The Little Focus That Could

I’ve put a lot of miles on my little baby Buttercup this week. (Buttercup being, for the uninformed, my car. She is very, very yellow.)

I had kind of forgotten what my hair looked like in a shade of brown. Whoa.

Being the Northern Virginia-dwelling suburbanite that I am, it’s pretty safe to assume that I do a lot of driving. And while that may be true to a certain extent — I certainly find myself visiting all corners of this region more often in my current role with Yelp than I ever did previously — I actually don’t drive that much. Since I don’t have a regular commute anymore, I’m not putting a steady stream of miles on my car — it’s only when I have a meeting or drive out to an event or have a desperate, searing craving for Korean BBQ that I take my baby out. In fact, due to the endless supply of schnauzers at my house and the fact that you can buy gummy bears in 5 pound bags on Amazon, there are usually quite a few days a week when I don’t have to leave the house at all. (I prefer not to think of that as being sad and pathetic, by the way.)

My little Ford Focus, purchased new in August 2012, only has about 16,000 miles on it. I’m no expert on car mileage, but I hear that’s fairly low.

This week in particular, however, I have been racking up the miles. And the frustration. Because lately it seems that any time I have to drive anywhere, I have the joyous benefit of sitting in lots and lots and lots of traffic. Between last night’s taillight-laden trip to National Harbor to see Cirque du Soleil’s Amaluna (such a fun show — you should absolutely go if you’re in the area!) and the weekend’s horrific trip to New Kent for my college roommate and super preggo bestie Bethany’s baby shower, I’ve definitely been making up for the aforementioned lack of mileage.

Speaking of Bethany’s baby shower, fun story. So, Sean and I are headed down to New Kent, VA for Bethany’s coed baby shower (with Sean giving me grief about how coed baby showers aren’t a thing the entire time, but I digress), and New Kent  is about 20-ish minutes or so outside of Richmond. So, figuring that it usually takes about 2 hours to get to Richmond, we leave at around 10 AM to get there.

We arrive at 2:30 PM.

Yep, it took us FOUR AND A HALF HOURS to go 120 miles. I-95 traffic is no joke, folks, especially on a weekend, especially in the summer. Although, it does make me wonder WHERE all these other people who are stuck in equally bad traffic are really going. I mean, even if they’re taking a day or two off from work, are they really taking 6 – 8 hours to get to the beach, only to have to turn around and come right back in one or two days? #notworthit

Anyway, by the time we finally got to Bethany’s sister’s house, the shower was pretty much over. Womp womp. Which really worked out for Sean, since he got to avoid all of the baby games, and admittedly it kind of worked out for me, too, because I basically just got to hang out with Bethany, her hubster, and her sisters for a couple hours on my own.

Perhaps that was really my plan all long! Bwahaha. No, I kid, I kid, I’m really bummed that I missed out on the whole shebang. At least I still got to decorate a onesie! I really should have taken a picture of it, it was a masterpiece. (Reality: it was not a masterpiece. It said, “Will Cry for Milk” and then “I love boobs.”)

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It did seem like a shame to have to turn around and head back on the highway after only a couple hours of visiting, but all was not lost. On our way back, which AMAZINGLY took less than three hours in total, we stopped in Fredericksburg and I got to experience a kickin’ restaurant there called Foode, AND we got Carl’s Ice Cream after that – STRAWBERRYYYYY! Carl’s is evidently a Fredericksburg institution. It reminded me of Kline’s in Harrisonburg, and it was delicious.

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So at least my car ride from hell ended on a sweet note. Unfortunately, the driving isn’t over yet, as today I’m headed out to Annapolis! Luckily, it’s for a great reason — lunch with the bestest best coworkers ever! And at least I’ve got my DC counterpart Kimberly ridin’ shotgun and keeping me company. We miiiiight be going to the beach afterwards. Just sayin’.

At least this time I’ve learned my lesson and am giving us ample time to get there. Since I’m sure that even at noon on a Thursday, there will undoubtedly be traffic. Wish us (and Buttercup) luck, and see you on the flip!

4 Comments

  1. My first car as a grown-up was a Focus. That thing saw some real adventures. Like the time that someone stole one of its hubcaps while I watched from my office (so weird). It carted me all over New England and survived three years of a 1.5 hour commute (each way). Also, once I hit one of those cement barrier things while speeding out of the Dunks drive through (I blame the caffeine) and knocked the driver’s side mirror clear off. May Buttercup see better days. Treat her kindly. 😉

  2. Carl’s! This one has been a family favorite for four generations, now.

    I was excited to show my ex during a family gathering. He got a vanilla milkshake, then made the mistake of proclaiming that he didn’t think it was that great. My family members shrugged it off, but a decade later, when I announced we were getting a divorce, they all started nodding. They’d known since he’d dissed Carl’s.

  3. I love your car and I love her name. I had a beloved focus once upon a time too. His name was Freddie. Freddie the Focus. Oh I miss him so.

    Have a safe trip. I hate traffic too.

  4. Mariesays:

    My first real adult car was a 2003 Focus that I had until last year. It was named Bluey because it was blue 🙂 Since I was in school for 7 of the 10 years I had Bluey, he did not have many miles on him, as well… But he did make the trip from VA to CA and back. Reliable!

    Also, I am from what was most likely the most hated and dreaded part of your I-95 weekend adventure (Prince William/Stafford/Fredericksburg Area). Hello to my every weekend! If you are not on the road by 8AM going South, you might as well not go or be forced to suffer the consequences.

    Lastly, LOVE Foode! I have bee there a few time and I love their locally centered and ever changing menu. Great place for this vegetarian, as well.

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