Monday, June 06, 2011

The trip out East, Part 1

It's time to tell the tale of the Great Trip Out East!

Actually it's not that epic, but it was quite fun and exciting in its own way.

Upon finding out that I would get to attend training for work in New Jersey on a Thursday, I immediately started planning to spend the weekend. Then I discovered it would be Memorial Day weekend! 6 days of adventure, counting the time to travel and even the training! I was very nearly besides myself, especially with having cousins out in New York and Pennsylvania that I would get to visit.

At 10:00am on a Wednesday morning, I happily drove away from work and off to the airport. It started pouring screaming rain. I almost stopped but then it got better. Then I almost stopped again, but then I thought, "Nah."

At the airport, the storm rolled in again and flights were canceled or delayed due to lightning strikes on the runway. Mine was one of them. So instead of hopping up to Detroit and over to Newark, New Jersey, I got onto a flight via Cincinnati. I was very excited about this because I already knew Detroit like the back of my hand from two previous business trips, but not Cincinnati (I'm talking about the airports of course... not the cities).

Unfortunately the flight changes meant I lost my two window seats, but life went on.

I also thought there was going to be a meal on the Cincinnati-Newark flight and there turned out to be nothing. So I was getting quite hungry.

Arrived in Newark around 8:30, just before dark. Too bad, I had planned to be there by 5:30 and have plenty of time to find places in the daylight. But no matter! I was armed with Google maps for every route I had to take, and imagine my ecstasy when the Avis guy told me that I could have a GPS with my rental car! Ecstasy mixed with trepidation that is. I was on a mission and collected my baggage and the car and drove off with a thirsty throat and an empty stomach. Humm.

The Avis guy had set the first destination for me, so I followed it... at first I was bad at following a GPS. New cities are always a bit tricky to navigate, too many turns to fast, and I just didn't believe the GPS in time to make the turn. After a few "recalculatings" in which I was trying to stay alive in non-interstate traffic, I got safely onto the great 95 N-S. I think it's 95... right? I'm not bothering looking it up just for this story, I prefer to rely on my nimble memory!

Once on the interstate I breathed a huge sigh of relief, found a radio station I liked, stopped at the first travel plaza I came across in order to get a nice bottle of water and a cheeseburger and emergency snacks. I was not willing to sit around and eat, so hopped back on the road and attempted to tear my cheeseburger into bite-size pieces with my right hand while driving, and eat it of course (can't really bite off sandwiches due to my braces). It worked pretty well, I don't think I got any ketchup on the seat, but then it was dark. They could really make cheeseburgers less slippery!

That drive went fine except I passed highway 1 which I'd thought my Google map would send me off on. Eventually the GPS took me off the highway on all kinds of weird roads, I nearly panicked until I saw signs for Princeton, finally! (which was my destination) .... until I ended up a neighborhood and the GPS said I was at my destination. Phooey! I don't think so! Stupid GPS! So I set off to find highway 1 myself, and did it with no problem. Unfortunately I probably turned east onto the highway just east of my hotel, 'cause after going 10 miles east, I stopped at a gas station and gave the GPS another shot, as it was now 10:30 and I was extremely exhausted... This time it worked. I arrived at the hotel and a very nice man checked me in and I found my room and was promptly awed by its plushness... I decided I'd better get a Super 8 next time to recalibrate my hotel meter!

High time to pause the story, all this talk of hotels is making me sleepy.

(I apologize in advance, I'm not proofreading anything)

To be continued...

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