blogitto ergo sum

June 20, 2010

#150 – Road Trip, Take II

Filed under: Uncategorized — yael [ya-el] wagner @ 23:38
Tags: , , , , , ,

Context: On Feb 26, l took the red eye to Toronto, for a weekend with Debbie and her family that are like family to me.

#149 was Benji’s version of the road trip; creative, interesting and naturally, heavily biased 😉 how can the great packer admit over-packing without losing face?

it was Purim too.

This is my story, and I stick to it.

Let’s start with some numbers:

  • Home- SFO: ride w/Andreas [Thank you!] – 33 Miles
  • SFO- IAD – YYZ [Toronto’s Airport]: ride w/United – 2,919 Miles
  • YYZ – Debbie’s home: Ride w/annoying taxi – 22 Miles
  • Debbie’s – Michael’s – DEbbie’s : ride w/2-3 adults and 2 Shiloh Shepherds – ~500 Miles
  • Debbie’s – work Office – Debbie’s: rides w/Dan, negligent.
  • Debbie’s – YYZ: ride w/Debbie – 22 Miles
  • YYZ – SFO: ride w/United – 2,260
  • SFO – Home: ride w/Super Shuttle. Milk run would be faster. Guess the complete name is meant to be Super Slow Shuttle – 45 something miles

Total weekend mileage: >5,801

Did i mention that it was a SHORT 3-night weekend?

Weekend started with a dinner w/Andreas on the way to the SFO. Then i was off to the Red Eye to Toronto w/one connection.  Landing in Toronto on a cold Saturday, i was reminded how much i dislike Canadian winters.  A cab ride later put me @ Debbie’s door step.  unlike the usual arrangement, i.e. “leave door unlocked”, David [=husband] wanted to do the responsible thing, i.e. “lock the door, hide a key”.  whatever.    the keys i found, unfortunately, are the car keys.

“Aha” i say to self, “this is a box within a box thing”.  i unlock the car and look for the house keys in all the usual places and then some.  Nothing.  i turn on the engine to defrost myself.  SMS the couple who is attending services @ the synagogue.  For the non-Jewish reader:  Shabbat services in Synagogue are NOT a friendly place for an active phone communication.  holy day and all, you know.

Oznei Haman (Hamentashen)


I take inventory.  i have a suitcase and a carry-on,  a running car, and i haven’t seen a bed since Thursday morning.  have been traveling for the past 12 hours or more.  i know the area.  this was my home for 4 years.  i shift the gear to “R”, pull away from the driveway and as i hear the snow crunches under the wheels, i smile, looking forward to the hot cappuccino and some fresh Oznei Haman I’m about to have.

half a chapter later [good book], i get SMS.  Finally Debbie went to the bathroom to check her phone.  David’s leaving of the wrong set of keys against her open door policy didn’t sit too well with her.  2 pages later, David’s SMS is asking where i am.  “I’m @ the house” he sends.  i take the remaining calories and liquids to go, and head to the house.  NO, not again.  but then again YES.  once again, I’m facing a locked house, and my suitcase is gone.  the carry-on with the laptop is in the car, so I’m not yet freaking out.  I’m only very-very tired.

where in the world is David [this is the child-safe version of the original question].  some people [=David] may have BlackBerries, but it doesn’t mean that they cracked the usage of BBM, nor of real time communication.

in the parked car with a book, coffee and oznei haman, it feels as if the road trip already started.  as i dose off, the couple arrives.  David is very careful.  Jewish guilt on a Purim’s Saturday – Haman would have loved it.  No sleep for me – have to pack a small overnight bag and we need to head out.

an hour or later we are ready to leave. David, Debbie, very tired self and Jack and Jill.  you may recall Benji’s fond description of the “beloved” 2 Shiloh Shepherds.  this is an old picture of the couple, when Jill was brought home. . . many months ago:

Jack & Jill, early days

Jill is so much bigger now.

Packed, dogs included, we are off.  I top the Jewish suffering scale, and get the front passenger seat.  with the snow and all, the less erratic driver of the family is behind the wheel.  good.

