Today was a long, long day. I was down in Norfolk for a meeting. We started yesterday afternoon and ended by wrapping up one last item this morning. I rented a car and drove down. After the butter knife fiasco last week at a Homeland Security checkpoint, I just wanted to drive. I decided to try Hotwire.com for this trip, and I booked a 3 star hotel in Portsmouth, VA. After paying for the room, I found out it was the Holiday Inn. It was nice, but next time I'll stay closer. I learned the "magic words" to get the hotel I want closer to our meeting location for a rate that my employer will reimburse. I'd never been to Portsmouth, but the drive over yesterday afternoon was nothing but painful. First, my GPS took me through Norfolk on a path that made me stop at every freaking traffic light on the way. Then I had to sit in traffic to cross a bridge and go through a tunnel. Then I didn't trust the GPS enough to make a turn where it looked like there was no turn, so I had to sit in more traffic waiting to go around the block and get back on track. It took an hour to drive 11 miles. Later in the evening, I met some of my coworkers at the Norfolk waterfront for a drink. Traffic was a little better then. I could see the Holiday Inn across the bay.
This morning was a repeat. I sat in traffic and took more than an hour to drive 11 miles again. Our meeting wrapped up early, and I started driving back to New Jersey around 10. It was raining in Norfolk, but I left it behind somewhere on the Chesapeake Bay Bridge. Then, about when I hit route 1 in Delaware, it started pouring. Traffic was holding at a steady clip, but the rain kept going for a long time. It kept up all the way to Cherry Hill where I dropped off the rental car and got my Kia Sedona back. It was raining so hard I forgot to take the GPS windshield mount out of the rental. I realized this while fighting my way home in 4 PM south Jersey traffic, only to have to head back out in 5 PM south Jersey traffic. My wife figured since we were heading out that way, we might as well swing by Trader Joe's in Marlton. I like the store, but like everything else in south Jersey, it's in a very bad spot and is a pain in the butt to get into and out of.
I only expected to die once during the trip. After getting back into New Jersey, I was heading up 295 and passing a truck. It was raining really bad, and the truck suddenly hit a huge puddle with it's left tires, and splashed water all over my car. I couldn't see a thing, not the truck, not the road, not even my windshield wipers. I just about freaked out, and put on the brakes, before realizing that I had no idea if there was somebody behind me or not. I'm glad there wasn't. I had to wait for a better patch of road to pass that truck. I had another car splash me farther down, but that car only had 2 tires on one side instead of 9 splashing me.
I'm back home, and about to go to bed in time for a new episode of Deadliest Catch.