We had a family trip to Washington, D.C. this last weekend; at the beginning, a trip from hell. Renee drove down from New York, and Steve, Robin, Charna and I drove from here. We were supposed to leave on Friday and meet Steve’s brother and family there for the last day of their President’s week trip. But Mike got the flu and they never left New York. We decided to leave on Saturday and remain through today since Charna had the day off from school today but would have had to miss a day on Friday. Friday evening Richard went into the hospital for the second or third time this year. Robin wasn’t sure we ought to go, or we would go and return on Sunday night. Saturday morning Richard was feeling better so we decided to go. We piled into their minivan, got about a mile from their house and Steve hit a pothole and blew the right front tire. There we sat, on a relatively high-speed road, waiting for AAA, which took far too long, to come and fix it. By this time it was after 11 a.m. We were hoping to get to DC early so Charna could go and see the pandas. Scratch pandas.
Steve walked home and got my car, then Robin, Charna and I drove back to the house and waited for him while he waited for AAA. I have a lot of mixed feelings about AAA. The only other time I tried to use their service was about 3 p.m. on a sunny, summer day. That time I was put on hold and never even got through to them. This was also a sunny day, a Saturday, but, admittedly, there are lots of potholes in Pittsburgh.
Finally, about 1 p.m., Steve returned to the house with the spare tire on the car. Getting a new tire would have completely killed the day, so we piled into my car (10 years old with almost 120,000 miles) and, happily had an uneventful drive to Washington.
Renee was waiting for us; she had an easy drive. We all went to dinner with friends and spent the evening visiting. Sunday morning Renee and I went to the Smithsonian; Steve, Robin and Charna went to the zoo, which closed as they were walking in. They went to a different museum, then went shopping. We met up for dinner, then went to the Folger to see King Lear. This morning was relatively warm and sunny in DC so we went to the zoo and got our fill of pandas. Then another uneventful trip back to Pittsburgh, which is not so warm or sunny.