Parking and other pains...
Okay, today...believe it or not...I’m going to finish up with our trip to Durham. No. Really. I am.
There was only one minor (albeit comic) disaster along the way.
About the photo: nothing to do with Durham, but this is from San Antonio, which is where we’re headed next. It is from one of our earlier visits to the city -- 2017 -- when the kids were still living there. David and Emily discovered a local restaurant named “Tucker’s” and so naturally we had to visit. Food wasn’t bad at all, actually. Give it a shot if you’re there.
So, Monday, we got ourselves to the airport without a problem. We returned our rental car and then got through TSA. (Amazingly enough, there was no line at the metal detectors. We just popped up to the desk, the nice agents said, “come on through,” and that was it. Clearly, we *should* have known something was coming.)
We had two flights -- the first to Dallas, and the second from Dallas to Austin. Both were uneventful.
We got to Austin. We were exhausted by that time. And it was brutally hot. But, we knew we were parked in the Blue Garage. And we knew ...just *knew* ...where my car was in the aforesaid Blue Garage. “It’s D103, floor 3,” Martha said, confidently.
“Exactly,” I said, with equal confidence.
You see where this is going, don’t you?
Of course you do.
There was no car in D103. Floor 3. None. Zip. Nada.
But no problem, right? ‘Cause the Blue Garage has a system where you can go up to a big terminal near the entrance and enter your license plate number and it will try to find your car for you. Great! So we hurried to that big terminal and...
We couldn’t remember my license plate number. (It’s a new car.) I had the license plate number for *Martha’s* car. And I had the license plate number for the *rental* car we’d had in Durham.
But, the number for *my* car? No way, José. Or Fred. Or anyone else.
Martha got out her phone and tried to contact our insurance company to see if they had a record of my plate number...but, of course, we were in a garage, and didn’t have any bars, any reception, I mean...and...and...and...
Insert here the sound of me bashing my head on the concrete.
Fortunately, people have frequently commented, admiringly, on my native ability at rhythm.
I got Martha to stand in a relatively cool spot in the garage (as in only 98 and not 101) and started my search. I went up one row and down next. I kept clicking my key fob in hopes of hearing the car horn bark (it didn’t). On and on and on I searched...and searched...and searched...
And then...just about the time I completed the twenty-seventh row...
You don’t suppose? It couldn’t be? I mean, it wouldn’t be possible...
I went up the stairs to Floor 4.
Wanna know what was in parking lot D103. Go ahead. Guess. I dare you. I double dog dare you.
Yep. My car. It was there. Neat as a pin. Big as life and twice as infuriating.
I got in, cranked up the air conditioner, and hurried down to pick up Martha. She looked at me, and my car, with a bit of ye olde barely leashed fury in her face. “Where?” she said, through clinched teeth.
“Floor four,” I answered.
“Four?” she said.
“Not, as you say, three.”
“G*d D**m it to f**king h*ll.” she said, in dulcet tones and her most ladylike manner.
“That sums it up nicely, yes,” I replied, thoughtfully.
We got home just after dark.
So that our trip to Durham. Except for the incident at the airport, it was really quite fun. And, honestly, I understand now why Vincent lives there. I must confess, if need be, I could be comfortable in that city myself.
But, there’s more to come! Because, of course, Durham’s not the end of our travels.
Next time, San Antonio, where we’ll revisit the River Walk and...for the very first time...hear a Transatlantic Session...
And with only a few, small, insignificant, but colorful fiascos to spice things up.
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