Holiday travelers pass through NE Fla.

By Jim Piggott - Reporter

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - The rest stop along Interstate 95 in Nassau County just before crossing into Georgia is one of the busiest in the country. And on this day before Thanksgiving, that's holding true.

Many drivers Wednesday were just happy to make it this far, considering the weather they've been though.

Ernie Farina is one who isn't happy with driving during the holiday weekend. He's from Pennsylvania and has driven to Florida many times, just never during Thanksgiving.

And he says never again.

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"From one end of Baltimore, all the way down to, I would say, Fredericksburg, Va., it was bumper-to-bumper. We lost seven hours here," Farina said.

Traffic wasn't too bad on I-95 in Jacksonville on Wednesday. There was some congestion near the Intestate 10 merge, but it was never at a standstill.

Other drivers said their trips were a piece of cake.

The Stratus family was checking out a map to see the quickest way to get to St. Petersburg from Jacksonville. They too had a hard time driving up north.

"Yesterday it was pouring rain," said Stephanie Stratus. "From the (Washington) D.C. area just to get about 45 minutes away, it took about four hours."

Most are taking it in stride. After all, it is a holiday and they are with family.

For the Martino family, it could be much worse, like with the weather they left in Canton, Ohio.

"It's been wet. It's been raining thunderstorms the whole way down," Lewis Martino said. "At least we did not catch any pockets of snow, just some drizzle. ... It stopped raining as soon as we got to Florida."

According to the Florida Highway Patrol, travelers will begin returning home Friday and Saturday, while Sunday will be the most traveled, second only to Wednesday.

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