Monday, March 12, 2007

Five Days From Hell

It's the world's worst kept secret that traffic in Washington DC SUCKS.

And it's also well established that I HATE, HATE, HATE driving around here.

So why on earth did I tell my husband that I'd take him to a conference in Fairfax for two days towards the end of the work week? The only reason I can think of is: love.

So, Michael had a 2 day conference in Fairfax over near Fair Lakes. Due to our mahvelous transit system, there is absolutely no way for him to get over there independently.

So, Thursday, 6:50am, we get in the car and head to Fair Lakes, planning to get there at 8:30.

Um, yeah. Right. We got there at 9:00am. Every single major road we could have taken was clogged by accidents. The traffic then shifted onto secondary roads guessed it...began to experience accidents.

No problem, I thought, I can just go ahead and take the tertiary roads I know from work.

Guess what? Yup, accidents.

See, we had gotten about .000003 microns of snow Wednesday night, and everyone took this as their cue to drive 3MPH and crash into things.

So, we finally get up there, I get him registered, and head out to see a little ole lady who was recently referred to me.

I go to see her, and guess what? She kicked me out of her house!!! She had completely changed her mind about having service, and didn't bother to tell me before I drove all the way out to her house to see her.

Ok, I thought, well surely I can catch up with my sister and take her to lunch between my appointments. So I drive out to Judy's place, only to discover, she's not home. I sit there for an hour waiting and checking my work email and finally she arrives back (from paying her rent, I really couldn't squabble), and we decide to hit McDonald's because I'm in a rush.

We drive to Van Dorn Street, and guess what? A street crew has half the street blocked off and we can't get through! It took us 20 minutes to 1 mile. At this point, I was ready to scream.

So we get our food, I drop Judy off and head to Woodbridge. Afterwards, I go back to Fairfax and pick up Mike.

Guess what? We get stuck in ANOTHER traffic jam. Forty five minutes later, we arrive back at Judy's, where we've decided to spend the night.

Friday morning we leave early and head back to Fair Lakes and only got stuck a little bit. I do my teachin' thing and then pick up Michael and we decided to have dinner before we head back after listening to a traffic report.

After dinner, we put on WTOP and we listened for 4 successive traffic reports. Virginia was not mentioned once. Not even one time. And it's Friday evening... I got a bit of a report on I-95 from Washington Post radio, and we decide to head west and then south. Occasionally we flick on WTOP and in a solid hour, during which we may have missed ONE traffic report, we hear nothing of Virginia. And you guessed it, we were stuck in traffic for the better part of 2 hours.

To make things better, on Saturday, we have to go back to Northern Virginia to get our taxes done. When we first moved here, we met this absolute sweetheart of a gal named Cindy and it turns out she was doing taxes for H&R Block. We decided to let her do our taxes that year, and every year since, and she's been a godsend. So it's worth the drive, really, but already we'd been in NoVa 2 days, that made it three.

Then yesterday, our tickets for the Capitol Steps were valid--we had tickets to see them on 1/21 for Michael's birthday, but that was one of the great snowstorms, so it was cancelled and postponed till yesterday. We pick up Joe and Judy again, drive up to Fairfax for dinner and the show (which was absolutely HYSTERICAL by the way, you must see it!), and then it's time to head back to their house and then back to our house. We pull up to Judy's front circle, and I said, "If I have the energy, I'm just going to come back tonight because I don't want to deal with the traffic tomorrow" (because I have to be in Fairfax every Monday for work). And then, I had to swallow a big ole lump in my throat. The thought of making ANOTHER 120 mile round trip became too much. I wanted to shrivel up and die. My rear was being rooted to the seat of that car, my back molded to its curves.

Joe decides to boogie inside, so Judy, the General, and I start debating what's going to happen, and finally Judy says, "I'll ride back with you and drive you back up here." Ok, that sounded decent enough. But what really put the spring in my step was when she said, "Forget it, I'll just take the General home, pack an overnight bag for you, and I'll be back in a couple of hours."

Someimes, my sister really is an angel.

So today, I got up and drove to Fairfax. I waited till 9am, thinking rush hour on the Beltway would be over. How wrong I was. It still took me 45 minutes to go roughly 15 miles. And tonight I meandered back to the 'burg in about 90 minutes.

Thankfully, tomorrow I'm in the rural counties in the state car. I honestly don't know if I could take a whole lot more.

I hate driving, and I really hate it right now.

3 pearl(s) of wisdom:

nettiemac said...

Oh yeah -- every place has its own favorite traffic tie-up spots. Depending on which way I go, I can hit zero or I can hit 3 or 4.

There are days I'd rather drive in Atlanta (always an adventure) than around here......

Seraphim9 said...

You sure you didn't take a wrong turn in and end up in Savannah? I had a day like that yesterday. :)


Kate/Susan said...

Sounds like Georgia is not the type of place I'll want to start driving either!!! Thanks for the tips, Annette and Seraphim!