Two weekends ago, I embarked on the first road trip vacation since the mighty Year 2000 trips to Calgary and Winnipeg (and what I was thinking going to Winnipeg in January, I’ll never know). In comparison, this was a minor jaunt. But it was a fun trip overall, even including the car drive.
On Thursday night, the trip began when I picked up Rachel from the Long Branch Go station after work. Well, that’s not entirely true. It might be more accurate to say that the trip really began in the planning stages, which were very thorough, in a fashion completely unfamiliar to both of us. We planned what we were bringing, when we were leaving, mapped out the whole trip in manageable chunks, and even had a planning site in the form of a pbWiki. I don’t know how much it actually helped us in the planning, but it was a whole lot of fun to play with, so I would recommend it for that reason, if no other.
Thursday evening was spent getting some last minute shopping done and then ‘resting up’ (read: eating spaghetti and watching TV) for the next day’s early start. Friday morning, the lazy, rebellious part of me (90%) had trouble getting up and out of the house, so we got away a bit later than we had originally planned – though only by half an hour, so, for me? That was great.
We had a hearty breakfast of grease and sugar thanks to a local McDonalds, and then the trip started in earnest. We made great time to the border, and the weather was looking to be perfect for driving. A bit warm, but sunny and dry. As we approached the bridge, we noticed a small-ish back up. No big deal.
An hour later we were still sitting in the sun, seething as the cars in every other line seemed to slide smoothly ahead of us to the barrier. Half an hour after that, bladders full and tempers stretched to the snapping point, we pulled up to the booth in our lane. And were then forced to be cheery and friendly and cooperative with the gabbiest border guard ever, responding to such inanities as, “Wow – seems like everyone’s going to Boston.”
“Is there something going on there”
“Um. Cheap lobster?”
“Is it cheap there?”
“Oh, uh, I guess we… don’t really know. Probably. Maybe?”
The drive went fairly quickly, helped along greatly by Rachel’s iPod music and podcast dj skillz, and just enough junk food to keep things well sugared. The weather cooperated surprisingly well, but we could see the damage caused by some of the flooding in New York state.
We arrived at Sabrina and Chris’s house at around 6 pm, by which time the giddy-ness was setting in. They have a lovely home, with colours similar to the ones I’d like to use someday when I’m living someplace for more than a year and a half. We also met their friend Laura, who had come to spend the weekend with us. And, of course, Sadie.
We all (well, not Sadie) headed out to dinner at a nearby steak house, Rachel and I enjoying the novel sensation of not moving. We proceeded to eat too much and stay up too late.
The next morning, Sadie had to go to puppy school, so she was off, taking Chris and Sabrina with her. Rachel, Laura and I had some quality loafing time, and Rachel checked on the pool. She has a lot of skills. We headed off to Target, where we spent some quality retail time, and goofed around with hats.
Next, we stopped off to pick up some yummy sandwiches, and headed off to Nashoba Valley Winery, where we picnicked outside in the sun, with Sadie enjoying the shade and crumbs under the picnic table. And, of course, we did a bit of shopping inside the winery, too. I picked up a strawberry rhubarb wine that was pretty yummy.
Saturday night was full of fire. First, a rousing game of Celebrity, mixed in with a hot dog and chips dinner. And to top it all off, marshmallows, graham crackers and chocolate in their supreme form: the s’more. Well, lots of s’mores, actually. This infusion of sugar then fuelled a game of Canadian Cranium, which turned out to be just about the most Canadian board game since that one they made us play in high school history. It included a question about the weapon used by Jean Chretien to defend himself from an intruder into the Prime Minister’s residence (it was an Inuit stone sculpture).
Sunday, we had a nice lunch, then headed into Boston for a guided tour (guided by Sabrina and Chris) of the key sites in Boston. It’s really a beautiful city, and I would like to go back and spend some time walking and seeing more of the city. Um. When it’s not over 90 degrees and crowded. In the meantime, I took some really crappy pictures from the back of the comfortable, air-conditioned mini-van.
On Monday we headed back to Canada, again blessed by a largely uneventful journey.
It was a great weekend, and I hope we can do it again. Even if I do get odd looks when I explain that we’re visiting friends we met on the internet. Or maybe especially because of that.
Thanks, Sabrina and Chris!