boston or bust

Twenty-eight hours and 45 minutes

One thousand, three hundred and fifty-one miles

An average of 46.9  mph

An average of 28.2 miles per gallon

PART ONE

BUST

This trip started out with a bust. Ever since I had my car, the tire pressure sensor has been off, as in it will come on and off at random at times. If I do have a flat tire, I only know when the tire is actually flat.

It went flat a week before my scheduled service. I lucked out on an unseasonably warm day to change my tire. When I had my service done Christmas Eve, I learned that I needed a new serpentine belt. I also learned that I needed a new tire because of where my six-month-old tire was punctured. The dealership is constructing a new building, so my tire wasn’t in stock. We were planning to leave Dec. 26.

Fantastic.

I ordered a tire online from Sears because it was after 5 p.m. Christmas Eve, I was told it was in stock and could be on my tire early Dec. 26 and I was desperate. It’s not the best tire, but I needed to get out of town.

I woke up early Dec. 26, also known as Renée’s birthday, and called Sears to be absolutely certain they could take care of me.

I hate getting tires from Sears, but it’s my tire place of last resort. I miss my dealership and tire stores in Hampton and Richmond sometimes.

I was told that they did not have my order, despite already taking the money out of my bank account but, if I head on down, they could take care of it.

Long story short (as if this is going to be a short story), I had to talk to a call center at the garage, cancel my online order and make a new order in the store because of a “technical problem” on their end. Nearly three hours later, my oil change turned into spending $200 just to be able to get out of Albemarle County.

Then I couldn’t get into Maryland.

When I plotted out our course, I decided to take U.S. 29 to Interstate 66 to I-495, back to U.S. 29 to I-70 to I-695 and so on and so forth to shunpike New Jersey and avoid the traffic between Washington and Baltimore.

I forgot about Tysons Corner.

I got stuck in the wrong lane while trying to get on 495, gave up, and cut across Falls Church and Arlington, thence through D.C. to pick up 29 again.

Two hours later, I was enraged and on Interstate 70. It was smooth sailing from then on.

That is, until I was still in New Jersey at nearly 10 p.m., when I expected to already be at our home for the first two nights of our trip, Stamford, Conn.

We had to adjust our plans to meet one of Renée’s sorority sisters because we were so outrageously behind schedule. We had to go to New York City first, go to Connecticut before midnight to check into the hotel and then go back to New York. At this point, I was sleepy, hungry and a little stabbity. I felt better when I was able to drive around New York. I don’t know why, but driving in that city is one of my favorite things to do.

In HDR through a dirty windshield

Midtown Manhattan

The three of us attempted to get food in Connecticut, but the terrible diner we were in had terrible service and nothing we wanted to eat. We were supposed to have a proper birthday dinner for Renée anyway, so we headed back into the city and to this surprisingly delightful place, Cafeteria.

Seriously, the food is good here.

Our candlelit supper

After eating finally, I was running on fumes. We dropped Renée’s sorority sister off (and I finally go to drive on the Grand Boulevard and Concourse) before heading back up to Connecticut. We slept till about 3 p.m. Dec. 27. We were busted.

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