Yesterday, I experienced the worst traffic ever in my over 20 years of driving experience. Many mistakes were made and lessons were learned.
But, let me back up. We had set up a play date at Parsley's house on my day off because she was the only one of us without 4WD and she was snowed in. Parsley and HHH just did amazing marathons, so they weren't up for running and sweetly volunteered to watch Salty's, Bridget's and my kiddos while the three of us went for a run. Yesterday morning, Bridget texted me and asked if we should be getting together given how bad the weather was by her house. I posted a message to FB to find out the conditions by Parsley's house, because it was clear by mine. She said the weather seemed fine, so we all decided to give it a go.
On the way there, it was kind of bad near downtown, but drivable. I figured I was closer to Parsley's house than mine and could let the bad weather pass before heading back home. Lesson One: Check weather conditions before you head out or head home to make sure you won't have to deal with horrible weather at some point while you are out.
We had a great play date. I was able to run without pain and at a decent clip especially given the road conditions. The kids all seemed to have a good time and it was great to catch up with my mommy running friends. At 2:30, we headed for home. I was almost to 490 when the roads were just stopped. I got a text from Salty who was about 5 minutes ahead of me that the lanes weren't moving at all. I noticed that traffic seemed to be moving off the E. 55 exit, so I got over and got off. That was Lesson Two: Never get off the highway particularly in a bad part of town that you are unfamiliar with.
From there, it just got worse and worse. Traffic had slowed to practically no movement at all. The whole town was totally gridlocked already and rush hour hadn't even started. I talked to Bridget who gave me some options for getting back to the highway, but unfortunately, the roads just weren't moving.
I had the bright idea to get to the Cleveland Clinic where I knew there was covered, safe parking and food/drink. It took nearly four hours to get there, but finally at 6:30, I maneuvered into the parking garage. Of course, I hadn't showered and was wearing no underwear or bra because I forgot them, so I can't even imagine what people thought as they saw me wandering around. Lesson Three: Make sure all of your post-run clothes are packed.
The baby, who normally goes weeks without crying, had been screaming at me off and on for an hour by the time I got to the garage. And, when I pulled him out of the seat, I noticed that he was very stinky. When I changed him, it was a blow-out and I completely ran out of wipes, which I knew I was low on to begin with. Lesson Four: Make sure you have plenty of wipes and don't just think "oh the other mommies will have me covered if I run out".
So, we were trapped at the Clinic for three hours. Will was so out of routine that he cried at the drop of a hat. But, I did find food/drink for me and we had a safe place to wait out the storm.
When I left at 9:30, I actually headed back towards downtown and took E. 55 to the highway. It still took an hour to get home, but due to conditions and not the other cars. After that 8-hour travel adventure, I couldn't stomach the thought of putting either of us in a car today, so I took the day off of work. We are back on routine and the little man is back to his usual, happy self.
So, I won't win the mom of the year award for my stupid decisions yesterday, but I have learned some lessons that I will remember going forward.
Here are some pictures to remember the day:
Before we left the house
Out on our playdate with one of his girlfriends, Salty's daughter
With his other girlfriend and birthday buddy, Bridget's daughter
View on our drive in the hood
Finally fell asleep at the Clinic