Since it was raining the day we went to the beach, my parents stayed under the shelter (most of the time) and then went back to sit in the car. My mom had knee surgery last year and still (sometimes) has difficulties getting around. If she is going to the mall or somewhere that she doesn’t have a grocery cart to push, and has a lot of walking, she brings her walker. She also has a handicapped tag for her car.So at Wrightsville Beach my parents had the car in a Handicapped spot with the tag hanging from the mirror. We had paid to park at a spot down the road before we realized that it was too far from the facilities (bathrooms, etc) and then moved the car to another part of the beach. I didn’t think that we needed to pay again…We were sitting in the car eating lunch and watching a group of teens in trouble with the Police for under-aged drinking at the beach, when a city truck pulled up. A man got out and started collecting the money from the machine.
I walked up to him to find out if we needed to pay again. Mom was behind me, although we weren’t far from the city worker I was having difficulties hearing because my hearing aids weren’t in (sand + rain + sea + hearing aids = big trouble). As I approached he asked if I needed to pay. I explained that we paid down the road and weren’t sure if we needed to pay again (it was $2/hour). He asked if we were in the car with the handicapped tags. And then explained that we didn’t need to pay at all.
Apparently, if you have handicapped tags you are exempt from paying the parking fees at Wrightsville Beach. The city worker started to explain that this was the case all over town and if we were going to be there for a few days…well, we were leaving shortly.
Mom thanked the worker (we now know if we ever get to the beach in Wrightsville again) and explained that the boys and I were visiting from Colorado. She continued to tell him that this was the boys’ first trip to the ocean.
The city worker was interested in the Colorado part. His daughter used to live there (she moved to California). Which part of Colorado? Parker. The same town we live in. He had been out to visit and thought it was a pretty nice place. I agree.
And it is a very small world. I don’t know why this surprises me, but every time I make a connection with someone, I am surprised.