Flat Tires and Traffic :(
(See how many times Shawn tried to get a time commitment from us with Todd...)
March 16, Shawn writes:
"Any guestimates on arrival time tomorrow? Might make sense for you to call me when you leave Todds place."
"I'm planning on getting up to Todd's place some time between 10 and 11 tonight. You guys gonna be back from dinner by then?
....no idea about when we'll arrive at Shawn's on Saturday. Think we'll be able to head out by 9:30 or thereabouts? Todd estimated the time at
1+ hour to get to Shawn's..."
Dave gets to my place in New York City without incident around 11am. I'm still working out stuff I hadn't done all week. We get out of my place in Manhattan around 2pm. Traffic is mounting, but manageable. We take the long way out of the city so I can show Dave the Bear Mountain Bridge twisties. In the thick of traffic on the West Side Highway, I tune in the traffic reports. GW Bridge is looking good, upper level. Freshly pressed home made CDs playing, all is well in my little world. Then Dave says on the Talkabout, "The car next to me says I have a flat tire."
Everything raced through my mind. How it's nice to have a doughnut in the trunk, but it wouldn't get us where we have to go. Two cans of fix a flat in my trunk, along with a patch kit and MV's tires changing instructions printed out, and a cigarette lighter powered air compressor.
Tom Young swears by Difeo BMW off the Palisades, that is the direction we are headed, but we'd never make it in time and who knows if they could replace or fix the tire. We headed for Manhattan BMW. I called them on my cell phone to get an appointment and to see if we should be headed to a tire shop. It took so long to get a customer service rep, despite the good receptionist, the line cut off. I started again, horns blaring everywhere and by the time I reached Hooman, we were already entering the service area. Hooman was a light in a dark place for us. He had trouble getting anyone to take on the work, ended up taking Dave's car himself to be repaired.
Hooman btw is from Global Imports and buds with Jay Lilley. We're lucky to have him in NYC.
Meanwhile, Dave needed a hug. I called Todd and told him that we STILL wanted to take him to dinner. "No really, I'll get my own dinner" he says, but I won't hear of it. Listening to the traffic reports on the radio in Emmy, the news just got worse and worse.
We chatted with Hooman until CiZi came back, with a repaired tire. The grin returned to Dave's face and we were off again, minus $40 for Dave. It was nearly 5pm. Just as we are exiting the service area, the phone rings- Todd on the line. Serendipity, we were just looking up his number. Once again I insist we are taking Todd to dinner and he should wait for us. Meanwhile, JonT was on his way to a bachelor party in NJ.
Back in traffic I am hearing on the radio things like:
"Gee I have never seen traffic backed up this bad at this time of the year." "All bridges all tunnels, even the Merritt Parkway is backed up for at least an hour." No way off the island. Fine. I sat back and listened to my CD on shuffle. Then it started to rain. Hard. OK so the top goes up. Called JonT- to pass the time and check alternate routes while he was at the computer.
530pm and we're finally on the Palisades Parkway, it's taken us five hours to leave my house and we have at least 3 hours drive ahead of us. I call Todd and leave a message to suggest he meet us in Western Connecticut for dinner. At this point he is practically begging me to let him off the hook for dinner.
Then traffic on the Palisades stops for no reason at all for an hour. No reason.
We get to the Bear Mountain twisties and there is not a soul on the road, we have it all to ourselves- except.... for one car. One car. And it's in front of me. And it's going less than 20 mph.
I figure I just paid my karmic (CARmic) dues for the whole next year as far as traffic is concerned. Emmy is nearly out of gas, daylight is gone and I haven't taken a pee since 2pm.
We stop for gas and call Todd and finally I admit there is no way we will make it in time to take him to dinner. Todd says this is a good thing since he ate dinner at 530 when we were still in Manhattan.
There is no bathroom at the gas station.
To hell with all of them and everything, we were finally out of the city, there was snow on the ground but the weather was mild. Dave turned on his heated seats, I put on my heated vest and head sock, we cranked up the tunes and headed out for the back roads.
It was fabulous.
We found some great roads. It felt like motorcycle riding, Burkhardt would have been proud. At one point there was a rest stop, and I asked Dave if he needed to go, it was about 8pm or after and I know that men have a tougher time than women in this area. Dave said, "I was wondering how long you could hold out."
Oh really? As if you don't have to go? Really? Fine. We drive on without stopping. There is a lot of nothing for a long long time. Around 9pm we found a nice little restaurant. Dave T is a camel. We made it to Todd's house just before midnight and only minutes before JonT. As we are telling our tall tale Jon T asks: "Was it the right rear tire?" Uh huh. It's flat again. Kind of a bummer end to the evening. We made up for it with a good fireside chat at Todd's gracious home, introduced Dave to his chicken and went to bed.