New York, New York

Photo Credit: Kelley Oreglia (selfie)

I love when life slows down enough to match the flow of my fingers on the keyboard, when I can ease into a memory, turn it gently over in my mind, and lance that sucker as if a boil.

No one died.

That’s all I can say about our 1,400-mile road trip without cussing, lying, or subjecting the truth to unnecessary scrutiny. 

As Isak Dinesen claims, “God made the world round so we would never be able to see too far down the road.” Amen. Amen.

Here’s the unabridged version of our odyssey with all the glorified details and saltatory mutations. It’s not for the delicate of heart or those with cultivated sensibilities. It’s for the curious, it’s entertainment, and if I were honest I would say it’s about resiliency.

In my last post, I described a few minor altercations between Larry and myself during our drive from Wentzville, Missouri to Pittsburg, Pennsylvania!

Considering the close quarters, humidity, and general disposition of my recently retired husband a minor scuffle ensued, during a seven-hour drive, over the necessity of proper hydration, and a traffic snafu that honestly left me speechless (temporarily). This was kindergarten play compared to what came next.

As T. S. Eliot says.  “Only those who risk going too far can possibly find out how far they can go.” We’ve all played with rubberbands, sometimes they snap!

The internet is vital to a writer, so I cleverly use my cell phone as a hot spot as we drive halfway across the country, and manage to post a blog an hour or so outside of Pittsburg. I am rather pleased with myself considering my age and lack of technical skills. I also receive a follow-up email from my publisher with a list of new objectives that I admit are totally freaking me out. 

As I’m responding to comments on the new blog and creating a to-do list for my publisher, Larry decides to yank my chain, unnecessarily I might add. 

He says, “You’re obsessed, put down your phone, look around.”

Now mind you, I spent the majority of the time looking at freeway scenery, a quarter of the time writing a blog, and a FEW MINUTES responding to one or two comments. My husband is actually the one with the phone obsession, but as you know when you’re pointing your finger, three fingers are pointing back to you. 

The point is NEVER POINT with a finger you’re hoping to keep. 

With elevated intonation, I say, “Obsessed? Obsessed? Look who’s calling the kettle black. And by the way, I’m sixty-two and perfectly capable of discerning the amount of time I should spend on my phone.” I may have infused a few cuss words into my tirade but that part is fuzzy.

He actually snaps his fingers at me like four times and says, “Oh, you want to get into it. Go for it.”

Now I’m spitting mad, my blood pressure has skyrocketed, and he should be highly appreciative of my emotional maturity as I reconsidered biting off his finger and spitting it out the window.  

I give him my most appalling look and say, “You’re snapping your fingers at me? Wow, way to escalate an argument. I would say that’s your superpower.”

“Don’t get me started.”

There was more but you get the gist.

Had my parents not raised me well I could have gone rogue, but with the restraint of a saint I refrain, and genteelly stare straight forward-thinking the most atrocious thoughts imaginable. Things that would make Andrew Dice Clay blush. 

I refuse to look at anything except my anger as we enter a short tunnel and emerge into this incredibly lush valley with the town of Pittsburg nestled between two formidable rivers, the Allegheny and Monongahela. As if a marriage, they gently merge at the edge of town and form the Ohio River. I want to exclaim over the beauty, ogle every inch of Pittsburg’s charm, but I stare straight ahead with a very unattractive look on my face! You can not possibly imagine how difficult this stoicism is to maintain. 

“A journey is like marriage. The certain way to be wrong is to think you control it.” John Steinbeck

Interestingly, Ohi means the initialism of the other half, as in a husband, wife, partner. Let’s be perfectly transparent, he joined my Ohi, not the other way around.

He knows he’s in deep water so he drives slowly around town CAUTIOUSLY (wise man) pointing out the various landmarks, such as the abandoned steel mills that have been turned into swanky lofts, the new stadiums located across the river, and the renovated downtown. 

My anger is at war with my intrigue but I try to remain unphased.

Intrigue is pulling ahead when we pull up to the incredibly posh Resainance Hotel located on the river’s edge. The doorman helps us load our luggage onto a cart, Larry leaves to park the car across the street, and the woman mad as a dog on a choke chain waits in a ridiculously posh lobby. 

