Picture it...a large suburban filled to the hilt with a car carrier on top and 7 out of the 8 seats filled up and at 4:00am, into the dark....we roll.
Getting off of Long Island is a bit of an adventure in and of itself. Depending on the direction (north or south) dictates which route you will take you off the island....and that inevitable will involve a large (or small and narrow) congested highway and a bridge or two. Thus the reason why we usually leave even before the roosters wake up. Doing so can shave off HOURS on a journey, because if you get stuck in one of the 5 boroughs of NYC, well, you are stuck for the duration...there is no escape.
We got rolling and in 3 hours, we are through New Jersey and into Delaware and ready to pick up our next charge and the last occupant that will make us a completely full vehicle....our nephew.
I have 6th sense with certain things...I KNEW that the communication between my husband and our ex-brother-in-law was flawed. The info given to me via an email was not complete...and so I questioned it....and we pull off into the Delaware Welcome rest stop to call and confirm the drop-off location. And as soon as I notice my husband pump the breaks on the truck, I KNEW we blew a brake line.
Now, the brake lines were just redone less than a year ago, when, on a local camping trip, the coupling blew and we almost crashed into a pulled over cop car (I'm telling you, I have some seriously ridiculously unbelievable road trip stories) - it's a 2001 truck, we should have seen that one coming....but NOT this one. Same coupling leaking on a new line and coupling junction. Eesh.
Now....unbeknownst to me...I am PMS-ing WILDLY and there is a full-moon - I am usually good at knowing all this info, but the craziness of the last 2 weeks really threw me off my game. So, as you can imagine, I was just ready bag the whole darn thing and go home. It was the cherry on top of the uber-crappy Sundae that was the last 2 weeks.
But no....thanks to my mother-in-law's new iPhone and my father-in-laws AAA card, and me throwing up my hands to the whole situation and leaving to feed the kids breakfast in the rest stop....we eventually get a tow and a ride to a garage.
The ride to garage was interesting. Picture 7 people cramming into a flat-bed tow truck. There is the driver and my FIL in the front seats. In the back, on a bench seat that even includes a box blocking a good quarter of the bench....are me, my MIL, and my husband...each with a child on our laps....we were WEDGED in....literally. We were joking that #1 - it was probably VERY illegal that we did that and #2 - it's a good thing that me and hubby are practically half of what we were size-wise 2 years ago! or else that ride never would have happened!! But at least we were together...right?
5 hours later....one brake-line coupling looked at, replaced, oh, AND brake-pad, rotors, and calipers replaced....and about $800 put onto our credit card.....we are finally on our way again.
Moving right along right? Nope.
Gotta go back to the Welcome Center and pick up the nephew...oh, and eat lunch.
OK....off we go!
About a hour later.....we hit traffic in Washington D.C. Painful to say the least....it is now 2pm...and we crawl....and crawl.....and crawl. We even try to go onto a local route....which is dead stop....and we crawl some more....but with lights!!
Finally....we get back on to the highway and it starts to move and we get to Fredericksburg, VA and at 6pm, we get enough distance on the highway to say it's time to stop for dinner at Applebees.
7PM - back on the road.....clear sailing. FINALLY.
But hubby is now getting tired....and so am I. My FIL keeps asking if he wants him to drive. Nope - sorry man. No way in heck....you can barely move with arthritis, and thusly, we will not be letting you drive a truck load of people....not on our watch. But you can pay for gas
which he inststed on doing during the whole trip....that and food. Nice huh? Very nice.
Long story short...and my irritation level on the whole day at a 12 out of a scale of 1 to 10....we finally arrive in Raleigh, NC........at 10:30pm. There is no dropping my nephew off at his house...there is nothing but getting us in our rooms and the kids (and us) to bed. Tomorrow is a new day, with no mistakes in it.....right???
What a first day....it's got to get better. But for me....I am STILL on PMS mode. BIG time. ANYthing and ANYone is pissing me off and all I can do, is silently roll my eyes behind my sunglasses and keep my mouth shut.
I'll skip further details about people....but let's just say this....sometimes there can be too much family togetherness, even when one is visiting family. That goes for my own kids and husband as well. Hubby and I got a night to ourselves in the hotel though, when my SIL had the kids sleep over on Friday night....best night of the week for me!
And then...I got "my little friend"....joy.
NO WONDER!!! With the moon STARING at me the last 2 days and my mood swings...of COURSE! it all makes sense now. And hubby and I can laugh at it now as we stand here in the living room folding the trip laundry.
That being said....and knowing that bit of knowledge on Saturday.....we turned around and had a nice visit. Lots of parks, a walk here or there. A dinner out with the whole gang. People catching naps left and right...I read instead of napped....and then....it was time to go. (I have to abbreviate here....OMG there are more stories of "as only we can experience" thrown in, but that...would be a novel! LoL
Yesterday...we left at 5:15 from NC and got on the road. I wanted to leave at 4am....the in-laws wanted to leave at 7am (because there is a free continental breakfast - gotta get the most out of our trip money you know...meh, I do NOT care of such things - GET me HOME!!! LoL) ...the 5:30am departure time was the compromise.
Thank heavens we left when we did because WE CRUISED!!!!
Well......until we hit the NYC borough of Staten Island. Were we see smoke....and some traffic...and a sign saying that the highway was closed due to a brush fire.
A BRUSH FIRE!!! Nature rears it's ugly head....teases us to no end!!!
We all start laughing because it was too good to be true! (refer back to the "once you get stuck in NYC traffic you are screwed" section of this blog please)
As luck would have it...it turns out that we are at the VERY BEGINNING of the fire and the road, although slow going, is still open for us to get through - very slowly...in the dark of smoke....with hazards on....at 5 miles per hour....and we make it through to see the traffic coming the other way...at a dead stop.
We are now cruising toward Long Island...over the Verranzano Bridge, onto the Belt Parkway...moving...and passing the opposite direction traffic at a dead stop over the bridge and for MILES along the Parkway. They are stuck. and when I mean stuck....I'm talking for HOURS. No escape. Nada. Nothing. You just grim and bear it...and pray you don't have to use the bathroom. I felt bad....we were in traffic like that in D.C. I think here is worse.
Long story short....it's good to be home. It was nice getting a change of pace, but it's good to be home.
The house is a complete disaster. I have TONs of work to do...once again. Small detail stuff too....my faaaaavorite (please note the sarcasm). Looking at my calendar is giving me the hives! ROFL But it's all good. It's mine. All mine. And other people out there have it worse - I know that, so I will take my own chaos with a smile and a cup of coffee and a large, detoxing bottle of water.
OH - and before I forget....Lent is over...and I can drink wine once again. I had some wine too....and it was even paired with a great lamb osso buco my brother in law made - with truffle oil! (Fancy fancy!! LoL) And you knwo what???? I didn't over due it...I enjoyed it. I didn't NEED it, like I had thought I did. I drank more water than anything. Funny what you get used to NOT having.