After an excruciatingly frustrating day at work, I hopped in my car at 4:00 for the drive to Jersey City to crash at Roger and Rachel's. Leaving at 4:00 poses several problems. Possible traffic on the Mass Pike from people leaving work early, and definite traffic in Hartford as I arrive there two hours after I leave.
I managed to avoid both. There weren't that many people leaving early, and I took 395 down to 95 instead of 84/91 down through Hartford. 395 is a beautiful drive through the hills. It takes as long as it does to make it through Hartford with traffic, but you don't have to sit there being angry. So yea, more miles, but less mad.
I hit some traffic in Connecticut cause of construction, and ended up driving through the Bronx instead of using the Cross Bronx Expressway (whoops), but that helped me miss most of the CBE traffic.
Got to Roger and Rachel's about 8:30ish, and we sat up till midnight catching up, and playing with the new baby... new babys rock. Roger also gave me a book on Brewing Herbal Beers as well as an old oak cask that he found in his grandmother's house... mmmm, cask... Anyone know how to re-cure a cask for brewing?
Friday saw me back on the road at 9:30 in the AM. The drive from New Jersey to booney nowhere Virginia (about and hour outside of DC) was rather uneventful, but I left the top down the whole time and got gloriously sunburnt. My aunt and uncle live in a new house in the middle of the Virginian Wilderness. The house is beautiful. I spent quality time with them both going over genealogy stuff and just catching up. My uncle had a stroke last year, but has recovered wonderfully. Says he has some short term memory issues, but that could be because he's like 70, too. :)
Scooted out of the Aunt and Uncle's around 8ish for the hour trek to DC. Managed to get to the hotel there without problem and met up with Sarah and Pamela. WOO! Good friends, fun times. We didn't do the DC touristy stuff. Instead, we went to Best Buy and shopped for things for Sarah to take back to Nepal with her. She blew over $400 on a PS2 and games and stuff. Then we trekked around the Pentagon City mall. Bought me a Penn State hat for the drive back so that my entire face wouldn't peel off.
Headed back to the hotel for a quick game of Trivial Pursuit ('Genus 5' version should have been named 'stupid fucking questions' version), then hopped in the car and headed to Camden Yards for the Orioles / Angels game. It was a dull game, but the company was great, so we had fun.
Hit Arlington for a nice Irish brunch at Murphy's, then back on the road for the trek home.
Took a detour cross Jersey to stop and see my sister's 'godfather' on the way up. Richard is just cool as hell. In his prime, he used to hang out with Mickey Rooney, Ann Miller, and Dody Goodman. He still visits Dody in New York. I've been there a few times with him a few times, and have had dinner with Dody. She's really cool. In her kitchen is a poster from a show she was in on Broadway with Mae West, signed by Mae. It's just overwhelming being in the presence of someone who has that much history.
Last summer when my folks were out, we stopped down to see Uncle Dick, and he asked for one of my headshots. This time, he proudly showed it to me, matted and framed and up on the wall in his bedroom. It's kind of startling to think that my headshot is up there with REAL stars. And granted, he's family (well, he's my dad's first wife's uncle), but it had to cost him a pretty penny to get that thing framed!!
There was also this awesome picture in his guest room. It was a silhouette in front of a window of him leaning over a seated Jerry. Jerry was Dick's partner. They'd been together FOREVER... like, longer than I am old and then some. Jerry died two years ago from cancer. Seeing that picture brought back a wash of memories of him, and I actually started tearing up standing there looking at it. There was SO FUCKING MUCH LOVE in that picture that I wanted to just give in and cry for a few hours.
I could only stay for about an hour to visit with Dick, but I'm glad I did it, even if it added three hours to my drive from DC to Boston. It was really good to see him.
Traffic sucked the rest of the way home, and I pulled into my driveway at 12:59 AM this morning. Unfortunately, the 'energy drink' I had at 10:30 kept me awake until 2:30... now my butt is dragging so bad there's asphalt in my large intestine.
It was a wonderful weekend all in all, and I find that I feel quite sexy tooling down the highway at 80 MPH in Madeline. :)
Cause you gotta have friiiiiiiiiends...