It is stunning, from the elegant split staircase, glass ceiling, and small seating arrangements positioned with luxurious precision around the lobby. I notice an attractive coffee bar by the elevators and a charming pub near the entrance. What’s not to love?

I let my guard down for like a minute or two.

After Pointer checks us in we head up to the room to refresh and unpack. The room is spacious with a large wingback chair, comfy king bed, small writing desk, and two large picture windows with a spectacular view of the river. Pointer has the decency to pull me into a penitent hug. I accept his unvoiced apology while assuaging my bruised pride. We decide we need some libation and head down to the lobby bar for espresso martinis. 

My anger has lost all steam. 

Seated at the most adorable pub located in the front of the hotel, the wall facing the street is actually a garage door, which is lifted all the way up, allowing a cool breeze to waft through the space. We’re having this charming discussion about the history of Pittsburg when I notice Larry is starting unabashedly over my right shoulder.

As I’m about to turn around, I say, “what are you looking at?”

He reaches for me all in a panic and says, “don’t turn around, it will be too obvious, but Miguel Cabrera is sitting right behind you.”

“Miguel who?”

“The guy from the Detroit Tigers, he’s a future Hall of Famer.”

I make a subtle turn acting as if I need something out of my purse but I have no idea which of the four men seated around a bar table is Miguel.

I say, “Do you want to ask for a picture with him? You seem quite enamored.” He literally has not taken his eyes off the neighboring table.

“No, I don’t need a picture, this guy is totally legit.” And he starts rattling off stats for Miguel Cabrera until my eyes glaze over. 

“Interesting, um bartender, could I have a nice pour of Sauvignon Blanc, PLEASE.”

When Larry finally tires of star gazing and baseball stats we mosey over to the Capital Grill for dinner. You’ll be relieved to know we did not encounter any more “future Hall of Famers.” The steak was mouth-watering delicious, accompanied by a glass of Tempranillo, and Caprese Salad as we walk slowly back to our hotel, our discord amended. 

I think it was still dark when Larry wakes up, heads down to the lobby, and returns with two coffees.

He says, “Time to get up, we’re going for a long walk before our drive to Niagara Falls. Let’s get going.”

I groan, “Can I enjoy my coffee first?”

“Get dressed while your sipping.”

“That is not how you enjoy your coffee, that’s how you end up with heartburn.”

When he starts pacing in the small room I concede, “I’ll be ready in five minutes.”

A few hours later we head to the infamous Niagara Falls, and might I just brag, with only one minor altercation along the way. We cross the border just past Buffalo (this is where they invented buffalo wings) and enter Canada by midday.

Photo Credit: Larry Oreglia

Larry reserved a room at the Marriott facing the falls for one night. When we enter our room on the 21st floor, our eyes are directed to the back wall, which is entirely glass. There are two upholstered chairs inviting us to sit and observe the magnificent falls. It’s not possible to accurately describe the impact of watching 44,308,904 gallons of water flow over Niagara Falls each minute. 

I like what Vinita Finra says, “Niagara Falls is the hanging tongue on the face of the earth, drooling endlessly over its own beauty.”

Slipping into our tennis shoes we head outside to hike down to the falls for a closer inspection. This is definitely a bucket list destination. I’m enormously grateful we decided to check this one off our list.

In the morning, we wake early, load the rental car, and head to New York City, to find our daughter Kelley and celebrate her new apartment. 

Our destination is actually the Newark International Airport where we have arranged to drop off the rental car by 3:00 pm. 

We carefully scan for any gas station twenty miles outside of Newark but there is not a station in sight. This is cause for an inordinate about of anxiety and cussing from my frustrated husband.

He says, “We’re screwed, if you don’t fill the tank, they charge you like $200.”

I say, “I’m sure there’ll be one near the airport.”

As we approach the exit for the airport with an empty tank the tension in the car has become almost unbearable. 

It’s a ying-yang thing, I’m the optimist even when I don’t feel it, and Larry is the pessimist even without cause. We’ve survived thirty-nine years with this maladjusted system. Why change now?

I say why not?

The closer we get to the rental car drop off the angrier Larry becomes, he says, “this is a catastrophe,” literally pounding his fist on the dashboard.

