When we were planing my current trip to Washington DC we worked as hard as we could to travel inexpensively. Gina found a flight that saved almost $500 but required me to travel to a nearby airport about an hour distance from my hotel. We spent no small amount of time to determine the cheapest way to get to the hotel. Renting a car was out because of the expensive parking fees in DC. A shuttle service was unpredictable and hard to schedule because of my uncertain arrival time. A taxi was finally selected as our method of choice and we reasoned that even with the high fare it still saved hundreds of dollars over the more expensive but closer flight.
When I landed I stumbled on to a “Super Saver Shuttle” and unable to resist the temptation to save some money I stood in line and found I could get to the hotel for $48 less than a taxi. After waiting forever my turn was called and I boarded the shuttle. To my surprise I found a young child (about 3 yrs old) in a car seat all by himself. I soon learned it was the son of the driver. The young boy informed me that I could not sit by him and suggested I go to the back of the shuttle. I smiled and picked out the seat in front next to the driver. The shuttle soon filled up and when I reached for my seat belt I found a unique surprise. The belt was tied in a knot holding only the shoulder strap in place, the lap belt having been cut off. As we were pulling way the driver leaned over and kindly pulled the shoulder strap over my head as if the make shift seat belt was really going to save my life. I told him to drive safe.
As we stopped at every hotel in the District of Columbia I watched my young three year old friend with interest. He seemed to run the show and if he had a seat belt it surely wasn’t fastened. He barked out commands at his father the driver for coloring books, drinks and gave directions. The van was old and tired but finally I arrived safe and sound and with an extra $48 of the City’s money in my pocket.