Tuesday, May 24, 2005

My Big Adventure

Well, I’m back from my big adventure. My youngest sister (YS) was getting married. She moved to Massachusetts about a year ago to be with her fiancé. My middle sister (MS) and I drove down on Saturday for her wedding on Monday. We planned on returning on Tuesday. This is the farthest I have ever driven before and I learned and observed a few interesting things on the trip. Never, never order an extra large decaf coffee from MacDonald’s. First off, the coffee is instant (blecchhh). That would not have been so bad maybe if it was a regular size, but if it’s extra large, the coffee in next to undrinkable.
If you do however, manage to drink it all, do not then have something else to drink to wash away the taste as you are approaching the border. You may get stuck in a 3 hour traffic delay – yes three hours – to move half a mile. With absolutely no chance to turn around. No chance. After drinking an extra large coffee followed up by a diet coke.
Washrooms at Home Depot are located in the back. The back of a very large store.
When men jump out of a car, why do they not go behind the trees? They must like to rub it in about their abilities to jump out of a car in a 3 hour traffic jam. Women can’t do this.

Never trust a GPS that has a male voice. My YS sent us her fiance’s GPS to help us get there. It lied. It will get you to almost where you want to go, then either it will play with your mind and give screwy directions and chuckle to itself as it says in an oh so polite voice to “please make a legal U turn as soon as possible” probably realizing you can’t make a legal U turn for the next mile or so, or it will stop working altogether. Then it does it again. And then again. Just when you have no idea where you are.
Between these two factors, a trip that normally takes between 7 and 10 hours can take 12 hours. Yes, 12 hours. A beer will go down very smooth after this. And you sleep good.
The area around Vermont, New York and Massachusetts is breathtakingly beautiful. There are mountains all the way around and the countryside is much more winding than I am used to driving. But it sure was gorgeous scenery.
Americans actually seem to obey the speed laws. In Canada, if the speed limit is 100 (kilometers) an hour, that pretty much means you won’t get caught if you’re still going 120. I love to drive fast. I couldn’t do that too much on the weekend. Between obeying the speed laws and the winding roads, I had to curtail my need for speed . Luckily I made up for it on the way home once I crossed the border.
I’ve observed this before of course, having grown up in a border town, but our currencies are very different. Canadian currency comes in some very lovely colours, blue for $5, purple for $10, green for $20, orange for $50 etc. We also have coins for $1 (loonies) and $2 (toonies). It’s easy to tell what is what and how much money you have left. With American currency, you have to actually look at the bills to see what each one is. And it can seem like you have more money that you do when you have seven $1 bills.
I must admit to being somewhat disappointed in the Barns & Noble store we went to. I had most of my money earmarked for books I couldn’t find at Chapters, but alas there weren’t any. I did however pick up a book with one of “those” covers I would have hemmed and hawed over purchasing here. I didn’t have to worry about that because chances are I’ll never go back there. I liked that freedom.
And the most important thing. As much fun as traveling is, and as much as you laugh the next day about a 3 hour traffic jam and all that entails is, as much fun as it is meeting some very wonderfully warm and friendly people, as much fun as it is to stay in a hotel and not worry about having to make the bed, as much fun as it is seeing some of the most incredibly beautiful scenery, as nice as it is to see your baby sister marry a very nice man with a very nice family, there really is no place like home.


sybil said...

Glad your back and had a good time!

So what book was it ;)

Kristie (J) said...

Stargazer by Colby Hodge. It has a horrid cover (shudder). My sisters not understanding, thought I bought it because of the cover. So not. I bought it despite the cover when I saw it got a pretty good review at AAR and I love Futuristics.

CW said...

Welcome back!

I'm still goggling over your saying that most drivers were following the speed limit. Are we talking about the same Massachusetts? :P

Tara Marie said...

Welcome back, your 3 hours at the border beats our 2 hours on 287 in New Jersey, but we did watch a tractor trailer driver almost come to fisticuffs with a suit in a Toyota compact. The tractor trailer driver took exception to the suit using the shoulder as a lane.

I saw Stargazer in B&N yesterday and didn't pick it up because of the silly cover. I missed the review over at AAR.

You bet we drive the speed limit in our area of New York, especially in the small towns. Tickets are a major source of revenue for towns around here.

Kristie said...

CW - grin
I think there are degrees of speeding. I always drive 120 on the highway where the speed is marked 100 but so do do most drivers. I think that's probably about 80 - 90 MPH but I'm terrible at conversions. There are always those drivers that blow past me and I figure they must be doing at least 140 which would be somewhere around 110 MPH.
On the Mass turnpike, which apparently we weren't supposed to be on but the GPS told us to (everyone we told was astonished we drove that way), other drivers were going somewhat over the speed limit but I didn't see any drivers way over. My MS though had to keep telling me to slow down.

Tara Marie
It got a B at AAR. When I saw the grade after I saw the cover and figured I was safe, I thought to myself "damn, I didn't want to have to get this one but now I suppose I'll have to".
I started it and so far it's pretty good too.

Jay said...

And it can seem like you have more money that you do when you have seven $1 bills.

That's funny. When I was in Montreal I thought I had lots of change and was pleasantly surprised to find many of the coins were loonies & toonies! Whoo hoo! More money than I thought!

sybil said...

Stargazer? hee I was expecting something really bad like a EC cover or something.

I bought Stargazer today at the ubs because of you and maili ;)

Kristie said...

For me (well not so much me but my DH, it is bad :))It was kind of funny. I had the book out last night when my husband got home. He gets so ticked when he sees me reading books with 1/2 naked men on them. When he saw the book he gave me a disgusted look and rolled his eyes. I didn't bother telling him I hated the cover too.
We're in the boat together as to whether it's a good one or not. It's starting off pretty good but that doesn't always mean it's a good one at the end.

sybil said...

LOL I would have so given my husband shit if he said crap about what I read.

hmmm of course I did divorce him after 5 years so... what do I know ;)

The only cover to ever give me pause while buying it was a Dangerous Desires by Julia Templeton. But I bought it anyway, and then didn't like it.

go figure

Kristie said...

They don't stock Ellora's Cave here. Otherwise I would be in a real quandry. Chapters does have an erotica section but I think all the books in the section are Lesbian books. And dang it, I didn't think of looking at Barns & Noble. That was my chance!
I'm working my way up to romantica though. I've read some Emma Holly historicals - again they don't stock her contemps and Angela Knight who I figure is close.

Jill said...

I'm with you, there's no place like home . . .