment building. We were able to go into their main lobby area and then take the elevator down to the garage. After a lengthy look at the ticket reader, we decided that though there is a little booth where a person sits during business hours so you can pay, the ticket reader looked like it may accept credit cards too. So we decided to give it a go. Plan b was to wait for someone with a monthly pass to come in or out and beg them to use their card to let me out. The machine did take my card in the end, though it charged me an exorbitant amount considering I'd been there less than 24 hours. I suspect it was because I was there when I wasn't supposed to be. Anyways, Alden and Mike promised that next time I come visit, they will make sure I park in a much cheaper, easier to access location.

Despite all the confusion, it was very nice to see Alden again and to meet her Mike.

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