Tuesday, April 26, 2011

a highway breakdown and an ill blogger, who is apparently a murdering heathen

I confess....I don't tend to do much of the weekend recap style of blogging, but sometimes life just needs to be shared.  Because being stuck in a toll booth, being called a murderer, and spending four hours on the bathroom floor is just too much weekend to keep to oneself.  Since that last element is still a struggle, I am typing in bed and will be even less likely than normal to proofread.  And likely rambly and long. 

The plan was quite simple.  MM worked Friday, we'd run a few errands, see my mom and step-father on Saturday, and then we'd travel up to his family for Easter in Sunday.  Friday wasn't the best of days...got some expected news but still not happy news that didn't start us off in a good mood.  But we recovered with takeout from a new favorite, Pizza Mia.  The Fireballs are my new appetizer of choice...enough that I totally took the extra one.  I still maintain that all such foods should come in even numbers for easier sharing.

We slept late Saturday and made a Target run because my new dress ($20!!) required some smoothing helpers underneath (would have preferred a size up but not available).  We got on the road, had a nice dinner with my family (sushi!), and MM and I went to a local spot for a drink after.  No one was around to stop by but we were amused by the country line dancers.  I do NOT have the memory or the coordination for all that. 

Sunday started fine.  Hung out for a bit and then headed to pick-up some items for a fellow Central PA-er who was also a fellow Lower Bucks County native.  Took a bit longer than expected (more stuff than we imagined) but I got to catch up while MM and one of the friends did the lifting.  We hit the road, car packed tight. 

We'd made it through most of the two hour drive when we heard an odd car noise.  MM noticed it when we slowed for one toll booth (the northeast extension of the PA turnpike is odd...on and off a few times...).  He thought it was likely related to the ball bearings in the wheel.  I pretended to understand.  We got to another toll.  MM picked a lane that did both cash and EZ-Pass.  The pass clicked, the gate arm opened, we went five feet, and we stopped.  Dead.  Car running but not moving.  MM called AAA.  I called his sister to tell them to eat without us (we were only 15min away).

MM tried to push with no success.  Folks came (one totally out of niceness, the other nice but also stuck in the queue behind us), but it wasn't going anywhere.  The very insightful man working at the toll booth suggested that it was not a good place to stop.  We appreciated that insight.  Though if you have to stop dead on the Turnpike, a toll lane's a good choice (esp the gated one where folks slow down more...they were able to clear the line too).  And the toll man was a nice escort across the busier EZ Pass lanes and let me use their restroom.  Eventually, both the Turnpike rescue folks and the AAA tow guy arrived.  The rescue guy was really nice,  I'd always wondered about that service (paid for by the Pike, patrols a given area in his shoft) and he seemed happy to have people to chat with since he was working either way.  The tow guy, however, was beyond rude.  MM's brother-in-law said the shop the tow guy wanted to use was awful and.  Tow man wasn't too happy about taking us further but MM has the fancy AAA and stood up for his right to go wherever he wanted w/in 100 miles.

We left it at the shop...because it was not only a Sunday but also a holiday so we clearly weren't going anywhere.  We were rescued by family.  We'd missed dinner but still got to enjoy the food, hung out for a few hours and eventually went to a hotel.  We checked in just before 10 and were a bit desperate for just a drink or two after the day.  The hotel called the bar next door and they held last call.  We met a very drunk Canadian.  He suggested it was silly for me to get divorced from X and that I should just sleep with MM and not worry about it.  Yeah.  We had a drink and may have sorta purchased an illicit bottle of wine from the bartender to take back with us. Illicit and cheaper than it would ever have been at the bar normally.  He got a good tip and joins the turnpike rescue man on my heroes list.

We slept.  At 8AM, MM got a text.  The shop guy was in and the car was there, he had the key.  He did not, however, have power.  Because that's how things were going.  When we got dressed, we found our clothes smelled of smoke...odd since we were in a non-smoking room and hadn't been anywhere with smoke.  And even more fun without having taken any of my normal nightly medicines (allergy, BCP for endo, lexapro) since we expected to be home Sunday night. 

We set up a late check out and wandered down to the hotel breakfast.  We had bagels and cream cheese and coffee.  And then a hotel employee (not the food attendant...she was just hanging out but in her hotel garb and we'd seen her the night prior) suddenly turned to me and asked who I'd vote for in 2012.  I decided to try and push it off and said I thought I'd vote for me.  I mentioned my theory that the key is knowing who to trust and who to ask because no one knows it all and I'd need a great foreign policy guru but could handle some domestic things myself.  I was cautious and threw in "women's issues" to expand.  She asked what that meant and I cautiously clarified I meant pro-choice matters.  She kindly asked me to clarify again by saying "Really, don't you think that's murder?"  Lovely.  She made a taxes and Planned Parenthood rant.  I made a quick statement about most of their work being women's health and such.  I then asked to please be allowed to eat my breakfast.  I got a reprieve and then was interuppted by a story of a fetus grabbing a finger during surgery.  I gave a quick response and said I would like to just have my meal.  I got a few more minutes and then a rant about paying for other people's abortions.  I gave a brief response and a third request for peace.  I got a glare.  The lady actually working the breakfast told us to take our time but she was going to clean a bit.  The lights were turned out.  Yeah, fun.

We hung out in the room until we had to checkout.  We walked by the same lady (again, a hotel staff member) using the guest computer.  She had VERY large font on some sort of document and both MM and I spotted the term "Roman Catholic" on the screen.  Didn't seem like the right use of the guest computer but we went on to the checkout desk.  While MM checked out, I went to throw out some trash and again walked by the computer.  New line: "I met a heathen this morning."  Yeah.

We hung out till the shop called.  It was an easy fix and not too pricey.  On a normal day, this wouldn't have taken long but with the holiday and the power issues, it was about 22h after the toll booth breakdown.  We stopped by MM's parents place to return the borrowed car and I wasn't feeling good.  I threw up once and hoped that whatever it was would pass (I did NOT have THAT much to drink!!).  We drove the two hours home and our highway exit was closed for repairs....because we needed more fun.  We took a back way.  I've always had a theory about the inverse relationship between bladder needs and the proximity of home (I'm FINE till I'm trying to unlock the door).  I began to suspect my tummy had joined in on this game and warned MM he'd have to move fast and get the door.  I made it to the driveway....luckily got the door open first...

I spent four hours violently ill.  MM got major brownie points for poise under pressure.  I'd have NOT been as good...especially before I decided to stay on th bathroom floor and needed him to run for a bowl and hold back my hair.  Fun detail, no?  I was actively sick from 5ish till 9 and had a rerun at midnight (even though I hadn't eaten since 10:15).

But, clearly, the toll booth breakdown, the power outage, the nasty hotel worker, and the violent illness wouldn't be enough.  It had been a gray day but opened up just as MM was unloading the car.  And stopped when he was done (more rain came later but not for a few hours...it was totally intent on raining on his head).  After unloading, he found that the trunk seal must have been faulty...a pile of water was in his spare wheel well.  Yeah. 

So.....I'm in bed.  I have managed 1/4 of my soda in 3 hours.  I am not sure that I'll even make it to the couch today.  When I can do so more eloquently, the hotel is definitely getting a letter about their staff.  I am blaming the illness on her putting a curse on me.  Which needs to pass so I can get on a plane Wednesday night, despite the Canadian man's insistence, to follow the MA rule requiring an in-person hearing for an uncontested divorce.

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