I grew up in the country - roads ran on a grid system, life was simple. Then we moved to the Hampton Roads area where all bets are off while driving. The cul de sac of America. Your compass will say north but the road signs say east (or west!) and there is hardly a 90-degree intersection to be found. Multi-lane highways fly along then suddenly come to a screeching hault. Ugh.
So when I saw the map for our family field trip to Philadelphia, I was very confident I could drive myself and 4 little ones through this big city. It's one huge grid system! The streets are numbered (in a logical order) and the cross streets are named after trees, like every proper city should have. I attributed this orderly system to Ben Franklin (he did everything else there, right?)
We dropped hubby off at his conference 9am and hit the road into town, high on adrenaline. Oh. MY!
I will never complain about I-64 again. It's a cake walk compared to the stretch of I-76 going into Philly. Yikes. But we made it. I even found a parking spot in the 6-floor garage next to the archaeology museum. Life was good. We settled in for a day in dimly lit rooms looking at things that moved at an extremely slow pace. Those mummies weren't going anywhere.
Bouyed by my morning success, I bundled the kids back and headed across the Schuykill river into the heart of the city. Sky scrapers! Taxis cutting me off! Pedestrians who KNOW they have the right of way! I was on a yarn crawl, folks, and nothing could get me down, not even the chorus of tired whiny voices when they figured out where Mama was bringing them. I easily found the first of many yarn shops on my list and even found a parking spot right around the corner! Too good to be true! I did double check that it wasn't too close to the corner, by a hydrant, or marked "handicapped." Bingo! We dashed in the yarn shop for 20 min, then dashed out, bag of wool in hand.
The Philadelphia police force is a top-notch crime-cracking team. Out of state red minivans seem to draw their attention, especially those parked in front of a driveway. Drat! This officer was a fast-worker with Extra-Sensory-Perception. The parking ticket he put under my wiper was for the EXACT same amount as my yarn shop bill.
It's gray & cloudy, been drizzling on us all day, 4 kiddos are tired and complaining, my ability to process ANYTHING else new is kaput, and now there's a parking ticket to tell my hubby about. I did not cry (Dutch people don't cry). I laughed. Really. I hope you are too!