Tuesday, July 12, 2005

What a Long Strange Trip

Wow, what an eventful weekend.

I left Friday morning for Baltimore. I decided, since Eric was going down separately, that was going to pit stop in NYC and have a quick visit with Jere, then continue on to Philadelphia, where Eric and I were staying. I didn't count on the insane traffic leading up to The GW Bridge. I mean, I know it's bad, but this was out of control. I left Salem at 9:30 AM and arrived - finally - in NYC at 3:30 PM. That's right, 6 hours. In the rain. It was a little late for "lunch," so we had an early dinner of pizza and hung out for a little while. Since we are both huge fans of the movie JAWS (Jere owns like at least 2 different editions of the movie), we decided to look for 2 scenes containing shooting stars (someone told him about this). He had an idea of where it was, and when we came upon it, we were able to ascertain that they were fake (it was obvious when you turned the mode to super slow).

After receiving a 65 dollar parking ticket, I made my way to the GW Bridge and crossed into NJ. I stood in a gas line for a good hour or so at the infamous Vince Lomardi. This is my favorite of all the NJ Turnpike Service Stations. The Molly Pitcher is a very close second. Anyway, I finally arrived in Philadelphia somewhere around 11:00 PM. Talk about an epic journey. And this was just the beginning.

We left for Baltimore around 8:00 AM. The game started at 1:20, so we were able to catch a bit of BP. Here I am with Taylor, the man responsible for our tickets:

The Infamous Camden Yards sign:


Wade, chillin' on da mound:

I don't have to tell you how frustrating this game was. We just couldn't manufacture the runs and we were even robbed of what could have been a nice Papi homer. This would have given us some kind of momentum. Instead, it just took the wind out of our sails. While the O's kept scoring and scoring and scoring.

Periodlically, I thought of this man we saw in the parking lot on the way over while Baltimore kept "cha-ching"-ing the scoreboard. He had his little girl in tow as he descended the stairs to the exit and said to us, "I hope you lose!" to which I replied, "Hey, thanks. That's sweet of you." I think he felt bad because he followed up with, "We root for you all year long, except when you play us." I was disappointed with the Red Sox hatred he was teaching his daughter. Not at all cool!

Still, I was glad that Taylor, the O's fan, got to witness a win. Since last year's game annual Kim-Taylor Camden Yards game, he and I are now 1-1. We'll break the tie next year, I am sure. I still feel bad that CY is often inundated with Red Sox fans. I even found another fan wearing last year's Pokey Reese shirt and I was certain I would be the only one. After the defeat, I was still high-fived by drunken Sox fans wandering the streets of Baltimore.

After spending another night in Philadelphia, I headed back to Boston. Eric had some nonsense job interview in the area (don't ask), so I was going solo in the car. I decided to make another stop in New York on the way back for some possible catching in the park with Jere. The weather was a lot more "summery" on Sunday, so spending time outdoors was a nicer proposition. Again, the traffic leading up to the GW was horrendous. I left Philly at 1:00 and arrived in NYC some time after 5. It should have been an hour and a half. I took the Harlem River Drive from 95 and that's when my car started crapping out. Sputtering and downshifting, all while I was in the far left lane. It never stalled, but kept acting like it was going to. I pulled over and did a little Terry Francona rainman rocking before starting it back up. It seemed okay after this, but as I circled Jere's neighborhood for a spot, it started up again. This made me really nervous. I decided to try to get it into a garage, as opposed to chancing it out on 95 and not having anywhere to go. Jere and his roommate, Chan, were kind and generous enough to offer me their inflatabed and a spot on their floor for the evening. I would have been completely screwed had it not been for their hospitality.

The garage, located on the other side of town, accepted the vehicle around 9 AM the following morning, but, it being New York City and a Monday, the odds of them being able to diagnose the problem, let alone fix it, were very slim. I checked in with them throughout the day, but it seemed that progress was not going to be made. I took a train back to Boston last night and finally arrived in Salem at 12:30 or so. We did have fun tootling around the city. incidentally. In between all the weird car problems, I actually had a pretty incredible time.

So, long story short: Car is still in New York. Eric and I are trying to coordinate getting it back once it has been repaired. It seems that I will miss the first softball playoff game, too, since I don't have the luxury of the vehicle. Oh, well. At least nothing bad happened while I was on the road with the sputtering Ford Focus. And if we advance, I'll be at the next one.

I have a little movie I'd like to share with you all, too. Once I can figure out how to post it somewhere, I'll letcha know.


Post a Comment

<< Home