Monday, September 18, 2006

Chapter 2: Escort down the GSP with Hurricane Ernesto

The start of our vacation - after the minor fender-bender involving my carpool buddy's car on the way home from work the day before - was interesting. Not bad, just amusing in some ways.

Of course, there was the requisite packing the night before...and packing....and packing... In the third vacation with Chris in tow, it is getting a little lighter - no swing, bouncer, pack-n-play, etc. to pack! But, there is the HUGE storage tub to pack with all of his fav toys (the tub, BTW, seconds as a bathtub since the house we rent only has showers). I got to do all of it - except for Hubby's stuff. He's a grown-up and can figure out what he needs. Done packing around 11 pm Friday night...not bad!

However, my MIL drove us nuts for 2-3 days prior to the trip because of the reports of Hurricane Ernesto... Rain, more rain... Flooding in the roadways...flooding at the shore. Beach errosion. What are we going to do with the trip down to the shore? I told her, we are going, rain or shine! Just travel slow!

So, Saturday morning, we got up early and did the usual routine: showers, breakfast, etc. DH packed up the Forester (filled to the gills, but at least I could see out the rear-view mirror this year) and we were on our way around 10 am, just behind my IL's, who left about 20 minutes before us... I think this was our BEST packing and loading time EVER.

As we headed south on the Garden State Parkway (GSP), the rain and wind wasn't too bad... Needed the wipers, but it wasn't pouring. Then comes MIL cell phone call #1:

"Be aware there is a tree in the roadway around Exit 135."

Okay...we are approaching Exit 135 (which is approximately Clark, for the NJ folk). No back-ups, which are bound to happen on the GSP with a tree in the road. I think my MIL took too much Effexor or something.

We called my MIL back... "Where was the tree? There is no tree."

"It was on the side of the the shoulder."

Uh, duh. Like that was going to matter for traffic.

The rain still isn't too bad... Then, we hit the Driscoll Bridge (which, for tri-state area residents, is known as the break between "the city" and "the shore". As we are going over the bidge (which is very elevated and wide), you could feel the car swaying (especially with the "clam" - or storage tub mounted on the roof of the car - decreasing the eurodynamics of the car).

About halfway over the bridge, MIL cell phone call #2 arrives:

"Be aware we just called the troopers."

"Why?" we asked. "Accident?"

"No. But the lawn chairs bungied to the roof of our car just flew off at the end of the bridge. We called for the troopers to pick them up. Watch for them so you don't hit them."

"You didn't stop?" we asked.

"No, figured there was no way to get them back."

We start cracking up at this point... Never, in all the years we have collectively headed to the shore for vacation, have they EVER lost anything off the roof of the car. And, knowing my MIL, I am shocked she didn't make my FIL stop to get them.

As we head in the area where the chairs should have been...none were to be found. Either the troopers were really amitious and picked them up...or someone just stopped and got some free chairs. Personally, I think the aliens took them - who else would stop in heavy rain and wind for old lawn chairs? But, that's just me.

A few miles up the road, we see a 3-pack of paper towels on the, we just HAD to call them to bust on them about the chairs.

"So, we didn't see your chairs," we said.


"But, did you lose some papertowels?" we asked.

"Uh, very funny."

The rest of the trip was relatively uneventful - usually, you can expect a few idiots to drive like maniacs (or, like its 80 degrees and sunny), but I guess they stayed home. The rest of the trip was peaceful...with Chris singing his heart out to the Backyardigans CD playing in the stereo.

We arrived at the house around 11:30 am - which is great timing! Usually takes about 1+ hours to get there from the 'hood (or, Irvington). Time to stretch!

The men did the car unpacking....yeah! No wet hair for me! The ladies did the room settling...and the Chris prep for lunch and nap. We were settled in by 12:30 - Chris had lunch, and mommy took a nap with him afterwards...

Not bad for the start of vacation. :)

No comments: