May 23, 2008: Warren and Driving Home

Dominica and I had to be up early this morning so that we could pack up the Mazda PR5 for our trip back “home” this evening. That made for a short night and a busy morning. I had to be up just after five so that I could shower and be all ready to go before Dominica got up.

It was an extra short night with a pretty big interruption to walk Oreo in the middle of me trying to sleep.  The one thing that worked out well is that because I was up in the middle of the night with Oreo I was able to get the luggage cart so that it was in the hallway and very easy to load up first thing this morning.

We packed the car as best as we could. We have a decent load of stuff going up to dad’s place this time. This is our first trip back there since Christmas if you can believe that! We packed up all of the CDs and DVDs in the apartment, two humidifiers, the space heater and more. It made a huge dent in our clutter here (and will be barely noticeable in dad’s already packaged garage.)

It’s a pain having to pack the car in a panic in the morning though. It’s times like this that I really wish that I had a garage.  What a difference that would make.

Dominica dropped me off at the Broad Street Train station on her way to take Oreo to daycare. There I caught the train to Summit and the shuttle to Warren like I normally do when working out in New Jersey.

Today is an early market close day so a lot of my usually late night Friday work was able to be done in the middle of the afternoon which was really nice. I was in good shape when Dominica arrived to pick me up a little after six. She had used the GPS to get her from Totowa to Wallington to Warren which worked really well as it routed her around some stuff and took her a different route than she would have taken normally and it saved a bit of time.

It was around six thirty when we left Warren. Traffic wasn’t bad in New Jersey and we only hit a small delay right at the Delaware Water Gap when people were going through the toll booths there.

Normally we avoid the i81 corridor through eastern Pennsylvania as PennDOT has completely destroyed the entire corridor with poor labeling and extended single lane zones around the Scranton Metro which cause massive delays but today it couldn’t be helped. We are delivering two computers up to Apalachin, New York and the i81 corridor is the only easy way from New Jersey to the Binghamton area.

We let the GPS guide us on a faster route through New Jersey. It took us off of i78 and up NJ206 to i80. Not a route that we have taken in a very long time. We stopped along the way to eat at Panera Bread and to pick up some bagels for the morning.

The trip through Scranton ended up adding two to three additional hours to the trip in a construction zone that has been a problem for almost nine months now. It is completely ridiculous. It would have been better to drive back to Newark from Warren then go up to the Hudson Valley and catch NY17 west to Binghamton. Tons of extra miles but it would have saved an hour or more. We will be completely and utterly avoiding eastern Pennsylvania from now on. You just can’t trust PennDOT to do reasonable traffic patterns or warnings. They also don’t provide traffic updates over FM radio for the GPS units so everyone gets stuck in the same traffic jams that could easily have been avoided.

Instead of arriving at a little after nine at John Stephen’s apartment like we had planned it was well after midnight! We were pretty tired and unhappy by the time that we made it through all of that construction traffic. Our long night was turning into a really, really long night.

We only stayed at John’s for a tiny bit. Just enough time to unload the car, load up a computer that he had for me and get a quick tour of his new place. He has only been there for a month or two. We got to meet John’s girlfriend. They are hoping to come down to New Jersey to visit us around mid-July. This is the last summer for folks looking to hang out with us while we live so close to Manhattan.

The rest of the trip from John’s place to dad’s went pretty smoothly and quickly. It was awfully late by the time that we pulled into dad’s driveway. We were quite tired. But at least we were able to deliver the computers tonight and they are not hanging over our heads until Monday evening. That would not be fun. We are going to want to be able to drive right back to Newark on Monday afternoon.

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