Yep, I’m able to go along on the planned trip to Washington DC with Diamondqueen and the Hooligans. Most of the day was taken with travel, with Diamondqueen doing all the heavy lifting. Although wearying, it actually went well, with storms in the distance all around us (as evidenced by the immense lightning bolts we saw from afar), but little rain to hamper our journey.
Mapquest and other mapping utilities recommended we taken Route 40 south from I70 in Pennsylvania, rather than I79 from Washington, PA. What the maps didn’t make clear is that this route was meandering, often just two lanes, dotted with traffic lights, with restraining speed limits. It was quite a scenic ride, with some lovely vistas and 18th century stone houses and taverns, but Diamondqueen isn’t a fan of meandering or scenic. We’ve agreed we’ll stick to I79 on the return trip.
Everything was smooth once we merged onto I68, then I70. Even I270 leading south toward Washington wasn’t as choked as the northbound lanes. Once we got to the Bethesda, Maryland area, though, everything hit the fan. We spent 20 minutes going two miles on one stretch, then we started running into the traffic circles, one after another. Diamondqueen doesn’t respond to roundabouts any better than I do, and these were just manic with traffic. We finally reached the hotel, then were sent back out to go around the corner to an alley that leads to the private parking garage.
The trouble was, the “alley” wasn’t clear to make out. We shot past it, then had all kinds of problems trying to get twisted back around to try it again. Soon we found ourselves down near LaFayette Square and trying to follow Mrs. Garmin’s hazy directions, which didn’t take into account weird curb lanes and other obstacles. Between the traffic circles and the one way streets, we thought we’d never find our way back to the hotel. It was like one of those dreams where you need to be somewhere but keep finding yourself on the wrong street, or wandering around unable to find your car, etc.
At last we wobbled into the alley, found a parking place, and made it up to our room. After a brief rest, which really wasn’t that restful because S.Hooligan was up to her usual hellraising, we went down to the dining room for a late, so-so dinner. As tired as we were, we went out for a “walk around the block” to get somewhat oriented and to see what we could hit tomorrow morning for breakfast. Soon we found ourselves down the street from Whole Foods, so we went there to select pastries for our in-room breakfast.
An early start–we have to be at the White House by 8:45 for our tour tomorrow morning.