I feel like I'm living in a zoo every day. Only, my "animals" are more cute and smell a lot better (well, that is up for debate when concerning Liam's diaper). There are jumping on, climbing up, falling down and crawling in moments all the time, just like the animals at the Smithsonian National Zoo in Washington, D.C. So last Thursday, I decided to kill two birds with one stone (no animals were really harmed) and take the boys for a day out and give Uber Family a try as well. Did I mention there is no admission fee to visit the zoo? It's free!
The drive to D.C. can be an easy one, or, it can be extremely stressful. I always strive to get an early start to avoid rush hour traffic and to map the day around Liam's nap schedule. It always seems like a great plan, but rarely happens. I am the worst at getting out the house on time. Our visit to the zoo was no different.
I decided to take the Metrorail into the city. It was a bit more work with a toddler and stroller. I did it to see if I could actually do it. It was Liam's first time riding. He did great, for the most part. He was looking around a bit, trying to familiarize himself with the surroundings. I had to hold him for a little bit until he was comfortable. I made sure we were on at a low peak time. The carts were pretty empty.
They Woodley Park-Zoo/Adams Morgan stop is about three blocks away from the entrance of the Smithsonian National Zoo. There is an uphill climb for all you stroller users. I am out of shape, so I paused to catch my breath at the top. Go ahead – laugh. I did. I saw a petite lady pushing a double stroller with weight-lifting gloves on, stopping every ten feet. I couldn't resist stopping and saying, "You are getting yourself a workout today." She smiled and laughed...and we left them in the dust.
The zoo opened at 10 AM on Thursday. We arrived shortly after noon and there were quite a few people. It was mostly field trips from the summer camps. Still, it was a lot of bodies walking around. I like using my stroller as a way to break up crowds and have people move out of my way. Watch out or you will have your ankles attacked.
We had no real plan. We just walked around the park. We did want to see the Asian elephants and the Giant Pandas (they were busy breeding).
The rest was just stop as you go. Whatever we saw, we stopped and looked. A lot of the exhibits were empty. That was a bummer. Make sure you map out times and locations to maximize your sitings. Here is a summary of our day in pictures:
We stayed at the zoo for a couple of hours. I wanted to beat the rush hour traffic, but that didn't really happen either. Instead of doing another transfer on the Metrorail with the heavy stroller, I decided to give uberFamily a try and take it all the way to the station we parked at in Suitland, MD.
I first opened the Uber app. on my phone. I wanted to get a Fare Quote to determine the cost of the ride and to see if uberFamily was available for our destination. Location services determined that we were at the entrance of the zoo, so I chose this as my Pick-up Location. You can also type in the address for more accuracy. I then typed in my Drop-off location. I was given a fare estimation. I requested a driver.
Uber immediately sends the request. It is dispatched to a driver in the area. You are then told how long it will be before the driver arrives. The map even shows where the car is in real-time.
As you can see, the app. shows you a picture of your driver, their name, his/her rating based on customer reviews and the make and model of the car that will be coming to pick you up. If for some reason you need to contact your driver, you can press the CONTACT button and it will call them.
If you are riding with other passengers, you can also split the fare. The button is at the top and will walk you through how to do so. They, too, must have the Uber app.
**side note: make sure you save enough battery on your phone to use the app. You don't want it to die before you are picked up.
Thomas arrived just as promised. He was very friendly. We folded the stroller and he placed it in the trunk. He then retrieved the car seat from the back of the trunk as well. It was folded up in a bag. He installed it to in the back seat. Then, I strapped (a sleepy) Liam in. We all crawled in the back...and the rest is history.
It was a breeze. Well, the car seat aspect was. Traffic, on the other hand, wasn't the greatest. I didn't mind so much because I had Uber credits in my account, so technically, it wasn't my money being spent. It was worth the cost being able to be a passenger. I had a bit of "me time". I always drive. I enjoyed the scenery, too.
Overall, the ride was good. I am glad that I had a cautious driver. I had both of my boys in the car with me. I wanted him to be extremely careful. I felt like he was. Thomas also did his best to accommodate us. He turned on the air conditioner (a must), he offered us bottles of water, he asked if I wanted to charge my dying cellphone, and he put on music for Liam's enjoyment. Kudos to him.
If you want to know how much my ride was, here is a summary:
It would have been a bit cheaper if we were not using the service during rush hour. I will remember this for our next ride. At least uberX FAMILY provided a 25% discount. My total also does not include the $10 car seat surcharge. This was waived as a promotion for the first week preview of uber Family, thanks to Care.com.
If you are unsure about this uberFamily service, just give it a test run like we did. If you like it, remember to share your feedback and rate your driver. This is very important.
At least I get to take more family "selfies" this way. Ha!
Will you be giving uberFamily a try? If so, here is an invitation to receive $30 off of your first ride using my referral code: https://www.uber.com/invite/uberKeonte. Enjoy!
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I was not required to write this post. I just wanted to share. I did receive a credit from Uber as a thank you for my previous post about the uberFamily service. The opinions and views are my own.