Monday, April 12, 2010

Made it back!

Well, the old wagon took a few hits on the way home from Florida, but I'm pleased to announce that we arrived home on Friday night. We learned once again how lucky we are to have such a fine, reliable automobile, one that can go great distances without any trouble. A few neat things on the way home: We saw the space shuttle Discovery take off on Monday morning last week, totally by chance. We were about a hundred miles away, near the Gainesville airport, when we saw the pillar of fire in the sky. Totally, totally cool, and completely unplanned. On Tuesday in Washington, D.C., President Obama's motorcade zoomed past us on 15th Street, near the Washington Monument. I took a photo, which I'll post when the spirit moves me to do so. I think I caught Barack in my picture, but like all good photos, it's a little grainy. On Wednesday, we visited the National Air and Space Museum, which was great but for the fact there were way too many people there. There will be no future trips to Washington that happen to coincide with Spring Break in the USA. Everyone in America was in the city. And it was hot, hot, hot - high 80s. On Thursday, after paying way too much in road tolls in Maryland and Delaware, I avoided paying a bloody thing for the privilege of driving in New Jersey. (Take I-295 north after the Delaware Memorial Bridge to Trenton, then take US 1 toward Newark, then at Rahway or so get on the Garden State Parkway to US 22, go east into Jersey City and follow the signs to the Holland Tunnel.* Where you'll pay eight bucks going eastward, but I don't count that.) We drove through the Holland Tunnel into New York from Jersey City. (That's where most of the damage to the wagon occurred, but you shoulda seen the other car. Er, cars.) Then we crossed lower Manhattan and drove over the Brooklyn Bridge, before escaping (or "excaping" as they say in New Yawk) from Long Island via the Whitestone Bridge. On Friday, it rained. But we didn't care. By then we were in Maine - probably my favourite US state - and the car pretty much knew the rest of the way home on its own. The whiny fonctionnaires who pass for Canada Customs agents once again harrassed us about how much we purchased in the United States. As if it's any of their bloody business. Good to get away, and good to be home again. * That's a trick bit of instruction. There is only one sign that says "Holland Tunnel", and it's on the Garden State Parkway. After that you have to drive more or less by guess. I love Jersey.


Nikki said...

Sounds like a great trip! And I love serendippity moments like seeing the space shuttle take off...those unplanned happy accidents are what make life grand. Glad you are back safe! :)N

Fredd said...

Isn't that piece of sh*t car in the photo above the famous Family Truckster (in Metallic Pea) of National Lampoon's 'Vacation' fame?

Krankor said...

Well, you survived then. Good show. I guess.

El Cerdo Ignatius said...

@Nikki: Thanks! And I agree. Unexpected cool stuff is the spice of life.

@Fredd: I never thought about it before you mentioned it, but by golly, it does rather look like the Family Truckster. There are all kinds of great photos of old beaters on

@Krankor: I am whelmed by your greeting. Thanks.

sporkless said...

Wow. You weren't kidding when you said you were going to be away for an unreasonably long time.

You wouldn't believe all of the stuff that happened in Pesticide Efflux Island while you were away! The place went right in the dumper without you there to keep an eye on things.

Katie said...

Welcome back! (Just got back from vacation myself.)

Hehe, we learned the same thing you did about Spring Break vacations. They suck. Vegas in March with Spring Break, St. Patrick's Day, and March Madness all happening at the same time, it was a freaking nightmare.

But I'm glad you had a good time and got home safely, and I'm sooooo jealous about you getting to see the Discovery takeoff. ;o)