Too tired for this drive

I wake up, not sure what time it is. 

Commuting days are tricky this way. It could be after 4:30AM, too late to go back to sleep, and it would look pretty much the same as if it was (peeking, sandy-eyed, at the clock) a little after 1:00AM. Read more of this post

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Monday commute, after a brief absence. 

I had late night calls with out teams in Asia last week, so I worked from home the extra days. 

This matters because it’s been a while since I commuted. It also matters because I had turned off my office-day alarms. No one wants to work until nearly 11pm and then get up before 5am.  Read more of this post

Sharing the highway

Grace abounds; the extra hours Saturday night are like a credit to my account for the too-late of Sunday night and the too-early of Monday morning. 

Read more of this post

Rising Sun

I started making Wilmington a regular (more or less) thing in the New Year. It was a shock to the system on two fronts: (1) I had spent virtually all of the prior year working from home (the occasional meeting in NYC, NJ, PA, or DE notwithstanding) which meant my commute that year was basically “walk down the hall,” and (2) the short commute and private home office meant I could go from bed to office in minutes if I needed to. So I could -if I wanted/needed to- sleep in, and still start earlier than anyone else on my team. 

I never had to be up dark-and-early. 

On Wilmington days, the alarms go off before 5, so I can be on the road by 5:30 at the latest (so everything I need gets packed up, set up or set out the night before). 

When I started making this trip, the days were short. The “morning” part of fivethirty in the morning was strictly hypothetical. Black sky with stars equals night, by my reckoning. Ninety-odd minutes later when I pulled into the office lot, it would still be dark

Like, really dark. Can’t see any landmarks dark. Need those footpath lights to keep from falling dark. 

But the seasons turn, and pretty soon it would be almost dusky as I reached the office.  

And then it was dusky as I crossed into Delaware, grey pre-morning at the office. And today…

Oh lovely day, oh gracious and glorious God…

Today the sky was dusky as I crossed the Susquehanna, and I watched the sun rise as I drove, and the sky was painted and the sun rose red and it was well and truly day by the time I reached the office. 

Daylight savings is coming next week to throw the morning out of kilter for a few more weeks. But this morning was simply beautiful. And I’m thankful for it. 


Also, thematically, I recently earned my Japan badge on #Fitbit. Land of the rising sun, you know. 

Chattanooga and environs (includes photos)

Sunday. The last thing my aunt and I did before going to bed last night is decide to visit Chattanooga, TN today. We had identified a number of interesting things to see, all located at or near Lookout Mountain… including a tandem hang gliding adventure that, sadly, we did not ultimately end up doing.

Just as well, I’m sure. A person needs to have things to look forward to in the future, no?

We have breakfast and jump in the car. It’s my rental, so for better or worse, I’m driving. Sliver lining: my aunt has a presentation due on Monday when she gets back to class, so can use the drive time to jot what she wants to say. I plug in the address of our first stop and gulp.

According to the GPS, it’s more than three hours to Chattanooga.

What I haven’t realized is that the GPS is smarter than I am in terms of time zones. Which is a relief to discover, since this whole Central Time thing has been messing me up anyway.

We go to Ruby Falls, which is in a cavern inside Lookout Mountain. I am going to consider this my foray into caving. Because, hey. It’s a cave. It’s over 1000 ft underground. It’s dark (except for the convenient lighting). And let’s face it, when am I ever going to come into a cave so perfectly made for me? By which I mean that with no exits to the outside other than the elevator shafts that have been cut in, there is no natural (read as: horrific creepy crawly) wildlife present.

After Ruby Falls, we head over to the Incline Railway, which takes us up Lookout Mountain. On the steepest incline of any train in the US. Or so they say.

And from there, we head over to Rock City. Which is also on Lookout Mountain, but over on the Georgia side.

Georgia? As in EAST COAST STATES? Harumph, I hadn’t planned on coming that far east! Plus (insert whining) I’ve already been to Georgia!

Anyway, Rock City is plenty scenic (and then some), more than making up for yesterday’s Monte Sano disappointment.

We drive (very briefly) through Chattanooga proper, but in all honesty I’m not up for city or parking or strolling by the time we’ve seen the three attractions. We head back, stopping for gas (which my aunt kindly pumps for me, since I’m a Jersey girl and am doing my damnedest to see how long I can go without ever pumping my own), and picking up a pizza en route.

We arrive at the hotel some 12 hours after we left, as rain starts to roll in. My aunt and I turn her notes into the presentation she needs for her class tomorrow, and I start packing up for the trip north.

Another wrong turn

NJ Turnpike near Exit 12 in Carteret, New Jersey.

Image via Wikipedia

Once upon a time, a whole career ago, I got lost on the way to work.

You see, I lived in one part of the state, and my office was in another. The only “direct” route from one to the other was a major highway that went north-and-south (along a pretty arching route btw, such that a lot of the time I was, in fact, going east-and-west).  Any more “direct” route actually meant a lot of meandering local roads, none of which I was familiar with. With none of which I was familiar. Read more of this post