The Triing Lizard

Thursday, December 07, 2006

Adventures in DC!
The night started out with me making a VERY BAD assumption that I could park near Dupont Circle on a weeknight. This is not possible. So after I drove around for the better part of 30 minutes looking for a spot I finally gave up and parked in a parking garage. I was the only non "official government" vehicle but I tried not to worry too much about it. But I was having thoughts that I was going to witness some kind of CIA killing like in alias, the parking garage reminded me of the one from that show. Next I got in the elevators and went to the "mall level" - guessing there must be a way out to the street from the mall. I walked around a bunch but couldn't find any doors and there weren't any windows so I could look out to see if I was o
n street level. Next I tried to ask a guy who was cleaning who ran away and disappeared in the men's bathroom, argh! I ventured up a set of escalators that was stopped for the evening (that always is weird) and tried to get out some revolving doors at the top but no luck. I was really starting to feel trapped!!! Well, I know I can get out the way that I drove in. So I take the elevator back down to my car, figuring I can get out where I drove in. When I got off where my car was there was another fellow parker and I asked him but he didn't know how to get out either. He told me to follow him and since it was my only option I went along with it. He showed me some new doors that I hadn't seen before and I was out! Now I had to remember where this door was so I can get back in!! I took note of my surroundings and started to walk toward Greg's hotel.

So then I found Greg, we had a nice dinner at Levante's. It's a mediterreanean place, we ordered a bottle of wine (half price on weeknights - nice!) and ordered some baba gnoush for an appetizer which was really yummy, very garlicky, mmmm!!! We chatted for a long time and then headed back to his hotel. He showed me pictures from his trip to China (I want to go now!) and then I headed out. I walked for a while but couldn't find the garage, nothing was looking familiar. So I turned around and retraced my steps looking for the large M that I had seen on my way to his hotel. 20 minutes later (and as I'm walking I'm noticing that a lot of the garages were already closed, the big silver metal doors had come down so there was no access to get out). I start to have this sinking feeling that my night was just beginning. I finally started to recognize my surroundings and managed to find the secret door again! I was celebrating just finding the door! But I tried it and no luck, it was locked. I tried a bunch of other doors and they were all locked (as they had been earlier so no shock there). My next option was to walk in where I parked. But when I got to the door where I had entered the door was shut, the parking garage was completely sealed off. I started to freak out a little bit and then I called Greg, but his cell phone was off. Then I just stood there for a while looking at the sign just dumbfounded, reading the sign over and over again. "Hours: M-Th 8 AM - 9 PM. You will not be able to access your car outside of parking garage hours. You will be able to access it on the next business day morning." Which for me would be 8 AM tomorrow morning. It was 11:10 and I had almost 9 hours to kill. I left Greg a message and I just stared in amazement at the closed door. I glanced across the street and noticed that the garage across the street was still open. If I had just turned right instead of left then I would be able to get my car and drive home tonight. So then I started considering my options, go back to Greg's hotel and sleep on the floor (meanwhile I know he has to work on his big presentation for the next morning), try to take a train back to Baltimore (but then how and when would I get back to get my car), or get my own hotel room (Greg said his discounted rate at his hotel was $225 so my rate would probably be closer to $300 - ouch). None of these options seem appealing. So I continue to stare at the closed door.

So just as I'm about to give up hope, the door magically opens! Like I had willed it open with all my staring!! I walk toward the door and ask the person in the car if there's any way that I can get my car out of the garage tonight. I expected her to say no but then she surprised me by saying that the garage was 24 hours, that I could get out through another entrance. (What about that sign, I'm thinking????) So she leads me to the other exit and I pay the other cashier and use the card to open the garage door to get my car out. I am free!!!! I was so excited. I drove for a while, following signs for 495, all the while looking at my gas gauge, the light had been on for about 20 miles, and the little indicator was below empty. I needed a gas station with diesel at 11:30 on a Wednesday night. Someone had to be open until midnight! I passed a bunch of closed stations and finally got to 495 and got on. I exited at Wisconsin and headed toward the city. Nothing, it was dark, passed the NIH and some other large facilities, but no gas stations. I thought about pulling over and walking to the gas station, I was so afraid of running out of gas. This would have been somewhat dangerous and would have taken a really long time. Who knows how close a station was. So I kept driving and I get to Bethesda, this is promising. I pass two open gas stations, neither of which had diesel. I keep driving. I finally see a station, no sign for diesel but I need to at least pull over and ask. So I pulled over and what do I see but a diesel pump!!!! Yay!! Thankfully after all of that I managed to drive home without incident.

3 Comments:

  • Oh my god Liz! What a nightmare!! I hated driving down in DC and that sounds so typical. Good thing that those people came along!

    By Blogger Claudia, at 1:35 PM  

  • Holy crap!!!! That's worse than the time it took me three hours (walking) to get back to my dorm room (during spring break when no one would have known I was even missing!)

    By Blogger mmiller1272, at 10:29 AM  

  • Damn that sounds terrible, I would not freack a little I would freack alot

    By Blogger Nosjunkie, at 1:08 AM  

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