Monday, July 28, 2008

Time, Travel, and Traffic Jams

You know what they say about best-laid plans, right?

Case in point, Brett and I have had to sacrifice (written with much longing, huffing, and sighing) to meet our big bills this month. One thing we “paid up” was Brett’s I-Pass.

The I-Pass was a must-have when Brett was traveling to Villa Park and even when he worked at Staples and Lowe’s. It enabled him to shave time off the drive and save a little on the cost of fuel.

We had let it run down, since we are more concerned with meeting our mortgage right now. However, we were still using the I-Pass on the weekends when we traveled to our church.

Since our church is on the other side of the moon (okay, okay, not THAT far…but still a good long hike), it was faster for us to use the spanking new 173 interchange to I-90 to get to church in under 30 minutes.

Anyway, we used it a couple Sundays ago and noticed the light blinked the “wrong” color as we drove through. When we got home, we checked on the Internet and saw the I-Pass fund was depleted.

For the next couple Sundays, we used the rut-encrusted, tire-destroying, pothole-abundant road that is the almighty Alpine to get to church. For as much as we hate it, at least it’s free.

For those who dare.

Anyway, taking Alpine to church was a PAIN. Not only did it cause damage to our cars, it took us nearly forty minutes to make it across the galaxy…I mean, town…to get to church.

So, we moved a few dollars around and decided to pay the minimal re-up cost, so we could take I-90.

This Sunday, as we sailed past traffic on our way to the 173 interchange, I asked Brett if he was going to take Alpine or I-90. He looked at me like I was crazy, and said “I-90!”

I’m guessing the “duh” was implied.

Anyway, we’d no more than gotten on the toll way when we ran into a MONSTER traffic jam! At first, I thought it was going to be okay, since I’d already planned a half hour for the finding-a-seat-activity we go through every Sunday.

I watched as time ticked away.

Then, I thought, “Well, fine. So we’ll get there a little late, and then we can sit in the precious Reserved-For-Latecomer seats we normally covet.”

More time.

Nearly an HOUR later, we crawled our way up to the East State Street exit and got off the (still very backed-up) toll way.

It was too late to go to church. By the time we’d have gotten there, it would have been over. So, instead, we decided to go to Barnes and Noble (since we WERE right there at the CherryVale Mall).

And that takes me to my next post….The B Word.

Stay tuned!


Heidi said...

Alpine is free for YOU. For those of us who live in tax city er-Rockford. Alpine is quite expensive.
So that 's where you were. Should've taken Alpine.

Ann-Marie said...

You're telling me. Best-laid plans and all.

Laura Brown said...

Sorry to hear about the traffic nightmare. How is public transport in your part of the world?

Anonymous said...

Around here your only option to avoid the busy highway is to choose a nameless gravel road that may or may not go in the right direction after all.... no tolls to get lost and miss appointments though = )
Anyway, we all have to choose what to pay at some point in time...I'm always glad for what does get its turn.

Alice said...

Yeah, that Alpine is an expensive collection of potholes. They're just not getting around to resurfacing Newburg. You know, in time for another winter.

Was there a teeny heathen part of you that was happy you missed church? Just keepin' it real, you know...

Heidi said...

It was a good sermon by Pastor's brother. Too bad you missed it ;-0
by the way, that photo is certainly not around here. Check out the palm tree in the background.

Ann-Marie said...

Yeah, I just pulled a clip off of Google images. I tried "Rockford traffic jam," but it didn't produce quality results! Apparently, all the really good traffic jams are in palm tree locales!

Heidi said...

Have they never seen Chicago at rush hour (which can be any time of day)?