A Tangled (Washington) Web

No, I am not writing about politics. Heaven knows there are plenty of websites, podcasts, and other places you can get your political fix.  Having grown up in the DC environs, I know only too well how tangled those political webs are.

This particular entry is about the tangled web of…..

traffic.

Yes, the mess that is not only the Beltway, but the massive mess that encompasses 12-lanes-across, I-need-two-traffic-apps-on-my–phone Washington Metro area traffic.

My last trip wasn’t even a year ago, and it wasn’t that bad then…Google Maps got me reasonably easily from point A to point B. But this time was different.  Evidently Google Maps had not kept up with the fact that my first hotel had changed names! My hotel had neglected to tell me they’d changed from a Crowne Plaza to a Hilton Doubletree, but that’s a different story. I drove down an alley between high-rise buildings three times, around in several circles, down one end of Chain Bridge Road, then down the other end, before asking the valet in front of the Marriott about this. He (in a broad Cockney accent–so surreal, I am not kidding!) explained that it was the hotel next door–as in approximately 15 feet away–which had been bought out a week before!!

Several days later, while brunching with a friend at J. Gilbert’s in McLean (one of the few places I was able to find without using any app whatsoever) I mused on the easiest way to get from there to Dulles Airport, to pick up my cousin, who was flying in from England. Google Maps wanted to route me from McLean, east into Arlington, then waaaay out west to Dulles, which-for those playing at home-would mean a half-hour to 45-minute trip. She and I looked at each other with that raised-eyebrow-W-T-F-this-ain’t-gonna-happen-look that natives of a place get. We asked our waiter (Igor, heaven bless him!) his opinion, and he advised us to download Waze and try it on there. Waze gave me a much more direct route, and–long story short–I made it to Dulles in fifteen minutes. Nobody in the DC area goes anywhere in fifteen minutes, unless they’re walking their dog around the block.  Trust me.  Oh, and I found parking right by the International Arrivals terminal.

Yes, I believe in miracles.

So for the next five days I used a combination of Google Maps and Waze. Nothing was foolproof, however.  There was the time I used Google Maps to get to Arlington Cemetery, and ended up at the entrance to Joint Base Ft. Myers/Henderson Hall.

Oops.

Nicest MP I’ve ever met let me through gate though, let me turn around, and come back. Helped me reprogram my app and we got to the cemetery and parked.

Then a day or so later, we missed an exit going to Mt. Vernon, ending up on some bizarre 12-lane highway I’d never seen in my life!  But, the sweet, calming voice on Waze got me where I needed to be. Ended up on a beautifully scenic back road I had no idea existed, and had a wonderful time.

So I (on my own), and we (my cousin Susan and I), managed to untangle the Washington Web. One knot at a time, with patience, humor, and technology!

 

 

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