Started off great. Woke up at 4:30 a.m. after more than 7.5 hours of sleep.
Sometimes, pulling a Lauren is a good thing. (For the record, Lauren
Got out of the hotel by 5:10 a.m.
Got some Dunkin Donuts coffee & breakfast. I went up to the counter, ordered two extra-large coffees. The donunt waitress asked if I wanted cream. I said "No." Kara said, "Um, I want cream in mine." I said, "Those are both for me." Kara said "Oh."
And ordered her coffee.
Then we filled out our postcards and mailed them.
Then we were on the road, on the way off the cape, right on schedule.
And we stayed on schedule until New Jersey, where construction on the New Jersey Turnpike had us stopped from the time we got a toll ticket until the Newark Airport Exit, which is about 8 miles, but still, shitty traffic.
We were about 30 minutes behind at that point. No biggie. We made some of that up on the Garden State Parkway (I-78) by getting into the fast lane that was going, on average, between 75 and 80 mph.
Then we got into Pennsylvania.
And that's where it all went to pot.
Not too sure what happened, but I think someone died.
Not sure who.
But odds are it wasn't pretty.
I base that on the following facts:
- When you're sitting stopped on the interstate.
- For over two hours.
- And the only thing you've seen come the other way is a medical emergency helicopter.
- And an ambulance with full lights and sirens.
- And you haven't moved for two hours
- And you can't see the front of the line of traffic that's stopped in front of you.
- And you can't see the end of the line of traffic that's stopped behind you.
Whatever plans you had for the day are pretty much shot.
So odds were against us making it to Cincinnati to see
Autumn Under Echoes Swigtooth show on Saturday night.
And after more than two hours of sitting, stopped, on the Interstate, we were moving again.
By the time we got moving again, and got to the scene, there was nothing but a bit of broken glass.
And a white-trash mom and kid who walked up there, while we were all stopped, with a digital camera.
That alone didn't make them white trash.
The fact that dad, who stayed with the shitty pickup truck was wearing a white t-shirt with someone's signatures all over it in sharpie ... didn't make them white trash.
And the fact that mom was wearing a halter top and cut-off jeans shorts ... didn't make them white trash.
And the fact that kid of unknown sex due to hair length and style was sloppily dressed ... didn't make them white trash.
But all of those facts COMBINED the fact that they walked about a mile up the interstate to take pictures of someone else's misery ... AND the fact that while they were gone the dad not only changed a tire in the pickup truck on the highway while we we all stopped with tools including hydraulic jack he took out of the lock box on the back of the pickup truck and the fact that they had a full-size spare and the fact that when he was done he LEFT THE FUCKING TRUCK SITTING IN THE DRIVING LANE and walked up, shirtless, to fetch his woman and mutant offspring made them white trash.
And they weren't the only white trash we saw.
After looking at the clock, factoring how long we had been sitting there, adding the time it was now to the time it would take to drive from Harrisburg to Pittsburgh to Columbus to Cincinnati ... and after realizing we had no chance to make it to Cincinnati without defying the laws of physics and possibly causing harm to us, or others, or my car AND my trunkful of Snapple ... we decided to make alternate plans.
And since we were an hour east of Harrisburg ... we went to Hershey Park (again). This time - no cheerleaders, so we got to take the Chocolate Factory tour.
And yes, we did buy some chocolate.
And then took the scenic route back through Pennsylvania (that's US 322 from Harrisburg to State College, then I-80 to Hermitage) where we stopped to spend the night so I could have breakfast tomorrow with my daughter on Father's Day, and see my Dad before driving back to Marion to see Kara's Dad on Father's Day.
Which is where I am now. Hermitage. Sitting in a hotel lobby because their wireless sucks and won't reach our room.
But it's working in the lobby.
Where I can hear a shitty jazz band play.
Which is no Swig Tooth, who we'd have much rather heard tonight.
And granted, the drive through Pennsylvania was nice.
And it's rare siting a mullet that magnitude, so that is noteworthy ...
And seeing my daughter ... and my dad ... is always nice, especially on invented Hallmark holidays like Father's Day ...
And yes, I know, it was all the result of a series of events that took us away from what we wanted to do ...
And yes, I know, even a mullet of that plumage in Hershey is no where near as fulfilling as a Swig Tooth show in Cincinnati ...
But I also know this: We're alive.
And in one piece.
Which is better than the person who was in the ambulance that screamed past us as we were sitting, stopped, on I-78 in Pennsylvania.
And far better than the person who was in the helicopter that was airlifted from a field beside I-78 in Pennsylvania.
And far better than anyone else involved in that accident.
Or anyone who is waiting at home for them to return.
If they return.
So on the whole, I really can't complain too much.
Happy Father's Day.