It took me 4 hours and 20 minutes to get to Albany yesterday. My first day of work was supposed to be today (more about that later) and right now I’m bumming around my friends’ and families’ residences until I can get on my feet. Originally, I planned to leave around 8 AM but then my body reminded me that no, I am not growing out of my lactose intolerance and I was sick for most of the morning. I couldn’t help it, I had to have a slice of my dad’s pizza before I left for Albany and some days, I can eat dairy to my heart’s content and nothing bad will happen. Except for yesterday. There was nothing more I wanted than to just sleep it off but from what my friends, family, and the weather reports were saying, the sooner I get into Albany, the better it will be.
Now here’s the deal. I’ve been driving back and forth to Albany ever since I was 16. It usually takes me 2 and a half hours to get there. Not only do I feel that I could drive there with my eyes closed, I know three main ways to get there from Sullivan County, and all the back roads surrounding those three main ways. Here were my options:
(disclaimer: if you don’t live in the Catskills, this may not make sense to you)
1. The Tried and True Way: Take Route 52 through Liberty and Ellenville, hop onto Route 209 to Kingston, take 87 to exit 23, hop on 787 to Exit 4, the Downtown Albany exit and cruise my way to Center Square.
Pros: Fastest way to get there and for the first hour and a half, there are lot of State Trooper stations along the way so if something bad did happen, I could get help fast. Normally, I’d put the fact there is so much police presence as a con because of all of the speed traps along the way, but hey! It was so bad out yesterday, I was driving under the speed limit for 90% of the drive.
Cons: You have to pay the tolls. I hate paying the tolls. Also, for the first hour and half you’re going through small towns so the roads may not be well maintained.
2. The Oneonta Way: Go through Route 206 through Roscoe, Walton, and Oneonta. Hop onto I-88 to Albany.
Pros: You don’t have to pay tolls. Very pretty drive.
Cons: Not only does it take 20 minutes longer than the Tried and True Way, Route 206 actually has signs that the road is not maintained from 8PM to 4AM during the wintertime. There isn’t any police presence, you don’t have cell service for most of the drive through Route 206, and if you did get into an accident, the two nearby hospitals are shitty.
3. The Really, Really Long Way: Take Route 52 to Liberty, hop on to 17 East til you get to Harriman, jump onto 87 til you get to Exit 23.
Pros: Since it’s pretty much all highway, it has a ton of police presence in case you get into an accident (everyone I know outside Sullivan County knows where we are on the map because they got stopped by the infamous Liberty Staties) and is the way that is probably better maintained.
Con: It takes a little over 3 hours to get to Albany that way. Potentially could be a 6 hour trip with all the snow. On a good day, you can drive to Potsdam from Sullivan County in 6 hours. I wasn’t in the mood for that.
I decided to take the Tried and True Way. I drive a 2006 Toyota Rav4, which my roommate Zara nicknamed the Tyrannosaurus Rav4, or T-Rav4 for short. It is a fucking beast in the snow. You see, in Sullivan County, we don’t have much of an option when it comes to buying cars. You either have four wheel drive or you stay home. The T-Rav4 and I have been through a lot together but we never drove through a snow storm. I didn’t have much of a choice though, the last thing I wanted to do was call into work for my first day.
Since my family and friends were worried, whenever I was at a stop light or a rest stop, I would update my Facebook status to where I was along the trip because it was easier and less time consuming than calling ten different people who all actively check their Facebook news feeds. I also thought it was pretty smart because god forbid something did happen to me, they would know where I was and what time I was there. Unfortunately it kind of backfired on me haha, some of my friends and family were concerned that I was texting while driving which is a good thing because that means they love me enough to make sure that I’m not doing something that was stupid.
The roads were HORRIBLE. Honestly though, I didn’t mind driving through the unplowed roads of Callicoon Center and Youngsville. Or the semi-maintained roads of Route 52 and 209.
It was 87 towards Albany that was the WORST. Actually, I lied, it was 87 towards New York City that was the WORST because that’s where all the accidents were. I saw four separate car accidents along 87 South. Yet 87 North was almost like a one way road. The right lane was maintained, but for most of the way, the left lane was untouched. I’m not even exaggerating, when I was approaching Exit 21, I was in the right lane and a Statie put his lights on. I thought I was getting pulled over for going too slow, but he wanted me to pull over so he could pass me and go on the Exit 21 ramp. He didn’t even want to attempt passing me on the left.
The worst part had to be when I was 14 miles outside of Albany and a whole army of trucks started passing me, but I think a good amount of people in the world hate that when it happens to them. I thought I was in the clear when I hit 787.
I was so wrong. 787 looked like a winter wonderland. And Downtown Albany? Forget about it. I wasn’t afraid of not being able to handle the slush and snow, it was the other drivers that I was worried about and wondering if someone was going to crash into me.
Thankfully nothing happened and as soon as I pulled into Albany, work calls me and says that the office will re-open on Thursday because of the snowstorm.
So yay! I’m in Albany and so far, happy days are here again =D Although I will be leaving on Friday night to go back home. For right now, I’m only staying in the 518 when I have work and going back to Sullivan County when I don’t to make things easier on my lovely friends and family as they help me pick up the pieces and help me get on my feet.
I will be embarking on a new fashion challenge this month! I will be a 30 for 30 remixer. You may wonder…
“What-chu talkin’ ‘bout Alex?”
I believe the movement was created by Kendi Everyday. Click here to read about the story behind it. It’s really interesting and it’s amazing how many people are taking the challenge with me. I heard that there are 800 bloggers, including myself, who are taking on the challenge!
Basically, for the next 30 days, I will be creating 30 thirty different outfits from 30 different pieces of clothing. This includes shoes and doesn’t include accessories, jewelry, or coats. This is going to be interesting for me because so far, nine items are my office clothes. After the days I have work, I’m going to dress down my work outfits with the other items I have reserved for the challenge. I think that it’s great because my life is pretty much in limbo and this will not only let me shop my closet, it will make me a better packer. I am notorious for overpacking.
Since I’m bumming around my friend’s apartment until Friday, there won’t be any outfit pictures on Saturday which is good because I’m not going to lie, like I said in my last post, I’m still really self-conscious of having my picture taken every day. I hope to get over it. I can promise you two or three pictures a week for now. One day, I won’t have any shame. But we’re not there yet ;D
Yesterday, I wore…
– a drapey white knit cardigan from PacSun
– a floral tank top from Kohl’s
– black leggings from Kohl’s
-wool socks from Wigwam (even though socks don’t count in the challenge)
– black, slouchy boots from White Mountain.
Today, I’m wearing…
– a grey knit cardigan from New York and Company
– a grey striped tank top from Kohl’s
– black leggings from Kohl’s
– black socks from Walmart*
– black, slouchy boots from White Mountain.
Also, I’m embarking on another charity fashion challenge. If I last through the whole challenge, the New York East Hugh O’Brian Youth Leadership seminar (otherwise known as HOBY) can expect a $30 check in their name. $30 for 30 days. What happens if I slip up? Well, let’s say I only do the challenge for 28 days…HOBY will only receive $28. I don’t want that happening and I’m a girl of my word.
To all of the new readers of this blog (I see that there are one hundred of you since yesterday! Welcome!), you may not be acquainted with my relationship with HOBY. It’s a youth leadership seminar for high school sophomores. I was my high school’s ambassador in 2003 and it literally changed my life. I used to be very shy and it made more outgoing. It introduced me to some of my best friends that I still have to this day and it ignited my passion for community service. The reason why I’ve been volunteering with the organization since 2003 is because I know there’s a kid out there just like me and I want to see if I can show them a whole new world.