Click here for the Amiglia album Cape Cod 2007
Click here for the Picasa album Cape Cod 2007
|I drove from Philadelphia where I had a presentation with AOM. Paul and Milena and Eva flew from New York and drove from Boston. Dad and Liz had reserved a room for Paul and Milena and Eva. I stayed with them in their condo. The water was warm. The food was good, the company too. Lobster on the patio and deck, a warm breeze, swimming in the ocean before breakfast.
The drive was memorable, for me. You all said it was crazy. It sort of started with a three-hour delay in San Francisco the day before, which meant I got to the airport at 1 am so I wasn’t fussy about the red Chevrolet Impala V8 with a tailfin that Hertz had left for me. I had reserved a midsize, the smallest Neverlost available.
The next day, Friday August 3, started poorly. I had to take an ambien at 3 am to sleep, so I slept until 10, then called Hertz about the car. The nice lady on the phone said I should take it to the downtown office — just a few blocks away — and switch it. Fortunately I called first, and when I did they told me they didn’t have any midsize. Oh well. Big, red, tailfin … perfect I suppose for I95 up the East Coast from Philadelphia to Cape Cod.
My presentation was anti-climactic to say the least. Four people showed up. So it wasn’t hard, no tension, but not useful. It started at 2, finished at 5. The concierge sent me to a nice-looking Italian deli across the street for a sandwich and fruit, but it was closed, so I got some food at (gulp) a downtown 7-11. Gulp indeed.
Then it was me and the red impala and Suzie Neverlost, with “on the road again” as background music. I listened to the audible book version of “Made to Stick, by Chip and Dan Heath. I drove. I followed Suzy’s directions and she took me over a shortcut from one interstate to another, up New Jersey towards New York. I was okay with a crowded freeway heading out of Philadelphia towards New Jersey at 6 pm, but that traffic gradually faded, and I steamed up the freeway for a while happily.
As I approached New York, seeing the skyline and bridges and all, I assumed Suzy would take us to the left of the city, as indicated by Google maps. Nope. Before I had time to stop and reconsider, with me going 60 plus MPH the whole time, she took us right over the George Washington bridge into (gulp) Manhattan. It was upper Manhattan, ugly, squat, hot, threatening, and absolutely jammed with traffic. We crept slowly inch by inch through the Bronx, going about two or three miles in an hour. It was almost 8 pm before I was on the New England turnpike at freeway speeds again. Suzy said we still had almost 5 hours to go.
I just kept going. Night fell. The freeway was well lit but I slowed from 80-ish to 70-ish in the dark. The book kept going, stayed interesting. By about 9:30 I realized I’d made a significant failure to plan, I was still hurdling through Connecticut in the dark at 70 miles per hour but I was also still a full three hours from my destination, meaning that I’d get to my destination in the middle of the night with nowhere to sleep without waking up Dad and Liz, if that was even possible. I considered calling 1-800-hhonors but where was I, how could I ask for a hotel if I didn’t know where I was or where I would be? Then I decided I’d get Megan to get on Google maps and help me, but I called home and talked to Cristin, Megan wasn’t there. The prospect of sleeping in the car was not fun. I didn’t slow down though, because Suzy kept saying I still had a long way to go.
I lucked out. Around Mystic CT there was a cluster of highway motels. Howard Johnson’s had only a smoking room, Econolodge had nothing, but the Holiday Inn Express had one room left.
“It’s a handicapped room,” the guy said.
“Is that bad? Do I have to be handicapped?”
“No, it’s fine, it’s just the last room we have and it’s late enough now that we’re supposed to rent it.” It was 10:15 pm. So I got a nice clean normal hotel room and went to sleep. The car said we were 2:16 from the destination.
I was up at 7 and on the road at 8, but no luck on the 2:15 from the destination. Suzy Neverlost is totally naive about traffic, and there’s a bottleneck getting into Cape Cod around the Bourne Bridge and the Cape Cod canal that meant once again, as with New York the day before, it took me about an hour to advance three minutes on Suzy’s schedule.
So I was there about 11:15, and it was a great day in Cape Cod, alternatively cloudy and sunny, Paul and Milena and Eva were already there, the condo was comfortable, the water was warm, we had lobster sandwiches on the deck of the clubhouse for lunch and lobster on a patio restaurant overlooking a harbor for dinner. Dad and Liz raved about Eva, Paul, and Milena, all of whom were very nice, charming, good looking, hard working, and smart.
Paul Milena and Eva left after a breakfast on Sunday, but we met on the beach before breakfast to swim in the ocean. It was warm again, and Sunday was spectacularly beautiful, about 80 degrees high, low humidity, bright, blue, and, well, beautiful. We had a nice dinner at a nice restaurant, Ocean something, and dad and I sat up talking for a long time.
Monday morning was a special treat. Dad has a regular tennis game every day about 10 a.m. and he borrowed a racket for me to join. It was a bit surreal to feel like a youngster at 59, the whole group was in their 70s and 80s, they all played excellent tennis, they were also a very fun group, great spirits, joking, teasing, enjoying themselves. I was forgiven for my mediocre tennis because I was so young, or so it seemed — and I’m 59 years old as I write this. The whole thing made me happy on several levels, I’m really glad dad is doing so well, I’m glad he’s happy, I’m glad he’s healthy, and the group is a reminder to all of us that some people do well with age. These men all play better tennis than I do, they are all very much alert and aware and alive, and they are all in late 70s or 80s. For the record, dad is the oldest and the best tennis player of all.
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