Monday, March 31, 2014

Country or City?

I've been trying to sit down and write this for quite some time now. The idea actually came to mind while I was in the "big city" visiting my dear friend, Hal. It was actually a mini "forced vacation". My life, like so many of yours, is full, really full. It's so full that my chiropractor saw my appointment book while I was trying to make an appointment, and quipped that my book was more full than his. Yes, some days I feel like I'm following the bouncing ball... all over three counties! A little over a month ago, in the midst of all my daily "stuff", I received a phone call from Hal. Through the course of our conversation, we decided that I needed to take a trip to the city to meet him for lunch the following week, February 12th. Hal had mentioned to pack a bag in case I decided to stay, which I did and so the story begins... Being a country girl at heart, I'm full aware of the country road distractions. I know to be mindful of farm equipment, loose gravel on the side of the road, hidden intersections, tailgaters, railroad crossings, and to try to avoid passing because of all the twists & turns. For this little trip, the first thing I made sure that I had were really goo directions ( and my own personal GPS, Chris, on speed dial). Once I got across the bridge I made sure that I stayed focused, watched for pedestrians, and even the occasional cyclist on this freezing cold day. I was even extra careful to watch all the unusual traffic signs. I arrived safely, picked up Hal outside his building, and proceeded to park near Ariana, a wonderful little Afghan Kebob House. I got a 2 hour parking slip, and carefully placed it on my dashboard in plain view. Time for lunch! We enjoyed an absolutely delicious lunch, coffee, and dessert. Exactly one hour and fifty minutes later, we went to retrieve my car. We walked up & down the street looking for my car. Hmmmm....I'm sure I parked here. Then Hal noticed the sign said "2 Hour Parking. Commercial Vehicles Only 11am - 2pm". Well, I saw the 2 hour parking part! UGH! I had been towed! What's a girl to do? I can tell you this girl left her car, and suitcase, at the impound yard to enjoy the rest of the day wandering around the city. We went to meditation class that night, and then enjoyed an amazing Greek dinner at Uncle Nick's. The next day there was a beautiful snow storm to take pictures of. Hal made a delicious breakfast that morning, and then we chatted endlessly. Later we walked to the impound yard to pay for my car. When I went to get it the nice police officer said to leave it there until the next day as many roads were closed, and I couldn't drive home anyway. We walked to the market, and back to the apartment. That evening we went to see "A Gentleman's Guide to Love & Murder" followed by an unbelievably amazing dinner at La Masseria. Friday after breakfast, I walked to the impound yard to retrieve my car and head home feeling totally refreshed. I must say, it was the most enjoyable unexpected getaway. Funny how you learn to do without your "things" when you're really genuinely relaxing and enjoying yourself. Lesson learned (sorta), city driving and country driving are TOTALLY different. The auto insurance rates in cities are on the whole higher than in the country. There's more traffic, higher crime rates, more pedestrians, and more bicyclists. All these factors contribute to higher automobile insurance rates. Couple the higher rates with the parking tickets & impound fees.. I'll take the country over the city any day! What do you think?