Sunday, October 21, 2007

DCMM: O, Suburbia!

I live in the Maryland suburbs. My husband works in DC. Virginia is like another planet to us.

I take that back. Another planet would be easier to get to and from than Virginia.

We had to travel there for a party last night, and let me tell you, once MapQuest screwed us, it was all over.

We got off the highway on Fairfax Drive in Arlington and saw that same exit three times before we decided to try to call our hosts.

"But I don't have the phone number," said my husband, who, incidentally, was never a boy scout. Once informed that I had brought the number (it's not that I don't trust him to get us to our destination, let's just say we've had need for lifelines a time or two), he bemoaned the fact that we didn't have a phone.

Jean to the rescue again.

After we called the party-givers, he pulled an illegal three-point turn directly in front of the entrance to the police station and we were on our way. It turns out that we weren't far away from the party, as our quest for parking brought us back to the very location from which we had made our call.

See, this is one reason I like Maryland's suburbia: parking. Yeah, I know there are better things to do with land than build parking lots and parking structures, but when I'm trying to drag three small children to a grown-up party that starts at their bedtime (oh, didn't I mention that?), I want to be able to park my car closer than six blocks away.

We finally made it to the party and had a nice time while we were there. Our children pretended to be cats and dogs for most of it. All the other adults were suitably amused by their hijinks.

We left the party and navigated the most terrifyingly dangerous onramp I've ever seen to get back on the highway. My husband seemed to know where he was going. Oh, wait, we're going the wrong way on the George Washington Parkway? No problem, we'll just make this turn into Arlington National Cemetery, get back on this other highway, and...wait a minute, isn't that the Fairfax Drive exit again?

If you're counting, this is at least the third time we made a giant circle. Make that four. We passed the police station again in getting back to the highway. Somehow we missed the Parkway again via Arlington and ended up driving through DC to get home. Thank God my husband knew where he was going because I would have had to give up and drive according to the compass on my dashboard.

I hate driving in DC. The lanes are narrow, there are lots of pedestrians, and there are sudden turn-only lanes and one-way streets. I hate even more being a passenger in DC. My husband, who is actually a very good driver, does a lot of speeding up and slowing down and lurching this way and that. At least this is what it feels like happens. I don't know for sure because I'm usually slumped down in my seat with my hands over my eyes.

And that, in a nutshell, is why I am a homebody.

We finally arrived home safe and sound and put our three sleeping boys in their beds. Traveling to the great, mysterious land of Virginia had tired them out.

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