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
The most hellacious, stupid, awe-inspiring, chaotic traffic I have ever seen in my life.
Before we made it a couple blocks, I concluded that Boston had beaten NOVA/DC as the place I like driving the least.
Pedestrians in huge clumps blatantly disregarded signals and crosswalks; traffic crawled; the roads narrow and poorly signed. My tablet’s GPS momentarily gave up. I missed a turn and it took me half an hour to go around a relatively normal-sized block.
Dan texted me about the traffic at one point. The day before, he suggested staying in his town, which is an hour train ride away from Boston. I wondered why. This was why.
When we got to the garage, I was so flustered, I rammed Nicole into a concrete wall. Luckily, nothing was damaged despite the outstanding thud when my front license plate made impact. I swore that I did not want to be in my car again until we were leaving Monday. That’s how you know how bad it was to get around by car.
Initially, we had plenty of time to spare before we were to prepare for dinner with Dan and his wife. We were in our room for about 20 minutes before they arrived. On the bright side, it gave Dan and me some time to catch up. It was amazing that, after 15 years, I immediately recognized him. We definitely can’t go this long without seeing each other again.
As we wandered around North End, got dinner and eventually, drinks, we got caught up on so much. Before long, they years disappeared. Our time together was too short, both in the late 1980s/early ’90s and on Saturday.
Before we left Monday afternoon, there was one more thing I wanted to do on Sunday.
I have two friends named Dan who live in the Boston suburbs. The second is my fraternity brother Dan Wood, who probably hasn’t been mentioned in this here blog in a while. I made open-ended plans with him and Renée and I made some plans to do some sightseeing. It was rainy and miserable the last time she was in Boston, so she wanted to do some touristy things she couldn’t do the time before.
Then it was rainy, cold and miserable Sunday.
We pressed on for a bit, though. Before Dan Wood met us in an Italian sports bar, Renée and I went to Paul Revere’s house. Initially, Dan was going to meet us at Old North Church: One if by land, two if by sea, three if by T.
(Yes, I only managed to take four photos on this entire trip. In fact, my phone was off for a good little while. I still hat being completely tethered to technology and would rather go without when I take vacations.)
Afterward, whilst we were sojourning for Peruvian food, Renée’s booths ceased being waterproof, it started raining sideways and we more or less called it a day. I did want to see Old Ironsides, but I guess I have to be satisfied with reruns of America’s favorite disabled ’70s detective.
The skies cleared a bit later on so Renée and I made another quick venture out, but that was effectively the end of our Boston adventure.
Monday morning, I scrambled to get us out of the garage to keep it under $50. We made a couple stops, including one in Rhode Island and Providence Plantations so I could say officially that I was in the smallest state with the largest name.
I swung out to Harrisburg, Penn., on the way back to take U.S. 15 to U.S. 29, thus bypassing the epicenter of Balt/Wash. That is my way to points north for now on.
We got home around 1 a.m. and, less than 10 hours later, I was at my single day of work until Saturday. I celebrated New Year’s at home in not a party situation for the first time since 2000. At least I wasn’t at home by myself.
Overall, this was a great trip and Renée is a great road trip partner.
Now it’s time to get serious. It’s January 2014. We have less than 180 days before our wedding and there is much to do.
This trip was just the beginning of the adventure.