On Saturday, I was supposed to leave Princeton around 9am to drive down to Greensboro to make it for the Greensboro Grasshoppers minor league baseball game with my friend Andy. So I got up around 8am, packed my stuff was running a few minutes late, but had to swing by the Princeton U-Store Pharmacy to pick up some prescriptions I had called in. I won’t go into all the details, but the pharmacist was a bit of an ass, and I didn’t leave Princeton until 10.15am or so. Yet, that was only the beginning of the fun (…?…) events from the day. You’ll want to keep reading…
First of all, there were the sounds in the car. Now, I did have a Sears X-Cargo rooftop carrier on the car, so some of it may have been the rooftop deal, but I heard some nice, annoying sounds throughout the day. One of which includes a somewhat high-pitched “chirp” noise that seems like it must be connected to my air-conditioning somehow. And then the steering wheel was shaking a bit when I came to a stop, must be the alignment or something…
Then, I chose to head down I-95 S to get to Greensboro, which, whether or not it’s the fastest way, it’s ALWAYS a bad decision. $13 in tolls alone, and then I just had to deal with the hideousness that is known as I-95. Seriously folks, it’s not worth it. Do NOT drive I-95.
Then, there was the fact that I had gone out the night before, and had a few drinks. My stomach isn’t a huge fan of that, so after being on the road for only about 15 min, I had to stop and use the restroom. 10 min later, after being on the road, I really had to pee. So I had to stop again.
Well, finally I got down to the Maryland/Baltimore area, and got on the I-495 Loop to avoid some of I-95. After being on it for awhile, I finally saw a sign for a Panera (which, since I had been out late the night before, having a few drinks, my stomach wasn’t doing so well, and so that seemed like the best food to eat for lunch; food that would be nice to my stomach). So, I got off the exit, but of course, it’s one of those where the restaurants are actually a few miles off the exit. So I followed the signs, and eventually found myself in a huge shopping area with strip malls all over the place. I drove through this entire strip mall, only to end up at a Lowe’s at the far end, and asking someone where the Panera was. They directed me back to the front, and there it was. Sitting right there at the entrance; I don’t know how I missed it. Then there was a nice long line in the Panera…the baseball game was looking more and more like a nice idea and not something that was actually going to be a reality.
So after lunch, I got back on the I-495 loop (it’s pictured there for your viewing pleasure). Just some background. I had come down I-95 S and entered the loop at exit 27. I wanted to continue on I-95 S toward Richmond. However, the Panera that I stopped at was actually AFTER that. Then I found myself going over a bridge. I kept driving, and kept driving, and then realized that I had come to exit 3. Which really confused me. But I kept driving. And then I saw signs for the Baltimore airport, which confused me even more because I thought I had already seen signs for that, over an hour ago. And it was then that I realized what had happened. I drove around the frickin’ 495 Loop; the ENTIRE thing. [I was just showing Sarah this picture, and she asked, “When did you realize you were going around the loop?” And then I saw it too. I realized around exit 3 or 4. So WHY, oh why, did I not just turn around instead of going around the entire loop a second time. Another good question. Man I’m a smart one…] And the worst part was that the 2nd time around, traffic was horrible. Very slow, very I-95ish. I felt like an idiot. I called Sarah, and she confirmed that I was, in fact, very dumb. There was no way I was going to make the game now. So, I just kept driving, passed exit 27 (where I had entered the loop) and then finally saw exit 57a toward Richmond (pictured here: gosh, I can’t IMAGINE how I missed it the first time…). So…yah.
I think it was a combination of just being tired, and just being completely frustrated with myself, that my eyes started to want to close. And when that happens, it’s time for a book on CD. So I saw a sign for a Cracker Barrel, and I got off that exit. And drove. And drove. And drove. And I could find NO Cracker Barrel anywhere. So I got back on the road, fought the tiredness for another 20 min, until I saw another Cracker Barrel, and finally got my book on CD, The Rule of Four.
I finally arrived in Greensboro around 8.30pm, late for the game, and Andy and I went to Ham’s. Apparently he’s been there before and enjoyed the food. We got there at 9.15pm, weren’t seated until around 9.45pm, at which point we had to wait for a waiter, who then took our orders, waited another 10-15 min until he brought our drinks, and finally our food another 20 min later. The food was fine, but it took f – o – r – e – v – e – r. We went back to his apartment, stayed up talking for a bit, and then crashed.
What a day.