Soooo... quarantine, huh?
I always thought it would be awesome to spend MORE time in my apt -- I have a great view of the city, every TV channel and streaming service you can imagine, comfy pillows and good snacks.
Um, I was wrong.
Turns out, MORE time in my apt during a pandemic means more time to wait. And worry. And work. All. The. Time.
Oh, and all this time inside has given me a solid phobia of leaving my apt for any reason at all. That includes getting groceries (so I ate all the expired soup in my pantry) and throwing away the garbage (so my apt resembled a classic episode of Hoarders).
After 30 days in my Fortress of Solitude in Hoboken, I hit the road.
Now, let me preface this by saying, I realize I am lucky that I could do this. For starters, I still have a job, and it is flexible so that I can do it from anywhere. And I have a car, so by driving, I could avoid contact with basically everyone and make my own personal Cannonball Run down 95 to my parents' house in Florida.
In total, I spent about 30 days there too, and it was such a welcome change of scenery. I felt better, mostly because I worried less. Plus, no more expired groceries for me! My mom's a great cook and she made more meals than I've had in a year.
Fast forward to today, I'm 60 days into quarantine, and I just got back to Hoboken. In total, I logged:
- 4 travel days (2 days each way)
- 32 total hours of driving
- 2,140 miles round-trip
- 455 songs
- 4 stops for gas
- 4 times I cursed every self-serve state (reason 534 why NJ is the best)
- 0 bathroom breaks (I have a bladder of steel)
- 0 snack breaks (I brought all my own food & drinks)
- 15 Cracker Barrels passed
- 2 nights in hotel rooms that I scoured like a forensic detective
- 3 states requiring people from NJ to quarantine for 14-days (thanks, DE, MD & FL)
- 1 close call with a Georgia State Trooper (he got the guy behind me)
- 1 billion dead lovebugs on my windshield
The whole drive was pretty surreal. I left on Easter weekend and came back on Mother's Day weekend -- both holidays -- and nobody was on the road. Just me and the truckers.
I know that's good, because it means people are staying home, but it still freaked me out.
Anyway, I couldn't help but take some pics along the way -- so come on a virtual road trip with me...
|I travel light, right?|
|Drink? Check. Snacks? Check. Tunes? Check. Gas? Check.|
Gloves & mask? Check...
|This is the New Jersey Turnpike at 11AM on a Saturday.|
|And this is the toll plaza -- not a single car.|
|This was Delaware's welcome sign.|
|Nobody's on the road, so nobody's at the gas station either.|
It's barbaric to pump your own gas, but here I am. At least the gas was cheap...
|This is 95 in North Carolina -- about 6PM on a Saturday.|
|After 8 hours of not peeing, I made a beeline for my bathroom. |
The swans were a nice touch.
|Not sure if you can read this, but it basically says that they were |
only offering DoubleTree's famous cookie on request. A sad but necessary step.
|A good place to rest your head, and the mid-point in my trip.|
|You know you're in South Carolina when you see this.|
|Georgia, on 95 at 4PM on Easter Sunday.|
|Home sweet home.|
|This became my new office.|
|And this little guy became my co-worker.|
|This was our sassy office manager who tweeted whenever I was on a call.|
|Eventually, I headed home. |
Again, this is Saturday at about noon on 95 in Florida.
|And here was my souvenir, a billion dead love bugs smashed on my car.|
In other news, they don't come off, no matter how fast your wipers go.
So, that's the trip. Amidst all the scary stuff going on right now, this was a bright spot for me. And it was nice to spend some bonus time with my fam, which we'd never be able to do for a month under normal circumstances. Since we're not going back to the office until July, I'll probably do it again.
I hope you all are able to get a change of scenery too to clear your mind.
Be well and keep washing those hands!