Zoo Trip

In early April 2023, I went on a spring break day trip to the Cincinnati Zoo with my youngest daughter, Cassandra, her two kids Emily and Zachary, and our grandson Conner.  After seeing everything we wanted to see, which took less than three hours, we decided to find a “local” restaurant and have some lunch.  We drove through downtown Cincinnati for a bit looking for an ideal place, then spotted Hathaway’s Diner.  It looked like a 1950s-style establishment and we wanted to go inside.  Next up, finding a place to park.  Needless to say, in downtown Cincinnati, or in any downtown for that matter, accessible and convenient parking is not easily procured.  We drove around the block where we spotted a parking garage.  Okay, sure!  Let’s try it.  We proceed to the ticket machine and I press the button.  Out pops that lil ticket that says our entrance has been granted and we may continue to a parking spot that is happily awaiting our arrival.  Lunch soon, everybody!  Now, this parking garage may be the smallest, and tightest claustrophobia-inducing garage I’ve ever been in.  Deep breath.  We persevere and we go down into a basement before we start to go up the various levels.  Around and around we go as I’m getting more antsy by the second, which began to make the kids nervous as well.  Cassandra exclaims, “It’s just a parking garage.  Everybody calm down!”  

Round and round we go. There was not a space to be found, except one with a “compact car only” sign. I drive a compact car—it’s a Honda Fit, for goodness sake! It can literally “fit” inside about any parking space. All except this one. I think the sign needs to say “Motorcycles only.” Anyway, we continue our spiral through all the levels without finding a place to park. Then, we come upon another ticket machine thingy. End of the line? Are we starting over? Confused and a lil nervous because two other cars were behind us, I kind of half parked in an illegal space so I could take a moment to evaluate the situation. Spring break gone bad: Family trapped in downtown parking garage! Then, Emily said, “They’re putting their tickets in there.” They’re putting their tickets in there? Okay, so I backed out of the illegal space and drove toward the ticket thingy. I inserted my ticket into the slot that says “insert ticket here” and anxiously watch the screen to see how much I owed for this nonsensical and unfruitful merry-go-round ride. The machine beeps and the screen says, “Thank you. Have a nice day!” as the gate simultaneously opens for us. That was weird. A turn or two and we’re back out on the street where we see a sign that reads, “GARAGE FULL.”



Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s