21 December 2005

Excuse me, Officer. Can I have a ticket?

I got my first ever parking ticket today. Crap! How did it happen you ask? I'll tell you...It's all because of big waves. There's a high surf advisory at the beaches in San Diego this week; the surf is up to 18 feet in some places. So I took Rachel down to the beach to take a look at the waves. Apparently everyone else in San Diego county had the same idea too. We drove down the coast until we got to Swami's (the best spot in North County). It was packed! It was almost like an amusement park. There were tons of people walking on the sidewalks, cars lined the roads and news cameras everywhere. This had to be the biggest story of the week here. Of course there was no parking. (Swami's has the smallest parking lot of all the beaches here. I've never understood why the best surf spot has the least parking spots...) Anyway so I continued to drive down the coast and noticed that cars were parked on the side of the road. My first reaction was, "Look at all these people parking illegally!" Then I began to wonder if it really was illegal. There were no "No Parking" signs and I couldn't see any other indication that no one could park there. The cars fit so perfectly inside that white line. Dang, should've parked there. Oh, dang, there's another one. Oh here's a perfect spot for me. So I get out, get Rachel and her stroller out and start walking up the coast.

The waves were beautiful. They were outstanding! I love the calmness and rhythm of the ocean, but I love looking at the ocean put on a magnificent show. This was one of those days. The tide was high and the waves were breaking really far out so there was a lot of water to look at. Even Rachel was amazed. When we got out of the car she pointed at the water and went, "Wow!" I hope that she learns to love the ocean like I do. So anyway we started leisurely walking down the pathway stopping every few feet to glance at a set coming in. All of a sudden I hear this voice coming from behind. A motorcycle cop with a microphone was speaking. "You are all parked illegally! This is the bike lane! You will be ticketed and towed if you do not move your vehicles!" "Ah, crap!" I think to myself. Better get back to the car. I hope they don't start ticketing right away! I hurry back to the car not realizing how far we'd walked. It took us a little longer to get back to the car then I expected. When I finally saw our car, I also saw a cop. He had parked his motorcycle in the middle of the road. I hope that he hasn't written me a ticket, I thought. I'm almost here! Oh, please! Then he walks away back to his motorcycle and I see the dull yellow hue reflecting off my windshield. Blast! He got me! I was so mad at myself. I knew that I wasn't supposed to park there. I made eye contact with the cop, hoping he would have compassion on a poor mother of a dang cute kid, but he didn't. He just got on his bike off to write another sucker a ticket. I was even more mad when I got in the car and drove south only to find that the places where you could park were all empty. Just my luck...

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