This weekend was Leaguefest, which was in DC. I won’t bore you with the details of having met up with various people you all don’t know. Instead I am just going to write about DC for a bit.

One of the conveniences of living out here is that my sister-in-law Zoey lives in DC. Which, for those of you who don’t keep track, is not too far from where we live.

She moved there shortly after getting back from abroad and settled in as it’s a great place to be a young person. I was not all that surprised that she chose to sell her car, but after this weekend, I am convinced that I would sell my cars if I lived there. Public transportation never looked so attractive.

We drove there on Friday night and spent about an hour looking for a parking spot, which we found in a garage about a mile away. That turned out to be the best parking situation I’d have all weekend.

I went out by myself on Saturday. Retracing my steps, I ended up walking 8.9 miles. After my bad experiences on Friday, I don’t know what possessed me to wear anything but tennis shoes on Saturday, but I did and have a blister on my foot the size of Delaware. Retracing my steps, I determined that I walked at least 8.9 miles.

There are a number of parking garages in the area, but they’re surprisingly hard to find and Google is of comparatively little help. A lot of them are inexplicably closed on weekend. Actually, it’s quite explicable, I suppose. They cater exclusively to commuters and I am guessing that renting them out to others on the weekends is just not worth the hassle. At a parking garage I ended up in, someone had laid a pie-sized dump on the floor. Ahhh, the majesty of our nation’s capital.

There’s also nothing like spending time in a city to make me appreciate certain aspects of living far outside of one. Besides things like parking (back in Callie, I hated walking three blocks), the lack of public restrooms (hence the poop pie, I guess) and public amenities in general is pretty noticeable. The low-trust environment leads to convenience stores and grocery stores closing earlier rather than later, no restrooms if they are open, and so on.

I was at least a half-hour out of town on my drive home when I stopped off to get a soft drink, and even there the most convenient convenience store had to buzz me in. The others stayed locked and you had to talk to them from the outside, through probably bullet-proof glass.

All of that said, I enjoyed myself until my feet became inoperable. I missed two museums due to the parking situation. I did get to see the Spy Museum, which was pretty cool. I had good – although outrageously expensive – food.

I’ve been wanting to take some trips to DC for a while. Now I realize the extent to which I am absolutely going to have to plan ahead of time so that I don’t spend all my time looking for parking spots.


Category: Road

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8 Responses to Blisters On My Feet

  1. Now I realize the extent to which I am absolutely going to have to plan ahead of time so that I don’t spend all my time looking for parking spots.

    Just to give you a hint about what to do, the Silver Line should be opening up in late August or September. There will be a big parking lot at the end of the line. 🙂

    FWIW, I always take the train into Manhattan as I hate street parking, and Manhattan street parking is particularly bad. As somebody who works in roadside assistance, I’ve noted that people tend to damage their automatic transmissions on the steep inclines on underground parking garages, and the attendants don’t strike me as the most trustworthy people.

    And maybe it’s time for some comfortable shoes. 🙂

    • Trumwill says:

      It didn’t help that both days, we were pretty late getting out of the gate. So even if a line had been available, we probably wouldn’t have planned for it. On Friday, we probably would have been cautious about trying to manage baby on a rail. That would have been a good option on Saturday, though.

      I thought “maybe I’ll take the rail into town next time”… but the rail in question is commuter rail and (I think?) closed on weekends.

      The comfortable shoes are here. Or, at least, as comfortable as I have found. I just didn’t take them. Or my next comfortable shoes. With the exception of the ones that eat my feet, I wore one of the least comfortable I have.

      Stupid, stupid, stupid…

      • On Friday, we probably would have been cautious about trying to manage baby on a rail.

        Snicker. Plenty of Europeans manage. Hell, some New Yorkers too. DC is probably a bit more ideal given that all of the stations have escalators and elevators. I suspect that I’m just used to seeing people bring their children on the train, so it’s less of an oddity to me than it would be for you.

        It didn’t help that both days, we were pretty late getting out of the gate.

        The train will probably run every 15 minutes at worst on the weekends. Last trains leave the core at 12 AM during the week and 3 AM on Friday and Saturday. 🙂

        I thought “maybe I’ll take the rail into town next time”… but the rail in question is commuter rail and (I think?) closed on weekends.

        Crap, I keep forgetting that you’re actually not that far from said line. IIRC, it doesn’t run on weekends, and even during the week, the headways aren’t ideal as they’re peak direction oriented.

        • trumwill says:

          I don’t know how Europeans do it. But you make due with the options available. With better planning, driving would likely have been a better option.

  2. Vikram Bath says:

    Cars are very much a liability in D.C. Actually, it’s hard for me to think of a city with public transportation in which they are not a liability.

  3. superdestroyer says:

    A rule of thumb for DC, you are not driving to an address. You are driving to a neighborhood and you find parking at the edge or outside the neighborhood. The Penn Quarter (around the Verizon Center) is a neighborhood that no one would drive into on Saturday night expecting to find a parking place/garage. One just parks outside the neighborhood and walks in.

    Also, the Metro (subway) is very stroller friend and beats hunting for parking or walking long distances.

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