Road trips = not fun
It was quite the busy week even though I was off from my main job and had taken personal days at the Major Home Improvement Retailer. Busy in terms of flying down to Florida, taking care of some business there, picking up a car, and driving back. Needless to say, it made for a long week.
The flying to Florida was the easy part. We flew from the conveniently nearby Islip airport, but instead of the usual nonstop flight on Southwest we took American Airlines with a connection in Philadelphia. Fares were substantially cheaper than on Southwest. It actually was fun, because the 45-minute flight to Philadelphia was on a smaller plane, a 36-seat Dash 8. It felt more basic, for lack of a better term, than being on a far larger jet. And the seats are just as good. The connection at Philadelphia was pretty easy, everything was easy to find and there was plenty of seating at the gate.
Upon arrival in West Palm Beach, we had a fabulous first of a sort, using Uber to get to our destination about ten miles away. It was a fine experience. Summoning the ride on the app was quick and easy, the vehicle – a spotless Ford Escape – arrived within a few minutes, and the driver was very pleasant. I talked with him a bit about what it was like to drive for Uber, and for all the exploitation stories you hear he seemed very positive about it. Until moving to Florida a couple months earlier he had driven a tour bus in Colorado, but found working for Uber much better. Oh, last but not least, it cost less than one of the atrocious shuttle vans.
We left Wednesday morning on the two-day drive back to Long Island. On the first day we drove about eleven hours and stopped for the night in the northern part of South Carolina. I’ve driven to and from Florida many times, but not in the last ten year or so, but this stretch is as dull as ever. I-95 avoids cities except for Jacksonville, and for the most part the scenery isn’t too interesting.
On Thursday morning we got an early start for what Google said would be a bit under a 12-hour drive. Ha ha ha! It took 15 hours, thanks primarily to hideous traffic around Washington. We thought we’d hit the Beltway early enough to avoid the worst of rush hour, unfortunately rush hour start very very early (and no doubt ends very very late). I would go absolutely insane if i had to deal with that comedy every day. We didn’t get back until quite late at night. Not to mention having to pay (obscene) tolls: $4 on the Fort McHenry Tunnel, $8 (IIRC) on I-95 in Maryland, $4 on I-95 in Delaware, $9.10 on the New Jersey Turnpike, and last but not least $15 on the Goethals Bridge. Ugh.
As for Friday, I was so beat by all the driving I did basically nothing.