Monday, November 28, 2005

Busy Weekend

It's been unusually busy the last few days around here. I haven't had a lot of opportunity to keep up on what's happening in the news, let alone in the blogosphere. Apparently my son not only got Thanksgiving and the next day off from school, but he has today off, too!

I have fallen woefully short of my goal to write 50,000 words by November 30, too. I will not make it. I am currently stalled at 23,600 thereabouts.

While some people dread the advent of "Empty nest syndrome", I can't wait.

I did have an enjoyable Saturday, though. My son has been visiting a website lately which includes a forum on skateboarding, where skateboarding enthusiasts can post their comments about all kinds of skateboard subjects, and even subjects that have nothing to do with skateboarding. Through the site, he met a new skateboarding friend who lives in Gaithersburg, Maryland, which is near here but closer to Washington DC.

Saturday, he made plans with his friend to meet at a skatepark in Arlington, Virginia. These plans could not be finalized without getting permission from me, the mode of transportation. Ordinarily, I would have refused to drive that far just so he could skateboard, but it happens that my friend, Ursarodinia, (her internet non de plume) is staying in Waldorf, MD, recuperating from an auto accident while traversing the country on her own "See America" tour. So, I took advantage of the trip to the Arlington skatepark to travel the additional 33 miles to visit her.

I had my set of Mapquest directions all printed out to aid me in my journey, so predictably, I got lost. (Mapquest has a habit of directing you onto streets that have different names on the signs) But eventually, using my own acute sense of direction and no small amount of ingenuity ( I looked at a map.) I eventually found the skatepark. My son had much less trouble finding his online friend. They were skating together in a matter of less than a minute after we arrived.

Then, after making sure he was in good hands, and with my trusty mapquest directions in hand, I then proceeded to Waldorf, MD to visit "Ursa", as I call her. Naturally, I exited highway I-395 about one exit early and found myself on the famous thoroughfare known as Independence Avenue. Soon I found myself driving along with massive stone buildings on either side of me with provocative names like "The U.S. Treasury", "The Smithsonian Institution", and "The National Holocaust Museum", etc.

Arriving at the intersection of Independence Ave, and Capitol Blvd, I produced my cell phone to call and let Ursa know that I may never find my way out of DC without a map. She seemed quite impressed when I mentioned that I could plainly see the US Capitol building on my left.

I realized at that time that all I had to do to get out of DC was to follow Capitol Blvd until I found the next place on my directions. The only problem was, the DC police had that street and most of the others heading south from Independence Ave barricaded, so I continued down Independence until I finally had a chance to turn and backtrack a couple of blocks further south. Whew!

Anyway, I found my way to where Ursa was hibernating (Latin scholars, appreciate the humor here), and Her and I had a nice visit. We drove a few blocks to Subway and had sandwiches, I let her take my picture, we conversed for an hour or two, then I had to return to the skatepark and retrieve my son.

I think I should add here, that following mapquest directions in reverse is almost impossible. I had to stop three times to ask directions before I found the skatepark again, only to find I had neglected to leave my son any refreshment or money to get any while I was gone. I was severely chastised for that, which was absolutely deserved.

Ursa and I have a tentative date to visit the Washington DC sites when she recovers more fully from her injuries. Right now, she can't do too much due to severely bruised ribs. Both of us want to visit the monuments and memorials and, if we have time, the Smithsonian.

My son wants to return to that skatepark next week.

I don't know if I want to make that trip again that soon, after all, I don't have the luxury of sleeping all the way there and back.

Go here to see what's happening in the news. Yeah. What she said.


Etchen said...

I have had lots of problems with Mapquest too! More than once they have said to turn the wrong way(twice I was turn turn the wrong way on a one way street) yahho maps is much better.

Pamela Reece said...

Sounds like you had quite the adventure, but worth the bad directions! My son is a skateboarder and if I would limo him every skatepark in the state, or in the Midwest, he'd have me do it. Unfortunately for him, I hate driving and can't follow a map for the life of me. I guess we women dont have those built-in compasses you men seem to have! Great Pic!

FrenziedFeline said...

Sounds like a nice day, even with getting lost. Just think, next time you'll know what you're doing! ;)

TECH said...

23,000 words is nothing to be ashamed of, dude. You did good!