Last Friday we decided to take a little trip into New York. Rob received his job offer on Thursday, so taking a drive on Friday felt like a little celebration.
I cannot remember the last time I saw such crazy traffic. Add construction on every other street, and it took us hours to get into New York. Once we finally made our way into the city, we couldn’t for the life of us find a place to park, resulting on us getting further and further into the chaos.
All we really wanted to do was make our way back out, but we weren’t having much luck doing that, so we were excited when we finally found a place to park, because at least we would be able to get out of the car for a little bit. Rob walked up and down the street looking for any signs at all that we weren’t allowed to park there. He couldn’t find anything, so we walked down to the 9/11 Memorial.
After a few hours we walked back to the car. As soon as we could see it we relaxed a little bit because at least we knew we had not been towed. That relaxation ended as soon as we saw a ticket on our window. It took us a minute to figure out what the ticket was for, seeing as how it said ‘Fire Hydrant 0 ft’ and we didn’t park by a… oh, shoot, we sure did. There, right outside the door was a fire hydrant. It was black. Right next to a black garbage can, which was next to a black park bench. We didn’t even see the darned thing. I guess we are used to them being red. Well, $115 later, lesson learned…
We were more than ready to head home, so we hit the road. It was considerably easier getting out of town than it was getting in, so that was a very good thing. Everything was going well until we missed a turn and ended up on a toll bridge. Well, crap, we didn’t even need to be there in the first place, but there was no turning around, so Rob headed toward the lane that said ‘All Cars.’ It wasn’t until it was too late that he realized he was in an EZ Pass lane, with no booth. Cameras shot pictures of our license plate, and we groaned. We parked over by the curb and Rob walked to the office, where he was given a number to call on Monday morning to pay the toll.
There was nothing we could do at the moment, so we drove on across the bridge, crossing from New Jersey back into Pennsylvania, where we ran into a ‘Sobriety Checkpoint.’ Knowing we were not drunk (although I am thinking a drink was probably sounding pretty good to Rob right about then,) we waited our turn in line, where we were instructed to have our license and registration ready. When our turn came, we were asked a quick ‘Have you been drinking tonight?‘ and then were directed into a parking lot, where we were informed we would be receiving a written warning for our cracked windshield.
This took them forever and all Rob and I wanted to do was go home. When we were finally released, written warning in hand, we were hoping like heck that we would not run into any more trouble along the way. We had had more than enough excitement for one day. We arrived home a little after 11pm.
Monday morning I called to pay the toll, just as we were told to do, and was informed there was absolutely nothing we could do. Everything was electronic, so we just have to wait for the citation to arrive in the mail, at which point we are allowed one forgiveness on an ‘accidents happen’ basis, and will only have to pay the toll amount. This seems like a lot of trouble for a $1 toll…
Needless to say, it was not the best trip we have ever had, but I suppose there are bound to be bad ones from time to time. I don’t think we have had a trip that bad since we went to Seattle back in 2006, and believe me, that trip was far worse. There were no doubts that we were going to put New York on our map. We may not have spent the night, but unless someone is going to drive us back in, we won’t be going back anytime soon.
As I mentioned earlier, we walked down to the 9/11 Memorial. They did a wonderful job of preserving the site, and it was absolutely beautiful. We would have liked to go into the museum, but it was a little out of our price range, so we just walked around the fountains.
I am glad we had the chance to go to New York, but it sure felt good to get ‘home!’