“We’re fine.” But I don’t believe it for a second.

“This is such a %$#%#^&$.”

I suddenly exclaim, “Look, I see one, right over there.”

“Perfect, there’s no way to get to it.” More cussing.

Having no idea which way to go I take a leap of faith and say, “Take that exit.” 

Amazingly he follows my direction because his ability to think rationally is temporarily disabled. The problem is my little detour takes us away from both the rental car drop-off and the gas station, he yells, “%$#%#^&$.” 

These symbols don’t accurately portray the carnage but you can use your imagination.

“Just keep going it’ll come around.”

He’s not convinced, “%$#%#^&$!”

And by the grace of God the street curves back to the gas station and as my nerves try to unfrazzle themselves, Larry fills the tank with the calm of a Buddhist Priest, while I’m searching in my bag for extra strength Tums.

So here we are with our luggage, backpacks, and a couple of bags of food and no viable form of transportation. I want to hail a cab but Larry has his own errant ideas.

We walk with all our paraphernalia to the airport, where we are forced to jump on a tram with a billion other sticky people, it dumps us at the train station which hasn’t been mopped for a decade. Talk about complicated, it takes a master’s in engineering to figure out which train to take, someone takes sympathy on these frantic Californians and graciously points us in the right direction. 

We emerge at Penn Station, which is an underground world unto itself, and try and locate our daughter in the midst of all this chaos.

I’m on the phone with Kelley, she says, “what track are you on?”

“How the hell do I know.”

“Describe what is around you.”

“We’re standing outside the restrooms, there’s a coffee shop and a cafe.”

“Mom, there are hundreds of restrooms, coffee shops, and cafes. Anything else.”

“Let me see, there are some signs, they point to an 8th street exit, 7th and 33rd exits, and something about a lower platform.”

“I’m right here but I don’t see you. I’m wearing a yellow sweater.”

“I’m all in black with an orange suitcase, there is a look of desperation on my face. Your father is walking in circles with his blue roller bag trying to mimic the locals.”

“Mom, calm down, I’ll find you, stay put.”

Suddenly Kelley comes into view as if an aberration, I scream, “there she is, there she is.” Sort of like Noah’s wife when she spotted dry land. 

Now we’re still on the phone and I see her looking over the crowd trying to find us. I’m waving like a lunatic. People are staring. How rude.

Suddenly she’s in my arms, smelling like sunshine and roses, she takes control of my suitcase and we head up into the loud and bustling streets of Manhatten. How do people live like this? More importantly, why?

Currently, she is living in corporate housing provided by ESPN, until their apartment closes at the beginning of August. Her temporary apartment is located on West 33rd Street, midtown, swarming with confusion. 

The lobby of her building is controlled by a doorman with a dictator complex who needs to be convinced of our relationship with Kelley before granting us entry. As if we have to meet his approval to gain access to her apartment? New Yorkers!

Are we going to have to do this every time we go in and out? 

Yes. 

We quickly unpack, change clothes, and head to the Upper West Side to check out where Kelley’s new apartment is located. Slipping into a darling pub for drinks and an appetizer before continuing our tour of the area was genius and the perfect rejuvenator.

It’s charming, much quieter on this side of town, with a subtle layer of sophistication that seems to be distinctive to the Upper West Side. We ended up at an Italian restaurant just up the street from her new home with a wonderful selection of pasta, salads, and wine.

We return to midtown, manage to get past the doorman, and into our little haven from the noise and confusion of the city. Kelley and I watch You’ve Got Mail so we can ogle Meg Ryan and Tom Hanks galavanting through the streets of the Upper West Side. 

It was an early morning, at least for Larry and I who are still under the influence of PCT, we were up, dressed, and waiting outside Kelley’s new apartment by 9:00 am. Her realtor is letting us in so we can take measurements and consider what renovations might be possible. 

Her apartment is situated on the 4th floor, it’s a walk-up, with morning light streaming through the west-facing windows. It has hardwood floors throughout, two bathrooms, two bedrooms, a small kitchen, dining space, and living room. It’s perfect for the two of them and I’m confident Kelley will turn it into a lovely home.

