My BFF Shaun was here recently, staying with us for a the week between a professional conference and a mutual friend’s wedding. This friend, in fact.
He looks a little different now and was dressed a little more snappily for the wedding.
He still has the helmet.
No, he wasn’t wearing it at the wedding.
And for those of you who are curious, this is Shaun.
She is witty, likes long walks in the English countryside, and can dial takeout faster than anyone I know.
Anyway, she and I decided that we would drive to our friend’s wedding in Connecticut. We’d never been to Connecticut and we’re always up for a drive with snacks. The drive with snacks sounded okay to the kids, but when informed the hotel had no pool and the wedding would have very few children to play with they opted to stay home with Daddy.
We assembled our supplies:
- chocolate for energy
- diet soda to quench our thirst and give us energy
- apples to give the appearance of healthfulness, but really to be used to distract any vicious deer or horses we might encounter
- salty chips to help us with altitude (Shaun lives in Colorado and knows about “altitude”)
- maps that we won’t pay attention too
- cash for emergencies and/or pizza at the hotel
It was a 7-hour drive from DC to Torrington, CT. It was dark and raining when we arrived, but the address of the hotel indicated it was on Main Street so, really, how hard could it be to find a hotel on Main Street in a town the size of the town we grew up in? In fact, I believe the phrase, “This should be a piece of cake.” was uttered.
And now everyone knows we are doomed.
45 minutes later we had found approximately 12 eating establishments, the police station, the library, 2 gas stations, a mini-mall, an old movie theatre, and a neighborhood that could have been the set for Halloween. But no hotel.
It turns out Torrington has 4 Main Streets. They are aptly named North, South, East and West Main Streets. Closer inspection of the address informed us that we were looking for East Main Street. We found it and then gratefully schlepped our over-sugared, highly-caffeinated selves into our room and ordered pizza from one of the five pizzerias in the town. (5 pizzerias! In a town of 7,000!) *edited: The Mistress of Factoids informed me that Torrington has 36,383 according to the 2010 Census. My only defense is that it was dark and rainy and it’s really hard to see a whole town when it is dark and rainy.
One of the high points was the diner across the street with the INSANELY good mountain of pancakes that had bananas and strawberries and whipped cream on them. OMG. Amazing. Shaun declared the coffee to be “church coffee” level, but they brought us enough cream and sugar to make even motor oil palatable. The food was so good we went the next morning, too.
Loaded up with caffeine and carbs we set off to find this wedding.
We ended up in Massachusetts.
What! Connecticut isn’t that big! It could have happened to anyone!
Massachusetts was lovely. And it was easy to turn around in. We even found a winery and stopped for some delicious chocolate raspberry wine.
Then the history major spotted a cemetery.
Shaun: “We have to stop”
Shaun: “It’s a cemetery.”
Me: “Do you know anyone there?”
Shaun: “No, but there are really old stones there.”
Me: “If I wanted to see some old stones I’d see Keith Richards in concert.”
Shaun: “Come on. It will be fun. And you know it’s not a vacation until we go to a cemetery.”
And it’s true. Every vacation I have ever had with Shaun had taken a detour through a cemetery at some point. I’m not sure why. It’s kind of a tradition at this point. We ended up finding a civil war general. Actually, he was easy to find. He had the really, really big monument in the middle of everyone else.
Then we went to the wedding! There was no fire breathing because the fire eaters attending didn’t want to get their good duds all scorched, so that was a disappointment. But, the wedding was fantastic. I’ve never seen my friend look so happy and his new wife is MAGNIFICENT. They are a great match and I wish them lots of happiness.
And here is a sign from one of our other road trips because no one believes us.