So I have Utah plates on my car which is nice when I do something stupid on these crazy Northern VA roads.
This week I worked W, Th, and Fri nights, meaning that I left work around 7:30am the next day.
Thursday night, going to work, my car was acting a bit funny and I realized I hadn't changed the oil since driving here. So Friday morning, I wanted to stop on the way home and pick up a few quarts of oil to get me through the week till I could get it changed. In a combination of sleepiness and being new to the area, I took the exit before mine, thinking I would pass a store on the way home. Then I remembered I had done that before and there is nothing on that road. So then I turned around and, long story short, spent almost 90 minutes driving around, figuring out where I was, using my trusty map, buying oil, and getting home.
The next day, Saturday morning, on my way home, I thought it would be nice to swing by the farmers' market in Old Town Alexandria. The best way to get there is take the exit just past mine. Well, somehow I missed it, and it's the last exit before you go over the Potomac river into Maryland. No problem, I'll just take a Maryland exit, turn around, and take I-495 back over the Potomac into Virginia. EXCEPT...the traffic in that direction was backed up for at least 5 miles, completely stopped. That pretty river I like on almost every other day means you can't just take side streets back, you need a bridge. So again I turned to my trusty map, took a side road up into DC, onto the 395, over the Potomac in a different spot, and came down Route 1 into Old Town and to the farmers' market. It was small but nice, bought some eggplant, peppers, and apples.
But I have now resolved no pit stops on the way home from work unless I know exactly where I am going.