The morning begins with that panicked feeling of waking up and not knowing quite where you are. Staring up at a cat, Dot in this case, whose settled on my chest in a effort to keep warm in a our now bare apartment, things begin to come back to me—I have to drive to New York today. After blinking through sleep crusted eyes, the realization of what’s to come sets Jennifer and I into action. It’s 4:30 in the morning and we both take showers and set about the final few items we have to pack in our 10’ U-Haul which is by this point beginning to bulge at the seems. We make quick stop at the local 7-11 for some “breakfast.” Jennifer, decides on a donut, banana and a coffee, I, however, opt for a more filing fare, sausage egg and cheese biscuit and a large coffee. We have to make a stop at our now former landlord’s home to drop off our keys and then we hit the road. We eventually leave town about 15 mins later than we were planning but this wasn’t really a big deal.
The trip was fairly uneventful until we reached the DC area, where traffic began precipitating around the beltway exits. Google maps suggested we take the 395-495 exit toward Tyson’s corner which, at the time of arrival, rush hour had the traffic pretty much bumper to bumper. The road signs in this area, however, informed us that we should take the 495 eastern route of the beltway. Faced on the one hand with the assurance of Google maps but the obvious delays, and on the other with a quicker route and the uncertainty and fear of drawing outside the lines, we stashed the Google Maps and set about figuring out the route on our own. Fortunately, in our whirlwind of purging our old apartment, I managed to salvage an old road atlas from 1995 which we hoped was good enough to get us there.
Around the time we reached
We made a brief stop somewhere in
Our first fill-up occurred at the very first service center on the NJ turnpike. I think it was about $65 dollars to fill-up and apparently it is NJ state law that the gas station is full service or at least that is what the sign said at this particular service center. We tipped the guy a couple of bucks got out stretched our legs and got back on the turnpike. I have heard terrible stories about the turnpike but I actually found it to be quite a pleasant drive, at least for most of it. It did get a little bit rough once we could see