Friday, May 23, 2008

Driving Home

I wish I could say the drive north, from Reston, Virginia. to Troy, New York , went as smoothly as the drive down, however it was anything but that.

WiBo ended just after 4:30pm, as scheduled. Many folks lingered for a good hour or so after the last session just to chat, exchange contact information, etc. Having driven through D.C. several times in the past, I remembered what the traffic typically looks like during that hour of the day on the capital beltway, which tends to be bumper to bumper. With that in mind I purposely stuck around for what I was intending to be an hour or so. I got a bite to eat at a place called "Cosi," then made my way to Hyatt-Regency's parking garage to retrieve my vehicle. By this time it was almost 6:00pm. Being somewhat exhausted from the trip down, followed by eight hours of non-stop lectures and snack breaks (lots of brownies, muffins and coffee) I decided to take a brief cat-nap before heading North.

I closed my eyes for what seemed to be a moment and when I awoke it was a few minutes before seven. That hour long nap did me a world of good as I began the long trek home. I exited the parking garage and I was on my way.

First bit of tension: catching the tail end of rush hour traffic heading out of D.C. It was bumper to bumper for at least a half hour as I made my way toward 276 North. Then another bout of gridlock traffic on 276. After what seemed like forever I finally made my way to 95 North and it was smooth sailing for the next leg of the journey; until I got to the Delaware Memorial bridge and traffic began to slow down again due to some road construction. I got through that mess and continued on my journey. By this time I was operating on auto pilot due to exhaustion. As I made my way to the NJ Turnpike I pulled into the first rest stop I came to, got a snack and a cup of coffee and decided to take another brief nap before continuing the drive through New Jersey, enroute to Troy. Well, once again my cat-nap ended up being an hour plus in duration. It was now approaching 11:30pm. I called my wife to let her know that I'b be home a little later than I had planned on. I then proceeded on my journey through the Garden State. Somewhere along the way I was supposed to exit the Turnpike in order to avoid NYC traffic and I failed to do so. I did end up driving through the Big Apple via 95 North. As I approached the G.W. Bridge I hot another road block--literally. Road construction on the bridge had narrowed the traffic flow down to one lane, making it an hour long adventure just getting onto the bridge, then shelling out $8.00 for the toll and driving at a snail's pace to reach the other end of the bridge. It was now nearly 1:00am and I knew I had at least two and a half hours ahead of me on 87 North. Being dog tired, I pulled into another rest stop on 87, got another cup of coffee and caught a half-hour nap; this time it was the intended half hour that I dozed off for. I did make it home safe and sound at 4:15am.