Here we were in the car. Mom riding shotgun, JD riding pistol. 9pm. The CD player was loaded with the audiobook, Fight Club. I was excited.
The tripometer on the dashboard read 0.0. I pulled onto Ashland and away we went. West on Armitage, south to the Kennedy (I-90/94 East,) to the Skyway (I-90 East toll bridge,) to I-80/90 through Indiana, Ohio, and Pennsylvania where I-90 split off from I-80, to New York to I-890 spur to Schenectady.
I have an I-Pass, a little windshield-mounted transponder that pays tolls automatically. There were at least two tolls per state. My I-Pass did not work at the first toll, the Skyway. I pull up to the gate, expecting it to open. Nothing. I honk my horn several times, as a few cars are pulling up behind me. They started honking. I was “that guy,” the a-hole who was in the wrong lane. Except it wasn't my fault! An employee approached me and asked for $3. Fine. I figure it was a fluke. Then the first toll in Indiana, same thing. Yikes. There was an 800 number on the transmitter. Turns out, the credit card used to establish the account had expired; we use the tollway so infrequently that it took over two years to go through the initial deposit of $40. Great timing. The clerk on the phone updated all of my information and said that it would take about an hour for it to start working again. The next toll was on the other side of Indiana, over an hour later. Did it work? Of course not! Nor in Ohio, Pennsylvania, or New York. I had to pay for all of the tolls up front. Fortunately, I had plenty of cash. We did find out on the ride home that stopping for all of the tolls cost us about 30 minutes.
JD fell asleep around 10:30pm and I listened to Fight Club. I'm a big fan of the movie and found the differences to be very interesting. The screenplay was definitely written for Brad Pitt, as the character was slightly different and darker in the book.
Staci had our laptop and several DVDs. The headphones she used were earbuds. Unfortunately, earbuds do not muffle background noise. We had a hard time coming up with reasonable levels for me to listen to my audiobook so that she could hear her movie. Next trip I'm buying her good headphones.
Finally, something that I ate along the way began to disagree with my bowels. Perhaps it was my buscuits and gravy from the diner in rural New York. Or it was the seven bottles of Coke that I drank. In any event, I had to stop a few times to avoid major disater. Sometimes I think that diapers would be a good thing to wear on a road trip to avoid unnecessary stops. No diaper would have contained these bombs. Yikes.
We were happily received at my cousin's house. More on that next time.