The flight back to Chicago touched down at 3:57, two minutes ahead of schedule. But like everywhere else in Chicago, there was traffic. So we didn't arrive at the gate for another 15 minutes.
I'd planned on having my parents (who picked me up at the airport, and saved me $40 in cab fare) just drive me to their house, where I could spend the weekend. I'd even told the secretary at BigLaw that I'd see her on Monday.
"But we've got stuff for the apartment," my Mom argued.
So we decided to drive into the city. At 5:00. The height of rush hour. We stopped briefly to use the bathroom, check voicemail and get my mail from my neighbor (note to self: buy case of Sam Adams as thank-you), and then it was back on the road. The trip had taken an hour and twenty minutes.
"Well, at least it's late enough, we shouldn't hit much traffic," Mom chimed in.
Funny thing, traffic. People who hear I'm thinking about moving to SoCal tell me about how bad the traffic is. Indeed, I got to experience it firsthand last Friday, when it took over an hour to get to Rancho Bernardo from Miramar MCAS on I-15/163. And that's just a five or six mile drive.
But Chicago's gotten bad as well. The Eisenhower Expressway (I-290 for nonlocals), is essentially a parking lot no matter when you're on it. And the Kennedy (I-90 - or what you take to get to O'Hare from Downtown) is often just as bad - witness our 80-minute ride. So it was no surprise that we sailed down Lake Shore Drive and down the Dan Ryan Expressway (I-94) past the now-quiet U.S. Cellular Field at Comiskey Park, only to stop dead at 55th. We crept along until 95th Street, when the Dan Ryan splits into I-57 and I-94. Only then did the road open up. By the time we got home, it was well past 8:00. Needless to say, it was a long day.
But the nice part about coming to my parents a few days early was spending an afternoon today with my dad and some ex-coworkers bowling. Now, if I could only bowl as well as I used to.
Here's hoping you and yours has a very enjoyable holiday with your family and friends this weekend. In other words, Happy Thanksgiving.