Friday, June 27, 2014

Norfolk (6/26/2014)

I was teaching in Norfolk on Thursday and driving back home that afternoon I had a stroll through memory lane.  See, I used to work in Norfolk and Virginia Beach and had to travel back every afternoon.  It is my understanding that the traffic in the Hampton Roads is the fifth worst in the country,  Actually we locals call it the great cul-de-sac: two tunnels going to what we call the south side and you can literally drive a circle.  In one tunnel and back through the other.
Well, the tunnels start backing up around 3 pm and going home yesterday afternoon, there was a 6.5 mile backup to the tunnel  Just like the good old days when I did this every day.  Back then, I figured out which of the two lanes goes consistently faster, and darn things have not changed there as well.  It also reminded me of the other blog post I wrote on traffic issues.
The trip home also made me think of that one time when my flight was diverted from Newport News Airport to Norfolk and we had to take a shuttle back to Newport News.  We were with three passengers: a lady 5 or 10 years younger than me, a U.S. Army soldier in his early 20-s, and me.  When approaching the tunnel and going down towards the hole the soldier panicked and actually opened the van door and was ready to jump out of the vehicle (we were driving 30 or 40 mph).  I was sitting in the front seat, so I could not do much, but the lady grabbed the soldier, pulled him back into the van and held him like a baby through the tunnel.  The poor kid had just flown in from Houston and never seen a tunnel before, and going under the water terrified him.  I still often wonder whatever happened to him.  In addition, I wondered if I should feel safe knowing he was defending our country.  Oh well.
I took two pictures going into the tunnel on Thursday.  The first shows the approach and actually a boat that was about to cross the tunnel overhead.  I love the approach when a boat or a submarine goes over the tunnel.  The second was somewhat enhanced by Google, but this was about the point where our soldier panicked, opened the door, took his seat belt off and had one foot out of the door, when the lady pulled him back.

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