Wednesday, April 14, 2010

The District: Day Two

As I re-read last night's post I got a great laugh out of my intentions to have an early bedtime. Because the children were thrilled beyond belief at the opportunity to have a slumber party with their friends M & S, bedtimes were in the 9-10pm range. Wake-up, of course, was not 7am all five of the children were awake, energized and ready for adventure.

We enjoyed breakfast in the hotel's atrium before heading into the city. Because the museum didn't open until 10am, we spent some time on the National Mall to release some energy in the way of yelling and running (big no-nos within the confines of the hotel.) When the Museum of Natural History opened we were ready to explore. What a terrific museum! We spent five (mostly) enjoyable hours there with 5 children under 7.

At lunch we took a chance to enjoy the sunshine and the carousel on the Mall. The Daddies were able to take a 2 hour break from their seminars to join us for tag in the sunshine.My friend from high school, Kat, drove in from Northern Virginia for a brief reunion before we ventured back into the museum for a 3D Imax movie. I hadn't seen my sweet friend in 6 years. She drove over 2 hours round trip for a 30 minute visit. Old friends are good friends!

We then took a walk down to see the Capitol building. It became clear that our children were exhausted so we set about the seemingly simple task of hailing cabs back to our hotel. The girls went with Laurie in the first cab, while the boys and I waited for a second one. Oh what a frustrating experience that proved to be!
In 10 minutes I managed to flag down three taxis--all of which refused to transport us to our Maryland hotel at rush hour. At this point both boys were sitting on the ground, their tired bodies refusing to walk another step. A text to Laurie led to a revealing conversation with her cab driver about the reasons they didn't want to waste a trip to MD (more detail than is necessary in this post). His advice was to hop in a cab, buckle up and let him start driving before I revealed my destination. It took a few more minutes to find an empty taxi, but when I did I followed his advice. Incredibly, the cab driver then pulled over and told me to get out. He was not driving to Maryland. (It was 15-20 minutes away.) At this point my face was burning hot, the boys both started crying and I tried to appeal to his emotions.
"Are you really going to put me out with these little boys? We are tired. It is hot. Please give us a ride."
"No! I will not take you. Get out of the cab."
I have to confess I was not nice.
P cried, "Why won't anyone take us back? Why doesn't anybody know how to get there? Will we have to walk the WHOLE way?"
"No, this man knows how to get there, he would just rather make more money than help someone who needs it." I am not proud of myself, but it sure did make me feel better to say it. Unfortunately, the heartless man behind the wheel didn't seem to care.
At this point, I called my husband for advice. Just the sound of his voice made me cry. What a sight we were--Mama and two boys all crying in front of the nation's capitol. As I wiped away the tears I promised P we would laugh about this one day.
"Why?" he asked.
That made me laugh a little even in the midst of my frustration.
A few moments later an angel in a taxi cab pulled up and kindly rescued us. He also informed me that it is against the law for a taxi driver in DC to refuse to transport you to a destination once you are in their cab. That driver better watch out if I spot him tomorrow!
Despite the frustrating ending, it truly was a wonderful day. We made it back to the hotel, went for a swim and feasted on mexican food for dinner. Needless to say the children were fast asleep within 5 minutes of lights out!
Looking forward to one last day of fun tomorrow!


Liz said...

Oh my gosh! How awful that the taxi drivers were so mean like that!! Glad God sent you an angel!

Mom Guide said...

Oh I am so sorry you had that experience with the cab driver. They can be ruthless near the capital. But if you had gotten his cab number you could have reported him.

If you want to see the mall with the kiddos the open top double deckers tour buses are "hop on get off hop on" one price for the entire day. Most hotels have the info. It is a fun way to get the kids to the major sights in the mall without hailing a cab every time and less walking and great adventure.
Be Blessed

Kylie and crew. said...

Ooooh that story made me mad!! Thank goodness for that sweet cab driver. Have a wonderful day tomorrow!

Bailey's Leaf said...

I'm so sorry for the cab ride experience. Normally, they shaft you big time on price, but I haven't been kicked out yet. How horrible to be so heartless to a mom with two boys.

You did still pray for him last night, right? Hard, I know, but I find that sometimes those are the folks who need prayer the most. Put the meat tenderizer of prayer on their hearts.

elizabeth said...

Just reading it I started to tear up when he told you to "Get out"! How rude and frustrating not to mention, I'm sure a little helpless feeling too. When I'm like that and I hear the voice of someone who loves me, I too cry...release all the emotion. Here's hoping for a better day today. :)

As You Wish said...

I'm impressed that you were able to still keep your good day in perspective and not let that ending ruin it for you. That must have been so frustrating. I know I would have been furious.

God bless you and have a wonderful last day of adventure.

Mollie said...

just a tip. I am a nanny of two little people. I brought the kid's scooters for the national mall. Made the distance tolerable and enjoyable treat for kids.

Sammy said...

I used to live in Brooklyn and the same thing would happen when I tried to get a cab from Manhattan. But I'd just get in the cab first and then point out that it's illegal to kick someone out. I really wish you had known that, because that man was just awful for kicking you all out. He relied on the fact that you wouldn't know the law. Glad you still had a good time though!