The ride back from Annapolis was AWFUL! Next time Mary tells me to wait until morning....for the love of God make me listen.
The rental car was due back Tuesday at 6 pm. The original plan was to leave Annapolis Tuesday morning. But Monday, when I was enjoying my leisurely, warm day, I changed the plan to leaving after dinner. I don't mind driving at night and there is less traffic and I would get some stuff done with my son Tom......blah, blah, blah.
So I hit the road at 2145/9:45pm. Full tank of gas ... snacks ... water ... clear weather....
I made great time up to the Maryland/Delaware border when I realized I had much less cash on my than I had previously thought. Normally, I would have used my bank card, cursed the extra fee for using it in the rest area ATM and moved on. After all I had a regular credit card for gas and stuff. But I had left the ATM card in Boston. If I had left in daylight/business hours, I could have gone to a bank branch and made a withdrawal. But it was nearly midnight. I could turn around and tap, tap, tap on Mary's door a little after 0100/1 am....yeah, not with a gun to my head. The credit card has a PIN number for cash withdrawals....but that number was at home and it's not like I could call my parents and ask for it.
Fine, I have maps and the car had a compass, I would just drive non-toll roads. I just needed to avoid the New Jersey Turnpike ($9.10) and the George Washington Bridge ($12.00) and something coming up on the Delaware border.
That was going just fine, in fact it was pleasant to drive through the Pennsylvania farm country under a nearly full moon. But at 3 am or thereabouts I stopped for gas as I always do when I hit the half tank point.
Credit Authorization Denied.
I couldn't get through to the credit card offices. Fine I kept driving. I figured worst case I would pull over when I was within 50 miles of empty and wait until I could go to a bank.
I tried again at a gas station at 4am. That denial said to call credit card issuer. I did and got through. It was a "security block". The customer service agent said "Ma'am, there are charges from multiple states." I told her that was me driving. I answered 7 security questions and they released the card.
So I at the road again and made it back to Massachusetts with $6.00 in my pocket.
At that point, sleeping would have messed me up. So I did things, stayed awake, returned the car and then went to bed.
But everything drove me crazy, I was so on edge from lack of sleep and stress. Do you know the Salvation Army has bellringers out already? I don't care how bad the eonomy is, it's wrong for them to be out before the Christmas Season!
The woman who lives up the street was behind me on High Street when I signalled to turn down Elm. There was a car backing out of Elm, so I had to wait. The woman behind me almost hit me. After the car parked I moved forward a foot and a pedestrian stepped out into the crosswalk. The woman behind me beeped her horn. I put my hand out the window and pointed my index finger back in her direction, like I was scolding someone and said "STOP!". If I could have focused my angry eyes on her, I think she would have been vaporized on the spot.
Then when we get to our section of Elm, we both pull in to what is a wide open section of resident parking. She calls out "You should be careful, the meter maids are out this time of day" in this cheery tone, like we're buds. You see, once I was out of the car she realized who I was. The rental car had New Jersey plates, so she thought I was an outsider when we were at the corner of High and Elm. If I didn't think my mother would have beat me with a wooden spoon I would have told her to shut up. But my mother WOULD HAVE KILLED ME. So I just said "Yeah, I'm just dropping something off". I was just dumping my luggage before returning the rental.
I told my mother I had to play the MegaMillions. She said "Why?" I reminded her that whenever we told Mama Kelley about bad luck days, she said "Play the lottery, you're due for some good luck." LOL! I didn't work.
Lesson Learned - I put a $20 in the suitcase pouch with the maps. Now I'm all set.