Traveling for the Fourth of July? Here Are the Worst Times to Leave Your House

iStock/Marcos Assis
iStock/Marcos Assis

Millions of people will be attending parades, barbecues, and fireworks shows in the U.S. on the Fourth of July. If you're one of them, traveling to your festivities will likely be a hassle. Lifehacker reports that AAA expects 48.9 million people to be in transit on July 4, 2019—a 4.1 percent increase from last year and a new Independence Day record. Traffic may be unavoidable in some cases, but with a bit of planning, you can make your holiday travel as painless as possible.

In a recent report, AAA broke down the worst times to leave the house for people traveling by car from 10 major cities this week. Wednesday July 3—the day before Independence Day—will be the worst travel day for people leaving from New York, San Francisco, Detroit, and Los Angeles. Early- to mid-afternoon is projected to be the worst times to hit the road that day in all four cities. Travelers starting their journeys in New York between 1:45 p.m. and 3:45 p.m. that day should expect especially brutal traffic conditions, with AAA predicting delays lasting up to 3.8 times as long as they normally would.

The day of the Fourth itself will also see delays in many parts of the country. Thursday is predicted to be the worst travel day of the week in Seattle and Detroit. In Atlanta, Boston, and Chicago, the day after will see the longest delays, and in Washington, D.C., travelers should avoid heading home in the late morning and early afternoon on Sunday. You can see the rest of AAA's projections of the worst dates and times to travel from 10 major U.S. cities below.

1. Atlanta // Friday, July 5, 5:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m.
2. Boston // Friday, July 5, 10:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m.
2. Chicago // Friday, July 5, 1:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m.
3. Detroit // Wednesday, July 3, 2:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m.
4. Houston, Texas // Thursday, July 4, 1:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m.
5. Los Angeles // Wednesday, July 3, 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.
6. New York // Wednesday, July 3, 1:45 p.m. to 3:45 p.m.
7. San Francisco // Wednesday, July 3, 1:30 p.m. to 2:30 p.m.
8. Seattle // Thursday, July 4, 12:00 p.m. to 2:00 p.m.
9. Washington, D.C. // Sunday, July 7, 10:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.

These times only apply to car travel, which means people taking a flight the week of the Fourth of July have a different list of factors to worry about. Here are some tips for making it through the airport that can be used on July 4 or any other busy travel day.

[h/t Lifehacker]

Hundreds of Kangaroos Roam the Green at This Australian Golf Course

burroblando/iStock via Getty Images
burroblando/iStock via Getty Images

Anglesea Golf Club has all the makings of a regular golf club: an 18-hole golf course, a mini golf course, a driving range, a clubhouse, and a bistro. But the kangaroo mobs that hop around the holes add an element of surprise to your otherwise leisurely round of one of the slowest games in sports.

Person takes photo of a kangaroo
Anglesea Golf Club

According to Thrillist, the kangaroos have been a mainstay for years, and the club started giving tours a few years ago to ensure visitors could observe them in the safest way possible. For about 25 minutes, a volunteer tour guide will drive a golf cart with up to 14 passengers around the course, sharing fun facts about kangaroos and stopping at opportune locations for people to snap a few photos of the marsupials, which are most active in late afternoon and early morning. Kangaroos are friendly creatures, but Anglesea’s website reminds visitors that “they can also be quite aggressive if they feel threatened.”

Post-graduate students and academic staff from Melbourne University’s zoology department have been researching Anglesea’s kangaroo population since 2004, and some of the animals are marked with collar and ear tags so the researchers can track movement, growth, survival, and reproduction patterns throughout their life cycle.

One of the reasons kangaroos have continued to dwell on land so highly trafficked by people is because of the quality of the land itself, National Geographic reports. The golf course staff regularly sprinkles nitrogen fertilizer all over the green, which makes the grass especially healthy.

Kangaroos graze on Anglesea Golf Course
Anglesea Golf Club

If you decide to plan a trip to Anglesea Golf Club, you can book a kangaroo tour here—adult tickets are $8.50, and children under 12 can come along for just $3.50 each.

[h/t Thrillist]

House Boasting a ‘Harry Potter Room’ Under the Stairs Hits the Market in San Diego

Cupboard under the stairs featured on the Warner Bros. Studio Tour: The Making of Harry Potter in London.
Cupboard under the stairs featured on the Warner Bros. Studio Tour: The Making of Harry Potter in London.
Matt Robinson, Flickr // CC BY 2.0

When Harry Potter fans dream of living like the boy wizard, they may picture Harry's cozy quarters in the Gryffindor dormitory at Hogwarts. One home owner in San Diego, California is trying to spin one of Harry's much less idyllic living situations as a magical feature. As The San Diego Union-Tribune reports, a listing of a three-bedroom house for sale in the city's Logan Heights neighborhood boasts a "Harry Potter room"—a.k.a storage room under the stairs.

In the Harry Potter books, the cupboard under the stairs of the Dursley residence served as Harry's bedroom before he enrolled in Hogwarts. Harry was eager to escape the cramped, dusty space, but thanks to the series' massive success, a similar feature in a real-world home may be a selling point for Harry Potter fans.

Kristin Rye, the seller of the San Diego house, told The Union-Tribune she would read Harry Potter books to her son, though she wouldn't describe herself as a super fan. As for why she characterized her closet as a “large ‘Harry Potter’ storage room underneath stairs" in her real estate listing, she said it was the most accurate description she could think of. “It’s just this closet under the stairs that goes back and is pretty much like a Harry Potter room. I don’t know how else to describe it," she told the newspaper.

Beyond the cupboard under the stairs, Rye's listing doesn't bear much resemblance to the cookie-cutter, suburban home of 4 Privet Drive. Nearly a century old, the San Diego house has the same cobwebs and a musty smells you might expect from the Hogwarts dungeons, the newspaper reports. But there are some perks, including a parking spot and backyard space for a garden or pull-up bar. The 1322-square-foot home is listed at $425,000—cheaper than the median price of $620,000 for a resale single-family home in the area.

If you want to live like a wizard, you don't necessarily need to start by moving under a staircase. In North Yorkshire, England, a cottage modeled after Hagrid's Hut is available to rent on a nightly basis.

[h/t The San Diego Union-Tribune]

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