Ian and I had not gone on a significant road trip in quite some time, so for this vacation, we decided to pack the amount of driving we typically do in about 6 months into a single week. Part of our trip entailed visiting wineries (as so many of our vacations do), and we rejoiced at the freedom of simply being able to stow our wine purchases in the trunk rather than worry about putting them in our checked bags or shipping them home.
Hoping to stay well ahead of the morning rush, we hit the road at 4:30 am, an hour I rarely see unless it involves rolling over, glancing at the clock, and delighting in the fact that I don’t have to get out of bed for a couple of hours. We left that Thursday morning amidst light rain, which, not 20 miles from home, turned into a deluge. Showers alternated with blinding sheets of rain for many miles, but after a couple hours, the worst of the rain was over, and after that, the drive was long but mainly uneventful, with few blogworthy observations.
On I-90 in Ohio, we drove past an outpost of the Cleveland Clinic, one of the most highly regarded hospitals in the country. Just moments later, we passed an enormous sign announcing our proximity to the world headquarters for Duck Tape. Naturally, this got me musing about whether the secret to the success of the Cleveland Clinic involves fixing all manner of trauma and disease with strong, sturdy tape. Probably not, but the thought amused me for a while. Later, as we drove through Pennsylvania, I was amused by the sight of groundhogs, though we were nowhere near Punxsutawney.
After about eleven and a half hours on the road, we were more than ready for some wine. Luckily, the tasting room at Glenora Wine Cellars is open late, so we stopped there to sample their wares and made our first of many wine purchases before heading to our hotel in Geneva.
Friday morning, we had the luxury of sleeping past sunrise. We partook of the hotel’s free continental breakfast, when, mainly because they were right there with the rest of the spread, I tried Fruit Loops again, just to make sure I still don’t like them (I don’t). With that, we began the roughly seven hour drive (which seemed almost trivial after Thursday’s trek) to our destination in New Hampshire. We hadn’t been on the road long when my phone began to explode, as friends texted to share and celebrate the happy news that the Supreme Court had ruled in favor of marriage equality. Woo hoo!
Later, as we passed through Vermont, I was somewhat disappointed to find that it was not even close to being entirely filled with maple syrup. I’d never been to Vermont before, but for some reason, in my mind, the state had become synonymous with maple syrup. I pictured veritable rivers of it and was quite certain there would be roadside signs every 12 feet announcing the sale of the sweet liquid. In fact, we saw only 3 or 4 such signs. However, one thing not lacking in Vermont was oversized chairs. We passed the World’s Tallest Ladderback Chair in Bennington, the Best Seat in Vermont in Marlboro, and a few other chairs, which, despite being not quite as grand, were much larger than average.
It was around 5:30 in the evening when we reached our destination, a cabin owned by our friend Jenny’s family, which we lovingly nicknamed Heisenberg’s Cabin. We were greeted by our friends and relaxed knowing that, for the next day and a half, we would hardly need to be a in a car at all! We drank some beers, ate some fajitas, and gathered around the fire pit in back (it was a rather chilly evening for late June). Life was good.
Later, when he discovered that there was a telescope at the cabin, Ian got the opportunity to flaunt his astronomical prowess by focusing it on Saturn. We stood in the darkness near the end of the cabin’s gravel driveway taking turns looking at the ringed planet. At one point, I took a step backward to make way for another viewer, but my foot did not connect with ground. Instead, I felt myself falling, as if in slow motion, wondering what had just happened and fearing I was being dragged away by a horrible ditch monster (after all, you never know what might happen at a cabin in the woods). Thankfully, I escaped unaided, which was good because no one even noticed my brief disappearance until I was in the process of climbing out of the ditch, laughing and a bit muddy. I was unharmed except for a small blow to my pride. I’m not very easily embarrassed, but I felt somewhat abashed, mainly since I feared people would assume that I had stumbled because I was inebriated. I’ll admit to being tipsy, but I feel confident in asserting that I would have done the exact same thing had I been stone cold sober. It’s just the kind of thing I do.