Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Worst. Knitting Group Meet-up. Ever.

Actually, I'm sure the meet-up was actually quite lovely- the thing is, I never made it there. Instead, I spent two hours looking for it.

You see, I'm fairly new to the DC Metro area. I don't know many people my age here, so I thought that attending a meeting of the DC Metro 20 Somethings group from Ravelry would be a great way to meet people. I'm in my 20s, and I live in DC- I'd fit right in! I still think it was a good idea, but so very many things went wrong.

They said that everyone gets to the meet-up between 6 and 6:30, and googlemaps said that it wasn't very far away, so I figured I'd leave around 5:30, so that I'd have plenty of time to get there within that window. I got delayed because a woman subletting an apartment that I'm interested in called- so I left a little later, around 5:40.

Of course, I'm used to getting on I-295 and heading North, not South- so I got on it in the wrong direction. I quickly got off at the next exit to correct the problem- and my GPS tried to convince me to drive through a fence. I'm not exaggerating. The GPS kept insisting that I needed to go where that fence was. Of course, I decided not to do such a thing to my car- but this certainly slowed us down. As an added "bonus," I got to hear the weary, annoyed voice of my GPS yelling "recalculating…recalculating…" every time that I wouldn't drive through the damn fence.

Finally, I got back on I-295 headed in the right direction (yay!) At this point, my GPS was still informing me that I had plenty of time to get there. So, I was headed in the right direction, excited to go meet knitters my age- and the GPS had me get off at an exit. I followed its directions, and made a loop. Suddenly, however, things started to look really familiar- my GPS was driving me in circles in Northern Virginia. Great. The "estimated arrival time" predictor feature was increasing by the minute, and I was starting to hope that I'd get there by 7:00.

I finally figured out the GPS issue, and got onto I-66, where I was supposed to be. And then I stopped. Not because I wanted to stop, but because everyone else was stopped. It was bumper-to-bumper, only-a-few-miles-an-hour traffic. The arrival numbers were ticking past 7:00 as I inched along. At this point, I thought about turning back- but wasn't even sure my GPS could get me back.

After inching along, I finally arrived at my exit, then drove to my destination: the mall that had the Panera where I was supposed to meet everyone. I found the mall (yay!). I drove past the Panera (double yay!). But, of course, being Arlington, there was no frickin' street parking. I finally found a garage, and then drove around it forever looking for a space. Finally found a space, and breathed a sigh of relief- I thought I was finally good to go.

Then, I couldn't figure out how to get out of the parking garage. There was a sign that said "elevators" with an arrow, but the arrow was pointing in the direction of the car exit- definitely not the place for a pedestrian. I finally found a stairwell and got out of the garage.

I then wandered around the area for awhile, looking for the Panera. I walked and looked and walked and looked- I could not find the Panera in relation to the parking garage exit that I had used. At this point, it was about 7:45ish. I was exhausted (I had only slept 4 hours the night before) and hungry (I was expecting to eat at Panera when I met up with the group). I also had no idea how late the group stayed, but I was already almost two hours late. I figured by the time I'd find them, they'd be leaving. I gave up and headed back.

All in all, it was a two and a half hour round trip. From the Maryland DC suburbs to the Virginia DC suburbs. I really hate driving….