Trina L Short (trinalin) wrote,
Trina L Short

Chester Without a Map

For those who've seen the David Tennant movie, LA Without a Map, you'll know what I've based the title of this post upon.

So yesterday I headed off to Columbus to fly Southwest to Philly. I arrived on time and had an overpriced Wolfgang Puck sandwich. Southwest has Open Seating, which means you stand in line (either A, B or C) and wait for your overall seating to be announced. I got in near the front of the plane and in an aisle seat (the joys of traveling solo - don't have to negotiate for seats together in a situation like that). I missed the window seat, but was happy to sit near the front. Take off was a little delayed, but the air stewards were hilarious.

I arrived on time and found a text message on my phone from judiang saying they were in baggage claim D waiting on me. So without checking the arrival boards, I headed for baggage claim D, assuming my friends knew where I was supposed to go. :-) Turns out they did, but Philly Airport sucks and took ages to get my bag to me. Bah! (And one fellow was waiting for his and saw his sock come down the conveyor belt. "Hey! That's my sock!" Shortly after that, we saw his open bag come down the belt as well. Whoops!)

Once we were all ready, elsaf, Judi and I headed outside to wait for the Budget van. Four billion Avis vans and all the other rental agency vans went through before the Budget van finally came. The car we got (in slot A13 - you think we'd've known bad luck would be forthcoming) is a Ford Focus and Elsa got us a GPS to go with it. We stuck Garmin up on the windshield and programmed the destination. Well, sort of. It turns out none of us remembered to print the address off of the Vermont farmhouse we're staying in. As hergrace was most likely on the road, we didn't want to phone her. So we used some random Chester address instead.

And off we went! Elsa drove us out of Philly and into New Jersey. While still in PA, we had lunch at Friendly's, and left the GPS in the car harping at us to get back on track. After lunch, Garmin decided it had a better route picked out. But wouldn't tell us. We thought maybe she was sulking. Finally, she told us her new route. Alas, Elsa soon made a misturn, but Garmin recalculated the result. And at the same time, she had a shin cramp, so she asked if I could drive for a bit. Sure, I said, with no idea of where Garmin would be sending us next.

So we were in New Jersey, and Garmin started sending us on surface streets to get us on this new route. And then I missed a turn, so she recalculated the route and vindictively decided to send us through the Holland Tunnel. With me driving. Me, the country girl who never drives in big cities. Me, the girl who can't do a left turn to save her life. Eep!

4 days later, we got on the other side of the Holland Tunnel. Well, it was probably 2 hours, but it felt like days. And then it directed me to skirt around New York City on 12th Avenue. Which I did. At one time, Judi suggested me pulling over and letting Elsa drive. Um, pulling over in some unknown part of New York City? I don't THINK so.

While I was driving, we FINALLY got a call from Steph. We'd discovered during dinner that none of us had a recent phone number for Steph. Whoops! But Judi assured us Steph would eventually call us. And we all cheered when she did. We got the address of the farmhouse from her and also took down her phone number. And told her it would be after 1am before we'd arrive.

Still, I got us out of New York and into Connecticut and finally found a roadstop 12 miles into CT where we could switch drivers and get something to drink. I became a two fisted drinker after that drive with a mint shake in one hand and water in the other. Elsa then headed off through Connecticut. After awhile, she started getting sleepy, so we found (after many attempts) an open gas station where we filled up and Elsa walked around. I offered to drive again provided the GPS didn't send us to NYC again.

Thankfully, it didn't. I drove through CT and into Vermont. Yay for Vermont. And then it directed us to Chester, where we began to recognize landmarks from the last time we were here. We cheered when we arrived in Chester. And then even louder when we arrived at the farmhouse. Yay! Steph and her mother-in-law greeted us (sleepily) as we got out of the car. It was just after 2am. Blergh!

Steph showed us up to the rooms where we were going to stay and then we chatted in the hallway for half an hour or so. Then finally slunk away to sleep. Ah, sleep. It is of the good.

Alas, I woke up at 6:30 then 7:30 and finally got up at 8:30. But apart from many many typing errors while writing this, I think I'm awake. Today we intend to have a great day with Steph. :-)
Tags: elsa, judi, steph, travel, vacation
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