“I look out the window and I see the lights and the skyline and the people on the street rushing around looking for action, love, and the world’s greatest chocolate chip cookie, and my heart does a little dance.” Nora Ephron

Our next stop is Zabar’s for lox and bagels, then on to Levains for a half a dozen cookies, we walk all over Central Park, check out the MET (where they were filming an episode of Gossip Girl), and Washington Square Park (with lots of homeless people doing drugs). We walk all over Greenwich Village and SOHO (stopped at a few spots for apps and drinks) and enjoy a scrumptious dinner at one of Joe Bastianich’s restaurants (Lupa) in Greenwich Village. 

As we’re walking back to Kelley’s apartment, I can feel the steam coming up from the grates in the sidewalks on my tired legs, we pass small markets, charming cafes, and wine bars, a contrast to the stacks of garbage lining the sidewalks. The braided aromas of rot, geraniums, and expensive perfume fill my nostrils. It’s alluring and repugnant all the same time. New York City has gotten under my skin and we’ve only had a one-night stand. 

Photo Credit: Larry Oreglia (selfie)

In the morning Kelley heads to the World Trade Center where her office is located and Larry and I have the entire morning to explore the city. We walk all the way to the WTC from midtown, Kelley takes us up to the observation deck for a panoramic view of NYC. It’s a Lego City, condensed, in constant motion. There are not two seconds between the sound of honking horns, and the sirens of police and ambulances. I’ve yet to pass a corner without a small vendor selling, donuts, pretzels, or magazines. It draws you in like a long-lost lover, you’re covered in sweat, tangled in the wrinkled landscape. 

Kelley decides we should host a wine and cheese night on our last night in the city. She wants to invite her sister-in-law, Maggie, our cousin’s daughter Rachel, and her boss from Carta. I invite a blogging friend, LA, who lives in NYC, and hosts an extremely popular blog called Waking Up on the Wrong Side of 50. Check it out when you have some time.

Photo Credit: Kelley Oreglia

Well, it ended up just being LA and Kelley’s boss who we escorted up to the rooftop for cocktails and conversation. LA is as charming as she is delightful, a wonderful conversationalist, with an encyclopedic knowledge of New York City. It was so much fun to put a face to the voice I’ve been enjoying for years. We hope to meet up again next time I’m in New York City.

I admit, I’m ready to wake up in a city that actually sleeps at night but I hate leaving Kelley behind. We depart for Newark International Airport at 4:00 am. This time Larry called a cab!

I’m learning that the joy we derive from our journeys in life depends more on our mindset than the destination. Capturing the spirit of a place takes time, focus, and feet on the ground which I believe we accomplished. The spirit of New York City is now a part of us, like the luggage we drag home, unpack, and launder. New York has captured us, for better or worse, call it love. As John Updike says, “The true New Yorker secretly believes that people living anywhere else have to be, in some sense, kidding.”

I’m Living in the Gap, missing the noise of the city, but oh so happy to be home. How’s your week going? 

“One of those out-of-the-ordinary days that made sense of the slew of ordinary days. New York had a way of doing that. Every now and then the city shook its soul out. It assailed you with an image, or a day, or a crime, or a terror, or a beauty so difficult to wrap your mind around that you had to shake your head in disbelief.

He had a theory about it. It happened, and re-happened, because it was a city uninterested in history. Strange things occurred precisely because there was no necessary regard for the past. The city lived in a sort of everyday present. It had no need to believe in itself as a London, or an Athens, or even a signifier of the New World, like a Sydney, or a Los Angeles. No, the city couldn’t care less about where it stood. He had seen a T-shirt once that said: NEW YORK FUCKIN’ CITY. As if it were the only place that ever existed and the only one that ever would.

New York kept going forward precisely because it didn’t give a good goddamn about what it had left behind. It was like the city that Lot left, and it would dissolve if it ever began looking backward over its own shoulder. Two pillars of salt. Long Island and New Jersey.”

