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  • Traveling from DC to NY

    To go back and forth from Virginia to New York, we normally take the Bolt Bus, which is where I started writing this. Unfortunately, this means we must navigate Interstate 95, which I think was engineered to make sure that no one bolts anywhere.

    Still, the ride is cheap, the bus has a bathroom, and you meet some interesting characters. I hope that’s what the other riders thought on Thanksgiving Wednesday when we journeyed — very slowly — to the Big Apple with our nieces, Elisabeth and Margaret, and Jill’s cousins James and Katharyn in tow.

    Two years ago, we left on Wednesday afternoon to go to Chapel Hill for Thanksgiving.  Three hours and seven miles later, we turned around. This year, going north was not much easier. 

    We had a persistent mist and fog for the first half of the trip, two prerequisites for screwing up traffic in unprecedented ways. Combine that with some not-so-timely road construction and the I-95 engineers penchant for making five lanes of traffic squeeze into two, and you have the makings of a cluster of cars as well. 

    All I can say is that it would not be inappropriate to use cluster in a different context here. What is normally a 4 to 4½ trip took 8 hours, no fun under any circumstances.

    Still, the trip had some highlights…

    I now know how to make the selections for the U.S. men’s downhill team, and don’t have to go anywhere near a ski slope to do it. Stick them in the bathroom of a charter bus in stop-and-go traffic and tell them they can’t hit the lid while peeing. Those that can pull it off can do the Alps without a problem.

    ••••••

    Favorite lines of the day:

    Kate, after taking falling asleep for an hour at the start of the trip: “Are we there yet?”

    Me: “Nope, not yet.”

    Kate: “How much longer? Five minutes? Ten?"

    Me: “Sweetheart, we’re not even to Baltimore.”

    Kate: “Oh, but we’re close, right?"

    As you can see, geography is not her strongest subject in school.

    ••••••

    Kate: “Where are we?”

    Me: “On the Turnpike, close to Rutgers.”

    Kate: “Fuddruckers?”

    Me: “No, Rutgers. It’s a university.”

    Kate: “I didn’t know Fuddruckers was a university.”

    ••••••

    Nicholas, after leaving four hours later and making it to the apartment earlier than us, thanks to a flight from Greensboro to LaGuardia: “I’m so ADD that I get distracted reading a picture book.”

    That’s my boy…