*Sigh* We spent about 15 hours or so in the Jeep this weekend. Our friend Jim was getting married in Bethesda, which is a suburb just outside DC. My parents live in Catonsville, about 30 miles north of there and was going to watch Emma for us while we had some fun living it up. Just zip on up there, drop her off and relax at the wedding.....NOT!
Leave VA Beach at 10:15 (b/c Chad just had to have the office open for an hour on Saturday). Get to the bank and realized he forgot his dress shoes. Backtrack back home, grab the shoes, get on our way. This is a bad omen-I check my bag to make sure I got my heels!
Traffic Delay 1: 5 mile back-up at the Hampton Roads Bridge Tunnel, one of two ways to get out of this place...we quickly jump off the interstate 64 and go down 264 to 164 to 664 and pick up the Monitor Merimac Bridge Tunnel....this was somewhat out of our way and not a big surprise-always a back up on Saturday mornings on the stupid bridge-tunnel.
Traffic Delay 2: We are back on 64, across the bay.....7 mile back up at Jefferson Ave in Newport News. Off 64 we go again up some back roads to Williamsburg and get back on 64. Traffic is still not cleared and we crawl up to Richmond at 40 mph. Count endless cars on side of road.
It is now almost 1:15pm....3 hours and we are finally in Richmond, which normally takes 1.5 hours to get to. Snarf down Chick-Fil-A and off we go around the city on 295N.
Traffic Delay 3: Sign reads...Major Delay at 295/95 split....off we go onto route 301 N to avoid 95 for the rest of the trip. If its bad in Richmond, DC will be hell and we would never make the wedding. We are moving, but there are lights, 55mph speed limit, little towns..ect. And I am driving and I am a lousy driver when it comes to speed LOL.
Finally cross into MD at 4pm....wedding starts at 4:30.....we decide that we are going to miss the wedding and make it our goal to get to the reception. We get off of 301 and onto 97 to head to my parents house. You guess it! Accident. But we get through quickly. I start to speed b/c I know these roads better than life itself. We arrive at my parents at 4:45pm (the wedding is shot, we are trying to make the reception at this point). Hurry up and change, I do my hair/make-up (mascara included) while Chad zips down dreaded 95 S (but no traffic) and we arrive at the reception at 5:45pm-one of the first people there. Nice wedding. Good to see all of our friends from our college days, which were about 10 years ago....has it been that long? We seem so old. And no one wants to dance :( It was different when we were back in our twenties with no wedding rings, no kids and lots of booze in our systems. We last until 9:30 and have to go home.
Time in Car on Saturday: 7.5 hours
Emma and Chad snore all night.....4 hours of sleep is what I get.
Sunday: We are out the door at 10am, grab some McD's and head down 97 to go to our college on the eastern shore to visit a friend. I am not anticipating anything big b/c in the 100 or so times I have made this drive over the past 15 years, I have hit traffic on a Sunday maybe 2 or 3 times and 1 major jam in 1996 or so on a Saturday morning trying to go to the beach.
Traffic Delay 1: See flashing sign.....delay at exit 27.....about 10 miles from the bridge. We should have turned around and scraped the visit right then and there b/c we were at the 97/50 split. 50 would have taken us back to DC and down 95. But we press on and then WHAM! Sitting in traffic at exit 27, right before the Severn River Bridge. But we are moving, slowly and decide to wait it out. An hour goes by and we have not made it to exit 29, 2 miles away. The bay bridge is still 8 miles away. At this point we decide to turn around, scrap the visit (b/c that is the ONLY way to get to Salisbury without going back through B-more, up 95 N and down 301....about 5 hours out of our way). Turn around at exit 29 and head towards DC. ***It turns out a truck had run-off the bride and fell 40 feet into the bay at 4am......perhaps if we wern't listening to Barney's trip to the zoo we would have heard about the backup from hell on the radio*****
Traffic Delay 2: No traffic at all through DC.....no traffic heading into Virginia and then we hit #&$^$ Springfield and lo and behold a sign flashes ....8 mile back up......expect delays. Off we go on the back roads again. Thank GOd for our GPS in the car.....we would have totally been screwed without it. At some point we decide to try out 95 S again and we get on right before the IKEA store. Got on 95, got off 95 and had lunch and shopped at IKEA so poor Emma could see something other than the back of our heads. Got food, got coffee, got a new stuffed cat and some stuff for the office. 2 hours later, back in the car we go.
Traffic Delay 3: And now it is POURING outside, we get on 95 and.....oh you guess it......accident b/c of the rain but after about 15 minutes, we are moving through the rain. On the other side, I think I counted a 15 mile backup.....that just sucked for those drivers trying to get back home in the storm that turned the sky purple (I wish I would have taken some pics).
Traffic Delay 4: We get on 64 E and all was good. I was checking the 511 info line for delays and couldn't find any. We get to the split with 664/64 and see a sign......3 mile backup to bridge-tunnel.....freak.....are you kidding me?????....we take the long way around again! And then.....the gas light comes on-we don't even have enough gas in the damn car to get home. Off the interstate, get gas and hauled some ass to get back home. Fed Emma some turkey and cheese in the car to calm her down.
We finally walked in our front door at 7:45-Emma is finally free of the carseat!
Time in car on Sunday: 7.75 hours
Total round trip time: 18 hours
I cannot believe how many cars were on the road this weekend-even through these little towns there were cars everywhere! And the traffic jam at the md bay bridge....holy cow it was at least 20 miles......they only had 1 lane open to get across the other span of the bridge. All these cars had to go through the toll plaza and then merge into 1 lane, cross the stupid bridge and then you have all these cars flooding the towns on route 50 trying more likely to get to the ocean before summer is over. If we sat there, it would have taken over 6 hours for a 2 hour trip to Salisbury. Thank the Lord we turned around. The driver of the truck did not make it....looks like he ran into on-coming traffic, lost control of the truck, crashed through the concrete barriers and fell 40 feet off the bridge into the bay. It was a horrific accident and who knows when the other bridge will open back up.
Did I mention we had fun at the wedding and Emma was a perfect doll for my parents? I pray that our trip to Myrtle Beach in 2 weeks goes a little smoother!