A note about this post: It might be a bit boring for someone who's never done the drive from MA to PA, but I had to blog about it for those who have and for my posterity. I'll sharing my training secrets and game plan with anyone who's interested if you contact me :)
There's something about me that doesn't take long to figure out. I have a love/hate relationship with driving!! I'm okay with being a passenger in the car, but being behind the wheel is another story.
I had forgotten this fact about me while I worked at Harvard and was able to take the "T" everyday. Oh - I do miss those days. Not the job. The commute. I took the "T" one stop. Some days I could have walked it faster. I loved being able to read or listen to music. I loved watching people and trying to create their life story (this is weird, I know, but fun to do if you want to pass the time!) But, because I am never satisfied, I complained at that time about the "T" being late, or the subway cars that had no air conditioning, or how some days I felt like I was in a can of sardines and it smelled just as bad. And, then at night or on the weekends I drove everywhere even if I could take the "T" because I missed my car!! I loved the freedom it allowed me even though driving on the streets of Boston requires a completely different post!
Then, my love relationship with my car turned to a hate relationship when I started school and my internship. School was a 25 minute drive and my internship school was a 55 minute drive at 7 AM when I could barely keep my eyes open because I was burning the candle at both ends (trying to get my classwork done and still get my lesson plans done for school at night). Those drives seemed soooooooo long. When I got home for the day, the thought of getting back in my car was torture. I felt like I lived in it. I also hate traffic, bad drivers, slow drivers, too cautious drivers, the list goes on an on.... I know it's my patience and "niceness" that I need to work on, but I LOVE drivers who obey these Boston rules (as noted in a post by my friend, Aleigh)! I do all three of these things and am proud of it! http://simplymarvy.blogspot.com/2008/08/boston-driving-customs-vs-laws.html
Great post Aleigh!
This past year my school that I worked at was about 30 minutes away, but I still hate the traffic and the commute. I've tried so many different things to enjoy the drive. It's not as bad as my internship drive, but I still envy those who either a.) have a traveling companion and can be the passenger some days or b.) take public transportation. Basically, I think I just want my commute to Harvard back, but still keep my current job! (However, if anyone has any good suggestions on what I can do to enjoy the drive, let me know!)
Anyway, this hate relationship with my car spurned my desire to get a bike this past summer and to start walking places as soon as it was warm enough to come out of hibernation from the winter cold! It's been FABULOUS! I never thought I would buy a bike in this city because I thought bikers were risking their lives riding on the road. And, they are. And, now I am too. But, hey, it saves me from getting behind the wheel!
Back to the Olympics. This past week I decided to go to visit my mom in PA for a few days. It was a last minute trip so of course plane tickets were crazy expensive. My other options were taking Amtrak or driving. A train ticket these days is not a lot cheaper than a flight and Amtrak is NEVER, EVER on time. Also, I wanted to stop in RI to see my dad and go to the beach on Saturday as I drove down (which I am SO glad I did b/c the weather was beautiful!!)
Well, here's the moment you've all been waiting for (and will be envious of if you've ever done the drive!) Okay - my family record for driving from Westerly, RI to Audubon, PA (and this drive has been done more times than any of my family members care to think about!) is a little over 5 hours. But, on Saturday evening, August 9, I completed the drive in a few minutes shy of 4.5 hours!!!! Incredible. I even stopped once to go to the bathroom! Yes, I was going faster than the posted speed limit, but no, I wasn't the fastest on the road and went speeds similar to other cars. There was just no traffic or accident to slow me up and I have no doubt the Lord was watching over me!!
I was so happy about my first gold medal that I didn't think about the even more dreaded drive from PA back to Boston. I have never driven this far by myself and I was NOT looking forward to it. I was actually anticipating that I might have to pull over and nap or do something active to keep going. Hoping to make the trip as short as possible, I had also mapped out a new route that I thought might save me some time and avoid toll roads. IT WORKED!!!
My mom and others have done this drive many, many times as well and the record thus far is just over 6.25 hours. But, I pulled onto Hancock Street in 5 hours 42 minutes!!!! I was so excited! I had timed my departure from PA perfectly to avoid all traffic times around the big cities and again, no accidents on the road to hold me up! But, yet again, I surely can't take the credit. I was definitely blessed by the Lord. I was amazed at how quickly the time passed (of course, talking to a few friends on the way helped the time pass even quicker!)
And, it was a great reminder to me that the Lord does hear and answer my prayers, even as silly as asking for help on a long drive up and down the east coast!