While i was sleeping . . .

The elements however, don’t favor the driving.  while i doze on and off, Debbie is struggling with the poor driving conditions.

i don’t remember much of the drive.  if you think Starbucks is bad [i do], you haven’t yet tried Tim Hortons.  i drink water. no lemons in sight . more dozing off.  bio-break for the dogs. ~250 miles later it’s Michale’s home in , Michael who is soon deploying to Afghanistan and it’s most likely my last chance to see him before his take off.

Michael was sort of waiting for us.  Another friend too.  And Benji.  Chilli was simmering, nacho bags in the corner.  Oznei haman of course too. Benji was being Benji.  I was tired.  Jack and Jill were very happy with the family reunion; happier yet with a chance to run outside after so many hours in the car.  The 2-bedroom house [built in ] has only one bathroom.  Downstairs.   As the zombie-in-residence, it was agreed that I’ll get the 2nd bedroom, Benji will camp on the sofa and Debbie & David will check-in at the local motel.  By 10 o’clock I was in bed. @ 1 AM, nature called.  I had to go downstairs to answer, and wasn’t sure if I’m in the same place.  First floor is covered with people, beer bottles, dogs and nachos, some war game is played on the PSx..

Jack at ease

Michael just came back from a long training in the US and missed his friends.  I navigate the labyrinth one has to pass on the way to the bathroom, all too aware how bizarre I must look to these guys who’d never seen me before, nor were aware of the upstairs’ zombie

@ 6 AM I’m up.  Still very much the zombie, but now it’s zombie who is in a desperate need for a long, relaxing bath.  Michael’s is not one to deliver such experience.  I BBM Debbie, asking to be saved.

30 minutes later, after the mandatory Jack and Jill hugging and licking, I’m in Debbie’s car.  Praise the little joys of life.  First we are having b-fast at their hotel.  Knowing we are in the middle of nowhere, I order hot water with lemon.  B-fast is actually OK, and it’s our first chance to have a conversation that doesn’t end after 8 minutes with me dosing off.  This hour [it was more] is worth it all.  When David is done with his shower, we change places – David is consuming his b-fast, I’m going to wash of my travels and troubles.  I’m so taking my time in the shower.  Can never overestimate the joy of a good shower.

It’s 11 or later before we are ready to drive back to Michael’s.  The dogs get their energy spent somewhere in the wilderness of the area, and I’m doing emails.  Benji lightly snores on the armchair in the living room.

The return of the dogs signifies it’s time to leave.  But not so fast.  Benji has some stuff he brought with him; stuff that needs to join us on our way back to Toronto.  Stuff. . . that includes more than you or I would take on a 5-week trip, and he’d been there only since Wednesday.  With every bag, suitcase, knapsack, coat, jacket that Benji adds to the pile, David’s mood goes further south.  And it’s getting hot, very hot.  A suit on a hanger only calls more attention to Benji’s packrat crimes.  Did I mention how big Shiloh Shepherd dogs are?  There’s no back storage to speak of in the SUV- Jack and Jill are it.  No one is happy.  I get two bags to keep between my legs, Benji & David get self-righteous; the self-righteous kind you want to keep away from as much as you can.

As we get into the car, Benji falls asleep or getting very good in faking it.  So good that I don’t remember him getting up for the bio-break we took somewhere.  Debbie and I talk.  Sometimes.  We let the music talk at times.

We got home. Went out for Chinese.  Went to sleep.  All dogs & humans were well.

Post trip: On Saturday [July 10], Steve came to pick me up for lunch.  Jack & Jill gave him the full volume welcome.  The guy just stood at the door and laughing.  “what?” i asked.

“So these are the dogs that traveled with you?” he asked, still laughing.  “Yes” I said, as i struggled to get them to stop barking.  “And he [Benji] expected storage room in the car?

It was my turn to laugh.  Sorry Benji.

Illustration: Jack alone in car's rear

Illustration: Jack & Jill @ rear

Clipart sources/credits:


Leave a Comment »

No comments yet.

RSS feed for comments on this post. TrackBack URI

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: