Last year Mom and Dad stopped to visit me at my home in the Washington, DC suburbs on their way down to Florida. I want to emphasize suburbs here for future reference. I do not live very close to the city, and there is absolutely no need to pass anywhere near the downtown on the way to Florida. After their visit, I gave Dad directions to get back to I-95 – very easy and clear. The signs are well marked so you can’t miss it. Really, you can’t. Unless, of course, you’re in your early sixties and on your way to Florida.
I received a phone call from Mom about 45 minutes after they left. “I can see the Washington Monument,” she said. “Are we going right?”
“What?” I screamed. “No, you should be halfway to Richmond by now. You shouldn’t even be going anywhere near downtown Washington.”
To this day, I still cannot figure out how they drove into the city. Even if they missed the well-marked signs, they would have landed in a place nowhere near downtown. Now, of course if they had been visiting me so they could see the sights of Washington, there is no way they ever would have made it into the city so fast and easily.
While talking to Mom on the telephone, I was finally able to guide her and Dad back on the right track. About two hours later, I received another phone call from her.
“Mom, if you tell me you are looking at the Jefferson Memorial, then you should just turn around and head back home right now,” I said.
“No, we just made it south of Richmond,” she answered. “We took the I-295 bypass this time,” she added.