We moved here almost two years ago, but for all intent and purposes we don’t have a clue how to get around well in areas we don’t travel to regularly. Case in point, last fall one of my son’s and his family came out for a visit. We planned a day trip to go see the Space Needle and Pike Place Market. We not so brightly parked at the Space Needle went up to the top, then walked across the street to eat lunch. Consulting my trusty cell phone, the distance from the Space Needle to Pike Place Market didn’t look that far. After a consultation among four adults that didn’t have a clue how to get around well in downtown Seattle, we headed off on foot.
The walk to Pike Place Market wasn’t so bad, it was an all downhill mile long walk. The walk back to the car was a different story, a mile long walk uphill, did I mention with two children under six? It wasn’t until about a month later, I found out there was a monorail that goes from the Space Needle to the Pike Place Market area. I’m surprised my son still speaks to me.
We have more family coming to visit soon and we want to avoid a repeat of that fiasco, so we decided to check out the light rail system from the airport to downtown Seattle. This weekend is hosting the Spring Flower and Garden Show at the Washington State Convention Center and we thought this would be the perfect opportunity to check out the rail system and how it works. We wanted to see how hard it would be to get to Pike Place Market, the Space Needle, the aquarium then back home and if will be worth the effort.
Since Mitch works at the airport and has access to free employee parking, we thought that would be a perfect parking place. The only hitch is that only badged airport employees can ride the bus to the airport. That meant Mitch would have to drop me off at transit station stop, go park the car, ride the bus to the airport, then walk to the transit stop to meet me. Mitch pulled up to the curb and I jumped out of the car. No sooner had I pulled my left foot out of the car to step up on the curb, did a police siren go off. Right behind us was a transit police officer, and I thought what did we do? I stepped back and Mitch waved me off so I walked farther away out of earshot so I couldn’t hear what was said.
As I walked up the stairs to the train, I kept watch hoping the police officer would just give him a warning, but it didn’t look that way. Less than five minutes went by, the officer walked back to our car and handed Mitch a piece of paper. I was pretty sure, it wasn’t a coupon for Starbucks.
Yes sir, it was a ticket. It was a ticket for violating the HOV lane. The second I stepped fully out of the car, Mitch was violating the HOV ordinance, can you believe it? If I’d just stayed in the car, we would have been golden, but for the split-second I was out of the car and before Mitch pulled away from the curb, we broke the HOV law. And now evidently it is not cheap to break the HOV law, one hundred thirty-six dollars for a split second. Talk about an expensive day trip.
Note to self – find another drop off spot.