All spring I've been jonesing for a Vespa. There's a cocktail at Boundary Road on H Street called "I'm Thinking About Getting a Vespa." Isn't that every urbanite's fantasy? That's been my rallying cry for awhile.
A few months ago, my friend Andy sent me a photo text of a red Vespa with a custom license plate spelling out my last name. He texted, "Is this yours?"
No, it wasn't. But it could be! Or rather, could it be a sign? Should I get a Vespa? The more I thought about it, the more it seemed to make sense (if you ignore the expense and the possibility of serious injury). I could zoom up hills without breaking a sweat. I could avoid the weekend 20-minute wait between trains on the Metro. I could park anywhere. Most importantly, I could pick out a cool color for my Vespa.
When I visited Andy and Emily in Norfolk, Andy took me for a spin on his Vespa, a sleek silver model. Here I am, gearing up for the ride:
OK, maybe a Vespa is not going to make me look cooler. I look like a bobblehead.
Looking uneasy in this picture.
And away we go!
Emily and Andy's dog Jasper sees us off on our journey.
That's the first time I've ever been on a moped. What a way to travel. It didn't seem so dangerous, just fun, but then again I wasn't driving. There's a scooter shop in Arlington near work, so one lunch hour I invited my coworker Luther to go check it out. It turned out to be an insurance office attached to a garage, and the guy showed us around for 10 minutes. I felt bad that I wasn't a serious buyer. I took their literature though. Another push towards rationalizing a scooter purchase.
Everyone had mopeds in Paris (see photos above). Talk about living the dream. Scooting around Paris, from flea market to bistro. For a girl with Vespas on the brain, Paris cemented my scooter love.
I told my mom that I wanted a moped. "No. You're not doing that," she said. The answer seemed final. But I already ride a bike, I said. Isn't that similar? "I'll hear a report on the news about a girl in Mount Pleasant on a Vespa who got hit by a bus, and I'll know it will be you," she said.