Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Road Trip...The Final Saga

So...I'm figuring I should wrap up my road trip diary since it's been a month and a half since we left. I'm slow. Blame it on old age or whatever makes you happy. I have but one life to live and that show was cancelled a few years ago.

We left our super amazing road trip through Pennsylvania and all states between here and there by taking a detour to the AACA museum in Hershey. Really cool, even if you don't get all excited over cars like some of us (my often mute husband is gaga over vroom vroom) it's worth a stop. I enjoyed it, teen angst at one point threaten to toss herself over the 2nd floor balcony onto Mr. Beep. He would not have survived. I think she was kidding. 

Mr. Beep fearing for his life.

Then we hit the road all full of wonder and promise of a nice eight hour ride home. It was the last nice thought we had until twelve hours later...

We decided for one last good sit down meal before we made the push eastward to home figuring we could stop for a quick drive thru sandwich coffee type of dinner when we were a few hours away from home. 

So we strolled into a Cracker Barrel off the side of the never-ending highway system of PA and decided to have an artery clogging, tie on the feed bag feast.  YEAH!!  It would have been a lovely feast if our server, a short busty lady named either Nicole or Jessica, which isn't relevant to the story but I like to remember names, came over and introduced herself.  

"HI! I'MNICOLE/JESSICAANDI"LLBEYOURSERVERTODAY" said all in one breath and at a pitch only dogs and martians could hear.  

We looked at each other with the silent knowledge that we were going to eat quickly and run lest she try to make any kind of conversation.  


Say what? Yeah hey Nicole/Jessica, this is Cracker Barrel, you're off the turnpike, no kidding we're not from around here can we please just have food and drink thanks sweetie pie. I'm at Cracker Barrel so of course I have a salad. I worry about things like rest stops and explosive diarrhea while road tripping. Salad is never a safe bet but fried food is always risky.  The only thing on the menu not fried was the salad though I bet they'd offer to fry it if they could figure out how to get the cucumbers to not float. 

We eat quickly so we don't have to converse with helium lady for too long since I'm pretty sure I'm picking up the Pennsylvania accent which is confusing my Canadian/Suncook/New England brain all to heck and we dash back out into the sunshine.

Hey, look honey great time we're already over the Tappan Zee bridge...woot woot!  Hey we're on the Merritt Parkway!!  And now we're stopped.

And stopped.

Still stopped.

And not moving, stopped. 

"I think the brake doohickey thingy is stuck and getting hot" I hear the no longer giddy driver say.  I sweetly ask him to define hot like holy shit that's hot, drop it like it's hot,  or FUUUCCCK I see flames hot.  He gives me a growl and the look.  I play scrabble on my tablet fast and furious in case it's my final game.  I don't see flames. My salad seems to be resting comfortably in my belly.  I'm not horribly worried. He has tools.  I have a long tablet battery life. 

Still stopped.

Not moving. 

Oh look a disabled car!  Yeah we're flying past it now.  Poor guy, no place to turn off, no shoulder and on a Friday.  Oh man glad I'm not him!

And we're stopped again.


Yup, not moving.

No flames coming from the doohickey.  Flames coming from, cat tossed into a bathtub is happier, husband. He utters the phrase..."we need to turn off" and darts across two lanes of not moving traffic like Homer Simpson on a bender and dives down the next exit.  Even teen angst looks up from her computer long enough to say "shit". 

We sit in a train station parking lot and use the last of our sweet sweet water, life sustaining water, on the caliper doohickey brake thingy.  We sit on tires and look homeless for an hour.  The road must have cleared by now right?  Where is everyone in Connecticut going on a Friday afternoon in April?  Ain't crap going on up in Northern New England, trust me.  Mr. Mechanic decides we should stay off the highway for a bit then get back on and smooth sailing home!  

It's not smooth sailing.  We first hit the McDonald's from hell in a town so fancy they can't have a drive up window and it's next to a movie theater in a strip mall and every tween girl just saw a movie with a boy they are now swooning over in FREAKING McDONALDS at 8pm on a FRIDAY NIGHT!!!! Deep breathing exercises a decaf coffee and a yogurt help me retain control after waiting twenty minutes to pee while three tween girls primp themselves for the fancy Connecticut Friday Night tween parade.  UGH!  I will stab you with your Maybelline mascara wand you little girl with the push up bra.  I have a 50+ year old bladder and it's full of lemonade, iced coffee and pent up anger from being stuck in a vehicle with my non communicating family for the last eight hours and eighteen minutes but whose counting? 

After sufficiently calming ourselves (me) down we get back in the F@^%ing Jeep and carry on.  Right back on the a traffic jam at 8:45 on a Friday night!  Seriously people it's 8:45 everything north of here is closed so please just go home.  Please!  

They don't go home.  They clog up the road until 9:30 then sweet sweet Jesus clear sailing!  We're doing the speed limit.  We're doing 5 miles per hour OVER the speed limit. We're passing other cars...YEAH!  

And we stop.


Construction.  Friday. Night. Route 495. Are. You. Kidding. ME?!!??  Construction next ten miles. Liar, such liars.  One lane next 10 miles. Construction lasted approx. 20 feet.  3 State Police Cars, 4 State Troopers standing on the side of the road.  Two construction workers making a mark on the side of the road with spray paint.  Everyone looking at the mark and oohing and ahhing.  This happens twice. Twice! What can I use as a weapon in this vehicle because I'm going to take each and every one of you on the road hostage if this f@^%ing Jeep  doesn't move faster than 15 miles per hour within the next thirty seconds.  I start recording my demands on video from my cell phone. 

We've been in the car 10 hours.

11 hours.

I'm screaming out the open window throwing pieces of luggage to the side of the road.  Ok the window wasn't open I'm just slamming things against a closed window forgetting the driver has window controls on his side. Teen angst is catching dirty laundry with one hand while live tweeting my nervous breakdown with the other. 

We see, off in the distance, a sign in two languages.  Are we in Canada? You have to be kidding me how the hell did we get to Canada?  I'm dreaming this whole thing right?  No!  We're in New Hampshire!!  Bienvenue never looked so good.  We are almost home.  Almost to that sweet sweet homeland called Maine.  I have never called and will probably never call Maine a sweet sweet homeland again so savor the moment Maine. 

12 hours. 

I black out after that and wake up standing in a pile of dirt in the pouring rain with a shovel in my hand doing work detail at the school garden on Saturday morning. 

At least that's what I told the authorities. 

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