"We could meet at the zoo?" my cousin says. She and her family have traveled from New England for a long weekend. They are staying about ten minutes, by foot, from the zoo.
Although I suggest swimming and a park, more in the middle of our locations, I know that she has suggested the zoo and thus, I will end up traveling to the zoo.
I like the zoo. There is absolutely nothing wrong with the zoo. It is simply that the zoo, in late July, on the weekend, usually means, loads of hot and sticky people crowded into small areas trying to see animals that are doing their best to escape the heat.
It also means a journey from my nice little piece of Virginia into the city via public transportation.
"let's meet between 9:30 and 10:00 - just call us when you get there."
Thus, the Diva and I forego our much needed lie in to wake early and grab a taxi to the metro station where we begin our journey to the zoo.
Due to weekend Metro schedules, I was allowing 1.5 hours to arrive at the zoo.
As we are waiting on the platform, an announcement is made stating that there is a delay on the redline at Judiciary Square due to an emergency. The Diva and I check the map. We will take the red line north - Judiciary Square is to the south, so we should be okay. Plus, they have forty five minutes to get everything cleared. We should be good to go.
We board the train when it arrives and head to DC.
I enjoy Metro. There is something about traveling underground that intrigues me. The train feels as if it is moving at high speeds, whisking me through a foreign world that exists beneath and in tandem with the world above. Cloaked in darkness, I know that there is more beyond the windows of the train than I am seeing.
We arrive at the transfer point in good time. The Diva is the Navigator for this trip, a job which she is taking to heart. She has examined the maps several times to ensure we are on track, verifying the numbers of stops, and checking train arrival times.
We find, on our next platform, that our train has been effected by the problem at the more southern stop. And then the adventure begins.
You see, DC has a fairly clean Metro system, but, like in many cities, it is loud. The PA system does not work as well as it should. Messages are often lost in the arrival and departures of trains.
And I misunderstood the message.
We boarded the train I thought we were to board and let the station - going the wrong way.
The navigator was not pleased!
We got off at the next station and discovered that we could not return to the station we had just left. The only answer recommended was "find a taxi." Okay, but when we left the station, there were no taxis. The streets were fairly quiet. It was a typical DC Sunday morning. I kept trying to call my cousin to inform her of the situation. She was not answering her phone. (We found out after arriving at the zoo that she had not charged it)
We entered the station and decided to take a trip on other lines to get back to the station where we were supposed to catch our second train. The Navigator plotted a course that included blue and orange lines - and we were off.
"Remember when you said you wanted an adventure?" I asked. "Is this an adventure?"
"This counts as an adventure!" The Diva is loving this except for the fact that we are going to be late to the zoo.
We successfully arrived back at our station and returned to the platform to wait and look for our train.
And we waited.
Thirty minutes into the wait I was tempted to go back to the train that brought us and return home. As you can imagine, this idea was not well received.
The train finally came...
on the other side of the platform.
We scurried over in hopes that the next train would be coming soon - which it did.
Three plus hours after leaving our house, we finally arrived at the zoo where we had a great time. The Diva ran and entertained her younger cousins. The sun spent most of its day hiding behind the clouds. The threat of rain must have kept people indoors (or the release of the Simpson's movie) as there were very few people walking the grounds. The thunder started about 2, but the rain never fell. It was truly a nice day.
The trip home was uneventful (which was fabulous) Despite the weekend schedule, we did not wait longer than five minutes for either of our trains. We arrived back in Virginia to find a light rain, cool breezes, and a fabulous friend to drive us home.