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» Tuesday, November 07, 2006A Slice of Nice Between Two Pieces of Annoyance
We had a fab, if tiring, day today at the Air and Space Museum. We were able to visit all the available galleries (the one devoted to things from the history museum won't open until next week) except for one with the older aircraft so we were footsore, but happy. Played with a lot of the gadgets, watched several of the short films including an older one narrated by Douglas Fairbanks Jr. about how World War I aviators were portrayed on film, visited the Gift Shop (it's a State Law) (James bought a couple of books; I didn'tI'm still really bummed at not having all those wonderful books in the history museum to choose from; I'd been saving up for the trip!), went to visit the Enterprise model down in the toy area of the gift shop, watched them set up for some sort of occasion tonightthey were setting up a bar and tables and everything (and had several exhibits and the big beautiful space mural on one side of the open area in the center blocked; I thought that was pretty poor treatment for visitors)and had lunch at their "Food Court" which included a Donato's, but you can't order the specialty pizzas like you can at a real Donato's, so we got the Boston Market chicken instead. You can order either a quarter light or dark, with corn and mashed potatoes, that's it. For this privilege they charge you $3.00 more than the going rate at any other Boston Market.
The going and the coming, that was a problem.
Because we'd had the toilet contretemps last night, we were up late and up late this morning. When we arrived at the Vienna Metro Station, every parking place was filled. I mean every single space on the ground and in two five-deck parking garages. The only spaces open were these reserved spaces that only allow parking from 2 a.m. to 10 a.m. We ended up parking in one of these because after over half an hour of driving around, it was finally after 10 a.m.! Even all the metered spaces were taken (except for the seven-hour meters, which weren't long enough). It was extraordinary. The place wasn't full like this yesterday. Don't people work on Monday here?
So this is why we missed one of the galleries at Air and Space, because we didn't get downtown until after eleven.
When we got back from downtown we discovered they are now charging for parking at these lots (they didn't charge two years ago). It was cloudy and grey all day, had begun drizzling when we emerged from Air and Space, and was raining in earnest when we got to the station. They don't take cash or credit cards at the exit because the booths are not manned; the only way to get out was using something called a SmartTrip card. We thought about getting one yesterday, but I thought it was a bit of a rip-off. You have to pay $10.00 for the initial card, but you only get $5.00 credit for subway use; the other $5.00 is for the production of the card!!!!! Like it cost $5.00 to make the stupid card. They probably turn them out for a nickel apiece.
So I had walk back to the station to get the SmartTrip card to ransom the car from the lot. I had to use my debit card because the machines only take a $10.00 bill. Sheesh.
Times like this make me appreciate the T in Boston.
So we grabbed a couple of sandwiches at Subway, had supper, and are now watching House.