Last weekend my family was in the Orlando area, enjoying a nice 4-day weekend vacation. I wasn't with them at the time and for that I resent each and every one of them for all the fun they had down there. But part of their vacation included traveling to Tampa to see the Yanks-Blue Jays ST game that took place last Saturday and hopefully capturing some pictures that I could then post on the blog. What ended up happening was a travel tale so ghastly, so horrific, so incredibly barbaric, that I can barely keep my composure as I write this recap. What follows is a firsthand account of the terror that occurred last Saturday on the highways of Tampa, Florida from my parents and younger brother. I remind you that missing a Yankee game was hanging in the balance here.
We start at 10AM EST, as my family finishes breakfast and packs up the belongings they'll bring to the game that day: tickets, water bottles, sunscreen, etc. They're packed up, in the rental car, and ready to embark on their roughly 1-hour journey down I-4 East to Steinbrenner Field at 10:30AM, and it was all downhill from there. Early in on their journey they encountered a 4-mile, bumper-to-bumper traffic backup on I-4 for what they later found out to be a very serious car accident. This traffic caused quite a significant delay and increased annoyance on the part of my father, who was behind the wheel, but at this point they were still on schedule to get there before the game started and maybe get some good pictures and autographs.
Fast forward to 10 miles down the road, where traffic hit another standstill thanks to a car fire. By now, the lost time is adding up, annoyance has turned to frustration, and making the 1PM start time of the game is beginning to become a question. By now I have been made aware of my family's peril, thanks to minute-by-minute text updates from my mother. Despite being on the front lines of this nightmare, she had enough wits about her to let me know what was going on and how it was affecting all of them. My father was beginning to get a bit hot under the collar, but he soldiered on valiantly through the car fire and towards his destination, trying to make up some lost time and ensure that they would not miss the first pitch.
But it simply wasn't to be. Next up was construction delays, compounded by the fact that all the old blue hairs and stupid tourists in the area could not navigate the construction on the highway without coming to a complete stop almost every time. By now frustration has turned to anger, and in the case of my father, skipping anger and going right for pissed. Sighs are releasing, curses are flying, and the 1PM start time is now only a pipe dream. What was supposed to be a 1-hour car ride to the field has now become a 2-hour journey into the very depths of Hell itself.
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