Thursday, December 20, 2007

Feeling lazy in the snow (in Antrimville)

We dropped D&L off at the airport in Florida and Beth and I headed North.
While Beth was driving, I was talking to Stu on the phone and he mentioned that his mom used to use the AutoTrain. I said that it is probably expensive and he said that his mother was really cheap, so it must have been cost affective. I hung up, fired up the computer and checked out Amtrak. I did some calculations and after subtracting gas expenses, an overnight stay, food, and the cost of some miscellaneous expense (like South of the Border gift shops) and the train seemed like a good idea. The train was scheduled to leave at 4pm from a spot in Florida that was two hours away from where we were. It was 2:10pm. I jumped in the driver's seat, we bought two Dairy Queen sundaes for vitality, stamina, and mood enhancement and we turned right and headed East in a straight line to the Amtrak station. We made it to the "WineBarrel Express" which was a very exciting adventure on it's own that I will talk about later. We squirted out of the other end and were reunited with our car in Virginia and then started heading North again. We steered directly into the "Northeast Corridor". Whew. Traffic, tunnels, bridges, Washington DC. We crossed the lower level of the George Washington Bridge into NYC and were looking at the huge grimy brick walls of the undershorts of the city when we saw our first icicles of the year. Huge 20 foot tall things stretching down the black walls towards the eight lanes of honking cars. Jimmy Buffett's song about wasting away in Margaritaville was playing on the radio and caused Beth and I to do a final check to confirm that the mission was a "GO". We could veer right and sneak back across the Verrazano to warmer weather or veer left into the black hole of Route 95. The tail lights in front of me were narrowing into a blur of red, everything becomes compressed in a black hole, you know.

We went for it. We turned up the radio to drown out the honking horns and crept when necessary and lurched and sped along when the opportunity presented itself. We almost jumped on the Hutch which was pretty crowded and instead went for Rt 95. We hadn't been on the Connecticut stretch of Rt 95 for twenty years, it HAD to be better by now.
Nope. It's not any better. Two hours later we had traveled twenty or thirty miles and the traffic reports were saying "everything was normal".
We took an exit and drove the back roads to the sanity of the Hutchinson Parkway, which had evolved into the Merritt Parkway at this latitude.
We spent an hour getting to the next exit. Then I just gave up. I set Lorraine (our trusty navigation system) to a spot in Northern Connecticut and we drove though residential neighborhoods and single lane back roads for an hour until we hit route Rt 84 and then started cruising again.
Traffic was still thick, but it was moving.
We had spent four hours or more getting from the Hudson River in Manhattan to Stamford Connecticut, and we weren't phased at all. Nope. It didn't bother us. We knew we didn't want to turn around and flee to warmer roads, nosiree, there were waaaaay too many cars blocking the portal to "the warm side". We were committed to the mission. We were hungry and I started asking Lorraine to look for motels, but Beth wanted to push on. McDonalds gave us calories and caffeine and we plunged back into the darkness. We called to check up with D&L so we could get a little sympathy about the stresses of our trip and they had JUST arrived at the airport in Manchester and were filling out the forms so that their luggage could be shipped to them, someday. We had dropped them off in Florida, driven four hours, rode a train, drank gallons of wine, slept a little, ate breakfast, sat around reading, drove to NYC, entered the black hole of tail lights, busted out of the other side, were three hours from D&L's house and D&L STILL had to shovel out their car and drive two hours home. Nope, we weren't going to get any sympathy from them. We cranked up the radio even louder and sang songs until we crossed the New Hampster border. We held hands as we crossed the line and took a deep sigh. We found a couch and Beth took a nap from 10:30pm Monday until 7:30am Wednesday. Tuesday didn't exist.
We have since found a place to live and are going to go there now.
We may be taking it easy for a while. There is a beautiful snowstorm right now. Whooops, Beth fell asleep on the couch next to me. I'm going to wake her up so that we can eat some lunch and drive to Marlborough to check out the couch in our new living quarters.


Post a Comment

... If you are reading this, PLEASE click a Star, just so I know you are there ...