Tighten your Beltway

WP_20140707_21_18_10_ProSasha woke with a case of Guliani’s Revenge, and was not looking good. We were supposed to catch the bus down to Washington D.C., but I thought that might be a bit hard with her feeling sick. We called up a rental agency and found a one way car we could rent just a few blocks away. The girls packed and went to the lobby to wait while I walked over to get the car.

Getting the car was easy. My problem was driving back through morning Manhattan traffic to get to the hotel. I had a pretty good idea of the layout of the city to get there, but navigating the taxi and pedestrian traffic was going to be interesting. Getting the correct combination of one way streets was another puzzle to solve.

I pulled out of the rental place and turned down the street. It was one-way, away from the hotel. No worries, I could take the next left. I did, which took me towards the hotel, and I quickly realized that this was the exit ramp into the Lincoln Tunnel. Not good. I pulled into a Driveway, and weaved through a parking lot so I wasn’t sent out into New Jersey. The lot let out into another one way, away from the hotel. I followed this further towards the waterfront, and got on a main arterial. This was good. Unfortunately, the first left I could make was several blocks past the hotel again, so I had to find another left to get me uptown.

The cabs were largely leaving me alone, I think using the turn signal was confusing them, as no one else seemed to know what these lights were for. My next puzzle to solve was that none of the streets allowed left turns uptown. So I ended up looping around the Empire State building with a series of right turns. I ended up circling the farmer’s market from earlier in the week, cut through some kind of delivery alley, but ended up heading north, towards the hotel finally.

The cabs were much more aggressive here, but I was feeling more comfortable with the tailgate-and-brake-randomly dynamic, and made my way over the avenue, hitting the left turn onto 39th just in time. I pulled in front of the hotel, loaded the girls in, and we were gone. I already knew how to get into the Lincoln Tunnel, so now it was just a matter of traffic.

The car was a good call. Sasha lay down in back and took a big nap. We stopped a few times to snack and rest, but by taking it easy she was feeling better by the time we were in Maryland. Our hotel was in Alexandria, Virginia, so we circled the beltway, and avoided most of the city traffic.

Our next hotel was outside the city, not too far from Old Town Alexandria. We had a short walk to the metro station to go into town, and a much bigger room.

We took a little walk in the evening around the area. The cicadas were out in force, and the air was clear. New York was fun, but it was nice to be out of the city.