A Trip to the Airport…Rush Hour Traffic in Northern VA

My friend arrived back home tonight. She was in California stuck at LAX.   I was asked to pick her up. Normally, this would not be an inconvenience. Unless they say they are arriving at BWI (Baltimore, Washington International airport).  On a good day that one is two hours from our house.  On a bad day…hang it up.  We won’t go to that airport.  I have to really, really LOVE you in order to drive to BWI.

Washington Dulles International airport is almost as bad. It is up I95, around the beltway (I495) and then take the Dulles airport exit.  Make sure you stay to the left so you don’t end up on the Dulles Toll Road. I don’t mind driving to Dulles.

Unless it is during rush hour traffic.

No one understand rush hour traffic unless they live in Los Angles, Phoenix and New York. They can truly appreciate rush hour traffic. My friends plane arrived at Dulles at 5pm. That is smack in the middle of rush hour traffic. I would have been better off  letting her sit at the airport for two hours then gone to pick her up.

It only took me  30-40 minutes to get to Dulles. North bound traffic was moving at a nice pace. I cringed when I looked at the south bound lanes. Upon arriving at the airport and taking the additional 20 minutes to locate the cell phone parking lot, I parked and took a nap. I did at least get a nice 20 minute snooze.

My friend called me to let me know she was standing outside gate 7 so off I went.

I missed the exit to Manassas.  It would not have made any difference.  Traffic was a bear no matter which way you went. We pulled out of the parking lot at 5:30.

Two hours and forty minutes. 2hrs 40 min. It doesn’t matter how you say it; it took us two. hours. and. forty. mins. to get home. My down yonder is stiff and my legs didn’t want to work. We stopped at our favorite awful place to grab a bite and stretch our legs then headed the rest of the way home.

If you decide to fly out for a visit? DO. NOT. SCHEDULE. YOUR. FLIGHT. TO. LAND. DURING. RUSH. HOUR. TRAFFIC. That is a baaaaddd thing to do to your friends. I would gladly pick you up at 2am as long as you don’t fly in between the hours of 6am-9:30am and 2:30pm -7:30pm. If you promise me not to do that, I will come home and make you sausage gravy and biscuits and might even throw in some homemade cinnamon rolls. You must not fly in during rush hour traffic.

I beg of you…consider your friends who must sit in traffic to get you back to their home.

All I could think of the whole way home was how happy I was that I wasn’t driving a stick.

I took a picture with my cell phone.  It is not a great picture.  I am sure you will get the idea.

The Beltway of Northern Virginia

The Beltway of Northern Virginia

In case you don’t believe me…It is like this every night. You can visit WTOP.COM and actually watch our traffic in the traffic cameras stationed along I95.

Have a nice evening… 🙂 I am standing up for the rest of the night.


December 18, 2008 - Posted by | Attitude, Field Trip, Grief | , ,


  1. I would also had Houston, Atlanta and the Ft Worth/Dallas Metroplex to that understanding rush hour. I would rather drive in DC than Houston. Orlando is bad mostly due to the large number of tourists

    When the Big Guy was looking at Grad schools we drove from Princeton to UVA. Somewhere before Baltimore we switched drivers and I was driving through DC. The Big Guy didn’t realize there was a difference between the inner and outer beltways. He directed me onto the inner Beltway. That was a mess.

    Comment by TheDeeZone | December 19, 2008 | Reply

    • You are probably correct in regard to the other destinations. I haven’t experienced them. What most people don’t realize is that any one driving on the Eastern Seaboard must travel I95 and the beltway at some point. Add to that all the truckers heading North and South, the tourists and vacationers, plus the people who live and work around here…one accident can cripple it for hours….
      Last year we had a freak ice storm move in at 3:30pm…it caused VDOT to shut down the ramps to the mixing bowl in Springfield. My husband was sitting in traffic, trying to get home for almost 8 hours. You don’t even want to be in the area for summer vacations and the day before Thanksgiving!

      Oh my…yes there are two parts to the beltway…I am guessing you got stuck going the long way around….LOL…I’m so sorry! I did that once. Ended up traveling the entire beltway…all the way around D.C.

      Comment by gingerporter | December 19, 2008 | Reply

  2. I feel for you.

    So very sorry.

    I am glad your friend came to visit.

    Comment by chocolatechic | December 19, 2008 | Reply

  3. I don’t like your traffic! And I refuse to drive it unless I absolutely HAVE to! I’ve driven lots of places, but if possible I leave the HEAVY traffic areas to Dh.

    Comment by MissPlacedAlaskan | December 19, 2008 | Reply

  4. It wasn’t as terrifying as driving through Houston.

    Comment by TheDeeZone | December 19, 2008 | Reply

  5. All I can say is that I am glad, I was not sitting in the car with you. You would have to carry me inside because my legs would not work! LOL

    Isn’t it grand living in Northern VA ???

    Comment by DietDr.Pepper | December 20, 2008 | Reply

  6. That picture is worth a thousand words. Ouch! I’m glad I don’t live somewhere where that is that kind of traffic. Of course, I have connections. If I want to go to Northern Virginia I ask my friends to drive. LOL

    Comment by woundedlily | December 20, 2008 | Reply

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: