Saturday, September 13, 2008

Wedding in NJ

Well, another friend is hitched.

Last night, I went to my former roommate Mike's wedding in northern NJ.

Rosie and I drove to my parents' house, where I dropped her off and changed for the 5pm wedding, strapping a necktie on for the first time in well over one year.

I checked with Jill (the GPS), who told me that the ride to the church would take 50 minutes. Perfect, I figured. I'll leave at 3:40-3:45 in case there's some traffic.

Shame on me. How could I forget that traffic in the NY Metro is God-awful? I grew up here, I lived in Central NJ for 4 years, and I have done countless client visits and projects in the area.

I should have known better.

Rush hour in NJ on Fridays begins at 6am, and ends at 9pm. Maybe there's a break around noon, but otherwise some roads are simply terrible.

Jill took me on the Garden State Parkway (mistake #2 - I should have taken 287 South), right into 20 miles of stop-and-go traffic.

The torrential rain didn't help the cause.

5:50 rolls around, and I finally pull up to the church. Oh well. I'll have to assume that nuptials were being exchanged inside.

So, I decided to wait in my car and listen to some Houston radio through my AOL radio app on my iPhone. I have this strange fascination with hurricanes, and find myself seeking info from as many sources as possible.

About 10 minutes later, people began walking back to their cars and I heard bagpipes. This was my chance to scoot inside and say hi. I walked into the atrium (rain kept the receiving area inside), and saw Brian and some others. I fessed up to running late, but it was no big deal. My gut tells me that with 5pm Friday weddings, not everyone is always able to attend the church ceremony, and many head straight to the later receptions.

Off to the reception, which was excellent. Great wedding and nice venue.

I'm a bit surprised that I stayed until midnight (as I tend to bolt early, especially given my hopeful 50 minute traffic-free drive home), but I did. Too many people I wanted to spend time with.

And yes, the drive home was much shorter. While 12:30am bumper-to-bumper traffic is sometimes a reality in the area (I remember sitting in that traffic at 3am on the FDR once), I had a straight shot back to my childhood casa.

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