[Note: This is being written after the fact so as not to spoil the surprise of a surprise birthday party. —Editor]
The COVID-19 is close to being a pandemic, and Florida has declared a state of emergency. What better way to celebrate than with a road trip! My friend Joe just turned XX so Bunny, my friend Kurt and I are headed north to Marianna, Florida for a surprise birthday party. The last time we visited Joe was … wow … eleven years ago to attend Joe's father's funeral. At least this time it's under better circumstances.
But first, Bunny and I had to drive from Chez Boca down to Davie to pick up Kurt. Unfortunately, Kurt could not get the day off so we had to pick him up at 5:00 pm. On a Friday. Joy. What should have been a 40 minute drive ended up being over an hour as traffic was insane. I-95 was a parking lot. A segment of the Florida Turnpike was closed. That left the Sawgrass Expressway, which while clean of heavy traffic, left us six miles west of Kurt's house.
And in the short time we spent picking him up, the northbound Sawgrass Expressway clogged up with traffic, leading to even more delays.
It was about 2½ hours after Bunny and I started this trip that we finally got out of South Florida. Then we could start the seven hour drive to Marianna.
Let's see … Bunny and I left the house at 4:15 pm. We arrived at the hotel in Marianna around 2:00 am, but Marianna is in Central, Chez Boca is in Eastern, so we arrived at the hotel at 3:00 am our time, making for an eleven hour drive. For what should have been a 7½ hour trip.