"I am against religion because it teaches us to be satisfied with not understanding the world." -Richard Dawkins

Saturday, April 4, 2009

Cross Country, Part 3.

The drive through Kansas was poorly planned and by 2am I was hugging a pillow and nodding off in my seat- pretty glad I wasn’t driving. I didn’t unpack anything from the car besides our bedding and the cats and we fell straight to sleep without thinking twice about it.

The next day was the drive to Indianapolis. We made two stops to eat- first to Steak n’Shake, because Cairenn insisted I eat there. My burger really was very tasty, and Ro sat and ate all of my fries, so overall it was a win. Zack, on the other hand, was adamant that we find a White Castle for dinner. We drove through some moody rain and found a White Castle just outside of Indy where we indulged in many tiny, soft burgers soaked in onions and mustard. They were pretty darn tasty, I must say, but made me feel sick for days. I doubt I’ll ever eat them again.

Ro and I were alone in our hotel room in Indy for most of the night. Zack went out to Muncie to meet up with his best friend from High School and go have beers at their favorite bar. Ro and I watched episodes of Toddlers and Tiaras and 18 Kids and Counting, both of which are misfortunes of society (uhoh! I’m going to get lynched for that.) And we were on our way again in the morning.

We got to my friend Ashley’s place outside of Cincinnati around lunchtime. It’s in a darling neighborhood lined with frothy white flowering trees. Zack took a quick nap on the sofa while Ro played with her new friends, Liam and Isla. I was so excited to see their new home and the impeccable decorating job that Ashley had done. The playroom is beautiful and the kids had such a good time.

While the kids were playing, my camera became a casualty, as Ro fell down the back stoop while she was holding it and the entire focusing mechanism and lens snapped right off, so we had to run to the nearest WalMart to purchase a replacement.

We went to dinner in Cincy at Ashley and her husband’s favorite pizza place. I had an amazing salad with fresh goat cheese, roasted peppers and rosemary on soft, warm bread, set on a bed of greens tossed with tarragon dressing. Flawless. It was delicious. We wandered over to Graeter’s for dessert where I had black raspberry ice cream in a waffle cone with chocolate chips the size of postage stamps. Back at the house we watched the new episode of Lost and fought my damn cats, who kept escaping the basement.

We woke up to discover they’d both snuck into bed with Ashley and Liam, and none of us knew how bad Liam’s cat allergy was until then. It led to him getting very sick, so we left around 11:30 with me feeling rather sad about that!

The drive to Ohio was pleasant, and we made it to Chagrin Falls around 4:30 in the afternoon. We met Bodhi right in the town square (triangle…?) And he and Ro walked to look at the falls and the ducks on the water and play on the playground together. She was so thrilled to have another new friend! Afterward we walked around to this fantastic little wine and beer shop that was so diverse and well stocked. I found some Ommegang and bought that to drink that evening.

Back at the house Bodhi cooked pasta for dinner while I unpacked the cats into his old truck where they stayed the night because of Bodhi’s lady Beth’s dogs in the house. I had a couple of beers and we put in Colonial House to watch/make fun of the contestants. Ro didn’t make it to bed until 1am and spent all that time playing with Bodhi and Beth and her amazing collection of vintage Fisher Price toys.

Zack didn’t make it through the evening so easy; he suffered the same fate as Liam had. Zack’s allergic to dogs, only we didn’t know how bad. He took Benadryl to stop his sneezing, but failing to expel the allergen triggered an asthma attack- his first since High School- and I found myself at a CVS at 2am buying an Epinephrine inhaler.

In the morning Beth was so sweet to cook Ro a slice of Ezekiel toast and a scrambled egg which she ate up with a glass of orange juice. Afterward she sat with her in the rocking chair and read books to her- her mother was a librarian. Beth is indeed one of the sweetest people I’ve ever met and I do hope to have the chance to spend more time with her.

Once packed and on our way again, the drive through New York was grueling. Raining, pouring, and the Southern Tier does nothing but twist and turn. My hackles were up all the way to Oneonta. We arrived at the diner without a hitch, though, and had a pleasant dinner with Nana and Papa. Ro was enamored by the fish in the big aquarium by our table, and my French onion soup was exactly what my sore throat and rainy day needed.

We made it into Mechanicville at 9:45, (after battling fog like chowder along I-88,) fifteen minutes off schedule. It was nearly a perfect road trip, with Liam, Zack and my Camera the only things that went any degree of wrong. Though I don’t look forward to doing it again anytime soon, at least I know that if we wanted to- we could. Even with two cats and a two year old in the back seat.

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