The Virginia Railway Express is - when it's running - an excellent way to get into the District and home again. Driving on I-95 is an unattractive option due to the horrendous congestion northbound (in the morning) and southbound (at night). However, notice that I said "when it's running" as a qualifier.
Over the past three weeks, there has been one snafu after another with VRE, which runs on tracks owned and [allegedly] maintained by CSX. During this three week period, there have been slow downs due to signal deficiencies, hot weather speed restrictions, insufficient staff (that's on VRE who have their own personnel) and other problems. This afternoon, another wrinkle has been added to the ugly stew of VRE! A CSX train carrying coal derailed around Quantico, blocking ALL tracks and thus making it impossible for people to get home with any expectations of speed or normal convenience. In the immortal words of VRE - "you may wish to make other arrangements"- and so we have. Friend Joyce, bless her heart, has 3 sons and 1 daughter, and they are all helpful and accommodating people. Sons Jason and David are both unavailable this afternoon, but son Steve will be picking us up at the end of the Springfield Metro line running out of D.C. and taking us home. If my luck is running good, his beautiful American bulldog Stuart will be riding shotgun and affording me the opportunity for doggie kisses and cuddles! I'll always make lemonade out of lemons, given the chance!
Beautiful sis Linda was our "fallback" position, but luckily Steve has jumped forth into the breach with his small truck which is far more comfortable than Linda's sports car!
UPDATE: The commute home ended up being that well known Chinese Fire Drill, in that Metro was experiencing power outages on its tracks. Consequently, we were "detrained twice and still had only managed to cover 1/4 of the geography needed to get us to Steve at Franconia/ Springfield. Finally, when we were kicked off the train a second time at Pentagon City, we decided to take a taxi. Only problem, it was raining and no taxis were to be had. When we finally did get into a taxi, the doorman at the Ritz Carlton tried to persuade the taxi driver to kick us out and allow a man trying to get to the airport to take over. I wish I had gotten the taxi driver's name but he was adamant. According to the law in that venue, once our butts were planted on the seats, and absent any kind of bad behavior on our parts, he could not ask us to give our taxi over to a third party! And, our driver continued, he didn't WANT to go to the airpot and he DID WANT two elderly ladies who were up a stump of sorts in his cab. What anice young man. I finally got home (thanks to Steve's good work) at nearly 9 p.m.!