Free Parking

August 15th, 2009

No, I am not talking about a game of Monopoly, but it was almost as sweet as landing on “Free Parking” in Monopoly. Yesterday Marcel and I ran to a store in the next town over that I was hoping had chocolate-covered sunflower kernels. I’d seen them last week when I’d gone with the girls to another town, and since this was the same chain but another location, I was hoping and praying that they’d have them here as well. Sure enough, they did and I grabbed four containers of them, since the price was great and it gives me a touch of chocolate without going overboard in the calorie department.

The shopping center where we were at has just changed their paid parking process, and now instead of feeding coins into a machine that gives you a ‘time card’ to put on your dashboard (and considers you late if you aren’t back by the time on the card- which risks a fine), they’ve changed it to driving through an area where you grab a card- the gate opens and you insert your card into a machine when you’re ready to leave and you pay for the ‘actual’ time you’ve been parked, as opposed to a ‘guestimated’ time that you’d be there. It’s the city’s way of attempting to keep people from paying too much for parking.

When we drove in and pressed the button for our card, the card was blank. I looked at Marcel as he handed it to me and drove through the entrance. (I’m the keeper of the card when we are in places that have them.) I made a joke that it must be ‘free parking weekend’ since the fair was in town, and he found that amusing, because in this area you ALWAYS are required to pay.

Luckily for us, there was someone there working with the exit gate, so we spoke to her about our blank card. She asked where we got it, immediately called another guy, who looked to be the tech person, to see if this was ‘supposed’ to be the way it was. He looked paniced, ran off and came back with orange cones to block off that lane so no one else could get blank cards… After all, that’s money the city isn’t making with every blank card the machine pops out.

They asked what car we were driving and told us to ‘see them’ when we got ready to leave, which is exactly what we did. They used the key and let us through, but not before she told us to keep the blank card as a momento of our ‘free parking’. I told her I thought I’d frame it, since those things didn’t happen. We laughed, wished her a great weekend and away we went.

I know it isn’t a big deal, but it is those little things that make me smile, and that brought a huge smile to my face. Free Parking- it isn’t just in Monopoly.

2 Responses to “Free Parking”

  1. mub says:

    That happened to us once and we were locked into the parking garage since it was the weekend and there was nobody there manning the gates! We had to call the main office in who-knows-where and have them find someone that could log into the system and let us out!

  2. admin says:

    Yikes!!! that would be freaky. How long did y’all have to wait Kimmie?

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