I had just made it across the Mid-Bay Bridge to White Point Road and then to my home in Bluewater Bay. I had groceries in the car from my stop at Publix in Destin, as I frequently do on my way back from the office in Miramar Beach. I either stop there or at Whole Foods to get our nightly dinner. Being as obsessive compulsive as I am about food quality, I carry insulated bags in my car for groceries. I worry about the food getting warm, even though it’s only about twelve minutes to my house from Highway 98 (I did say OCD, right?) For some weird reason, (probably another OCD) right after I put my groceries on the kitchen counter, I popped open Facebook before unloading them. There was a community post for the Southwind neighborhood where I live in Bluewater Bay. It said the Mid-Bay Bridge had been closed indefinitely for repairs. Of course, I thought this was a joke. I had just driven across the bridge, right? Huh? There was a link and I followed it, still thinking it was a mistake or old news. Then I went directly to the Northwest Florida Daily News website and there again, was the article. The Mid-Bay Bridge had been suddenly and indefinitely “closed” for repairs.
How could this be? I had driven across the bridge only five minutes earlier! I had seen no closure signs. The only clue was earlier in the day, on my morning trip to the office, which by the way, normally takes 17 minutes, when I saw four large trucks parked and about a dozen workers with orange vests peering over the edge on the northbound lane on the side of the bridge nearer to Destin. I had thought they were either doing repairs or inspections or looking for a body (I hate to say it, but I’ve seen that before). Alas, no. It must have been part of their re-inspection of the corroded tension cables, so they say. I was in a state of shock. How would this affect my commute to work? Sure, I can work from home in my business field (real estate), but I need the “office” atmosphere to put myself in the mood. I whipped out Google Maps on my phone and asked for the shortest route to 12889 Emerald Coast Parkway from Bluewater Bay. It was buzzing all over Facebook that Google Maps were already updated and were not showing the availability of the Mid-Bay Bridge route. Google Maps showed me the fastest path was Highway 20 through Fort Walton Beach, stating the time to arrival would be 54 minutes. Posting this immediately on Facebook, receiving dozens of “friends” comments, I was told that Highway 20 to Highway 331, then through Santa Rosa Beach would be faster.
I had to give this the college try the next morning. I already knew (told you – OCD), that to get to Publix in Freeport took about 22 minutes. It did. But how much longer would it be to get to Miramar Plaza? By the time I passed Sandestin, no, Sacred Heart Hospital, no, Walmart in Santa Rosa Beach, I had about lost it. There was no way I was going to have to do this again to get home, right? Call me spoiled. Tell me how it “used” to be in the good old days “before” the bridge. Tell me to toughen up “we used to do that all the time”! I’ve got to counter you there – what life choices would have been made or not made had there been no Mid-Bay Bridge? I probably would have moved to Fort Walton Beach, had an office there, or one in Destin with a home in Destin. NOT moved to Bluewater Bay with an office in Miramar Beach. (OK?) Anyway, after reaching my office (subtracting six minutes for a gas stop and Starbucks – bought as a present for myself for the commute turmoil), it took me a total of 58 minutes to reach work. Typically, as I stated, it is 17 minutes. My next issue was timing going home. I cannot drive in the dark. I’m one of those people with poor eyesight, contact lenses, coke bottle glasses, and get very distracted with headlights on me driving in pitch black. Since it gets dark about 5:00 p.m., I knew I would have to start home by 4:00 p.m. After consulting with my engineer husband, he suggested I leave no later than 3:45 p.m. The other catch was the gym time. I work out at Gold’s Gym in Destin and normally go there at 3:30 p.m. each day to exercise for an hour. To keep up my gym routine, I would have to leave work at 2:45 p.m., lift weights for about 30 minutes, then scramble out to Highway 98. I did this. Stressed out the whole time. Ineffective work out. Driving home was another story. It was now “rush hour”. I could tell it would take longer. When I hit Highway 331, the sun really illuminated the cars in front of me, so much so that I didn’t notice the brake lights on the car I was following. No, I did not get in an accident, but definitely screeched the brakes. Pay attention, Wendy! By the time I got home it was an hour and fifteen minutes later.
Here is where I am today. Home. I’ve decided that driving for almost two and a half hours a day to work on my P.C. for three hours makes no sense. And I will go batty. So, I am remoting into the office computer and trying not to get distracted by doing the laundry, cleaning, playing with cats and writing blog posts. I actually joined Bluewater Fitness yesterday, as it’s only three minutes from my house. Am I being productive? No. Not really. As I sit here typing away in my pajamas at 10:30 a.m.
Yesterday one of my real estate friends called me and said he heard the Mid-Bay Bridge had re-opened. I screamed with joy. He called back five minutes later and said he misunderstood and was wrong. I was crushed. All day long I scour the internet looking for articles about the Mid-Bay Bridge. Any hint or hope of it re-opening soon. I feel for all my friends who MUST commute and are not able to work from home. People who travel from Crestview or Niceville to Destin or Miramar Beach. Eglin AFB workers who live in Destin and go to the base. Of course, duh, safety is first. Meanwhile, I’ll leave the hard-core investigating to the reporters and I will try to stop bird-watching long enough to get some work done.
It’s Wendy… It’s Sold!
BREAKING NEWS: The Mid-Bay Bridge is tentatively scheduled to re-open Wednesday evening! My life is complete!
Wendy Rulnick, Broker, Rulnick Realty, Inc.
Call 850-650-7883 ext 204
Email Wendy: email@example.com