Mon Jul 21
Tue Jul 22
Wed Jul 23
Thu Jul 24 (part 1)
Thu Jul 24 (part 2)
Thu Jul 24 (part 3)
Thu Jul 24 (part 4)
Fri Jul 25 (part 1)
Fri Jul 25 (part 2)
Fri Jul 25 (part 3)
Fri Jul 25 (part 4)
After 20 hours (and 12 installments), we were finally back at my home.
While H was in the shower, I fed my cats, then got directions to the CT Ren Faire site. I used Google Maps. I also looked at the Mapquest directions for comparison, and the Google route was clearly better. I felt a small sense of vindication, which I kept to myself.
The route would take H over the Tappan Zee bridge, which often gets jammed on Friday afternoons. I checked the Tappen Zee Bridge web cameras. At least for now, the traffic was moving.
H was ready. We grabbed her stuff, including a tent I loaned her just in case she couldn't open her partner's trailer. We went outside, threw her stuff in her car, made quick farewells, and she was off. It was 4:30PM; the CT Ren Faire opened at 6, and she had to perform at 7:30. According to Google, it would take 90 minutes for her to get to the Faire. But it was Friday afternoon, and lots of people would be using those same roads to head home.
If there were any problems with the directions, H would not be able to contact me, since my cell phone wasn't working. I hoped she'd make it.
I could have gone back inside, but I wanted to get things "fixed" as soon as possible.
First, I drove to a local gas station to fill up. After that, I went inside their convenience store to visit their small auto-parts section. Right there were the kind of fuses I needed. I bought two packages of assorted fuses, just in case I needed more in the future. A couple of swaps with the fuse puller, and my iPod played again. Hurray! And it cost less than a dollar per fuse.
I drove to the mall to visit a Verizon store. It was there I learned that, due to vagaries in my contract, I could trade up my cell phone right away, even though it was damaged. If they'd had any Treos or Centros in stock, I would have gone for the deal. But they didn't, so I to settle for letting the insurance company replace what I had.
If the iPod Touch had a microphone, I would have a shiny new phone right now. Again, no new toys for me.
The replacement required me to make a phone call to the insurance company. I used a public phone in the mall. After the usual bureaucracy (which wasn't too bad, all things considered), they told me that they'd send me a replacement phone by overnight carrier. Since "overnight" means "next business day," I'd get the phone on Monday. Oh, well. I could live a weekend without a voice recorder.
With all that done, I decided to take in a movie: "The Dark Knight." Not bad, though a little overhyped in my opinion.
After two days in the same underwear, I stank a bit. I tried to sit as far away as I could from anyone else in the theater.
Then, at last, I went home to sleep.
On Monday, the replacement phone was delivered as promised. I got it activated with a few calls. My first "real" call on the phone was to H, to find out what had happened to her after she left my place on Friday.
She'd arrived at the Ren Faire with plenty of time left to prepare. It turned out that someone else at the site had a Coleman trailer, and she was able to use their key to open her partner's trailer. She was on-stage on time. The show went on.
The Ren Faire staff never noticed she wasn't there at the opening of the Faire. They didn't even hear her message on their answering machine until Sunday.
H apologized again for her behavior in New Jersey, The word "hysterical" was used once more.
What could I say? "It's OK," I said again.
It had all turned out right. Thus assured, I sent my old, run-over cell phone back to the insurance company. They'd provided a postage-paid envelope. I'd only be out the $50 deductible.
It wasn't until a week later that I realized I'd forgotten to remove the SD memory card before I mailed the old phone. Oh, well. I never used it much anyway.
Later, I did some more research on the web. I'd been very, very lucky in my first towing experience. There were lots of things I hadn't considered: trailer sway; tongue weight; trailer brakes. If it had been the turn-signal fuse that had blown, instead of the stereo fuse, we would have been in big trouble: on my car, if the turn-signal fuse blows, the car won't shift into reverse or park.
And yes, it's illegal to drive a trailer with no working lights or blinkers.
All in all, if the towing experience had to be a disaster, it was the nicest possible disaster we could have had.
H insists that for me to use the word "disaster" to describe the events of that particular road trip is pointless hyperbole. ("Road trip wuss" is a more accurate quote.) Even so, I don't think I'm going to be towing anything again any time soon.
I discovered that a French Press can also be used to brew tea properly. No, not the way Americans do it! The correct way! Anyway, I now use it too.
Three weeks after the road trip, the credit-card bill arrived. The credit-card company was happy. Very happy indeed.
WHERE ARE THEY NOW?
I have had enough of efficient driving for the time being. You'll find me driving in the right-hand lane, at the speed limit or at the same speed as the rest of the traffic. If you curse at me for driving slowly, I won't react. I've heard better.
H is currently performing at the Pennsylvania Renaissance Faire. I've changed some details to make it harder to identify her; for example, she doesn't really have six toes on her right foot. But if you visit the Faire, I think you'll be able to figure out who she is. Just look for the most talented performer there.
If you see her running to the bathrooms, don't get in her way.
Do you remember H's ex-partner, the one who abandoned her in Texas and made the road trip necessary in the first place? At last report, he has not returned to Texas. Therefore, assume he is still at-large. Be careful about accepting rides from strangers. You never know if it could be the douche nozzle.
"Douche nozzle?" That's H's name for him. I told you she could curse.