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TAMMY BROOKS AND YVETTE WASOBA, BOTH 29

The starting line: Tyrone area of St Petersburg

The finish line: State Road 54, near Little Road in Trinity

The ride: Tammy drives a 2002 Ford Focus with 46,551 miles on it and Yvette drives a 2000 Jeep Cherokee with 49,264 miles

Approximate gas mileage: Tammy gets 23 in the city and 28 highway, Yvette isn't sure.

The route: 38th Avenue to 49th Street, then north across the Bayside Bridge to McMullen Booth Road. This turns into East Lake Road and then Mitchell Road. Then we turn left on Little Road and take that to State Road 54.

Do you ever vary your route? Tammy: I've tried 66th Street to U.S. 19, and also I-275 to the Veterans/Suncoast Parkway, but both take longer. Once the construction is completed to widen SR 54, we may try the parkway again. It's a much easier drive without all of the traffic lights.

Distance/length of commute? 34 miles

How long does it take? Usually an hour, but anywhere from 55 to 80 minutes depending on traffic and accidents.

Latest you can leave and still be on time? 7:20 a.m. to be sure

What time do you normally get home after work? Between 6:15 and 7 p.m. depending on when we leave work.

Do you ever carpool? Every day, unless one of us has an appointment or outside plans.

How long have you been commuting? Tammy: Since January to Trinity, but (I) commuted to West Shore in Tampa for 3{ years before that. Yvette: Just started commuting with Tammy to Trinity a few weeks ago.

Did you plan for a commute or did it just work out that way? Tammy: Ironically, in my search for a closer job, I ended up finding this great opportunity in Trinity. I almost didn't take the job due to distance, but once I interviewed and learned what it was all about I was hooked. Now I'm very happy. . .. the job is much less stressful and more rewarding, plus I love what I do. We don't move closer to my job because of my husband's job and the fact that my grandmother lives two blocks away.

How do you occupy the drive time? Girl talk, plan out our day at work or sometimes we listen to the radio or CDs if we don't feel like talking.

What do you like about the commute? Tammy: In the morning, it gives me time to wake up and mentally prepare for my day. I'm not a morning person. Yvette: I enjoy my cup of hot coffee and our chitchat in the morning.

What do you dislike? Tammy: The evening drive, the traffic is worse and I just want to get home. Yvette: Same thing!

Any daily rituals related to your commute? We stop for coffee on most mornings at Starbucks or Hess if we have time.

Is there anything that you do on the road that seems to annoy other drivers? We often put on makeup in the car, but only at traffic lights.

What do other drivers do that drives you crazy? When people drive very slowly, under the speed limit. . . . Some people have leisurely mornings and don't realize that other people have to be places at certain times.

Weirdest thing you've ever seen while commuting? Tammy: Nothing so far on the drive to or from Trinity. However, when I was commuting to West Shore there was an accident once on the Howard Frankland on Halloween morning. We sat on the bridge and couldn't move until almost 10 a.m. People were getting out of their cars to wait, and some were wearing costumes. I was dressed as a Charlie's Angel and ended up talking to a clown, a gothic witch and a superhero. We were all chatting and laughing, so that made the wait easier to take.

Know someone whose commute would be worth chronicling in this space? Maybe your own? Then e-mail Lorrie Lykins at commutertalesyahoo.com.

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