Visiting someone in prison is a unique experience. I would say it's even unique each time because rules change so often and/or are enforced in different ways based on who's in charge. Visitation rules are open to officers' interpretation, is what I have found over the years.
My first attempt at visiting my husband was short of a disaster. I had recently purchased a new-to-me car. It was a Ford Probe; a fast, sporty-looking, very 90's, complete with pop up lights, low mileage (yessss), white car. I placed my 18 month old daughter in the front passenger seat (as was customary and totally legal then) and headed to where my husband said he had 'landed.' With no GPS available, I followed directions to the prison. As I approached the immense, brick building, I felt a pang of excitement in my gut. I couldn't wait to give my husband a proper hug. It had been almost a year since we had truly embraced! I took my toddler and climbed the numerous steps to the visitor entrance. "Who are you visiting?," barked the officer behind the counter. When I gave him the information, the officer told me I was in the wrong place. My actual destination was further down the street.
Back to the car we went. After driving for about two minutes we arrived at the other prison (who knew there were multiples on one road!) It had started to rain so we ran to the building. I filled out the visitation form and waited for the officer to tell me what was next. Then he gave me unexpected news; "he's not here anymore." What??? So he explained that he had been transferred to his "permanent" location and that I would have to wait for his call.
Once again, I felt deflated (I might be a human balloon), took my daughter and ran back to the car. The rain started to come down harder as we drove away. By the time we got to the thruway it was pretty much storming. Then my sweet little girl gave me a funny look. The next thing I knew she was projectile vomiting and there was nothing I could do!
"Perfect!" I thought. The most appropriate culmination to our super crappy day. After pulling over and cleaning up the best I could (thank God for baby wipes!), I drove back home. Sad, disappointed, stinky, we went back to our daily routine. Oh, but my poor new-to-me car!