― Colum McCann

51 Comments

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  1. I thoroughly enjoyed this article. Mind you, I am reading it while relaxing in a beach rental house after a 3 hour road trip with my husband. Ours was only 3 hours and we had a verbal scuffle! Marriage and road trips probably shouldn’t be used in the same sentence! LOLOL Your trip to the “Falls” and New York sounded wonderful. So glad that you had time with your daughter and truly enjoyed the journey. Thanks for so honestly sharing what real life looks like! Best Wishes! Leigh

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Hi Leigh, oh I’m thrilled to find another soul who finds road trips challenging but the destination divine! It was a lovely trip and I became enamored with New York City even though I felt as if a fish out of water! How’s your stay at the beach going? I love everything about the coast, the sound of the ocean, the smells, the food! Hope you’re having a fantastic time! Hugs, C

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      1. Thanks for your “well wishes” Cheryl! We are having a blast. Our daughters and grandchildren are all here and we are having a blast …. even met a “real mermaid” today! That will definitely be “post material”. The grands loved it and came away “full fledged” mermaids in training. Everyone is napping and I am putting in some “keyboard” time on the screened in porch – ya know I love porch sitting. Wishing you a great week! Leigh

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  2. I loved following along on your adventure. I’d love to see Pittsburg. My daughter in law’s mother grew up there and you described precisely how she did. I’ve so excited to hear that you visited LA!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi E, it was truly an adventure! And if you ever get the opportunity, Pittsburg is a lovely place to visit. I was blown away by Niagara Falls and fell in love with New York City. But one of the highlights was meeting LA, she’s scrumptious, and she lights up a room. I look forward to seeing her next time we’re in NYC. Hugs, C

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  3. Again, another great piece. Loved hearing your description of searching for gas! Newark airport is definitely interesting–I must say I love the tram! And, finally it’s good to know that road trips come with built in tensions!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Jan, I am happy to report, regardless of “built in tensions” road trips are still one of our favorite things to do. I was enchanted by New York City although I admit she can be an intimidating city to conquer! I look forward to returning in August and helping Kelley and Tim settle their new apartment. The weird thing about retirement is the freedom to pack up and go wherever and whenever you want! It takes time getting used to all the freedom. I’m sure our children are thrilled to find us on their doorsteps so frequently! Hugs, C

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    1. Hi Crystal, I’m telling you living in the gap has taken on a whole new meaning! It was a gentle genre, family friendly, once described as a happy blog. Now it comes with a warning! Great trips, come with great memories, even those that require TUMS! Thanks for traveling with me, hoping your summer is going well and you are finding time to rest and rejuvenate! Teaching takes an enormous amount of energy. Hugs, C

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Claudette, thank you, and I totally agree, the only way to see the falls is from the Canada side! I was overwhelmed by the magnitude of the fall, the beauty, the roar of the water! It truly is a magical place. I didn’t realize you were so close, it would have been so much fun to meet up, and we’ll make that happen next time we travel east! I wonder how many times have you visited the falls? You are so lucky! Hugs, C

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        1. It really isn’t, Cheryl, March in this area is seasonless, gold, grey, wet, drab. My suggestion is deep in winter when the Falls are iced over and lit up by lights, or in early summer when everything is in full bloom. There’s a village called Niagara-on-the-Lake with gorgeous bike paths (google it and tell Larry) with quaint shops and pubs everywhere… Fall is another beautiful time of breathtaking colour, late September/early October.

          Ok, so plan it, tell me, I’ll join. 😂

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  4. Enjoyed every syllable neighbor. Glad you two survived.
    So, you took my advice regarding homicide? Good. That allows for a chance in the future to share some wine and a few laughs with Larry and Terrie.

    Amitie’
    CT

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    1. Hi Chris, I’m here to say “road trips” are survivable! And yes, your words of warning rattled through my brain as I clenched my teeth, and bit my tongue! You’ll be relieved to know we are absolutely available for laughs and wine with you and Terrie anytime! Retirement, she’s very lenient with us! Hugs, C

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  5. Your post was great and so truthful. I have traveled 3,000 miles by car from Los Angeles to Toronto. It was many years ago. It is not an easy feat by any means. The Canadian side of the falls is so spectacular. I agree it should be on everyone’s bucket list. New York City and Los Angeles City are not my idea of fun spaces. I am not one for crowds at all. Glad to know you survived.

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    1. Hi Lauren, after I posted, Larry handed me a glass of wine and said, “nice job on the post, you could have left out the gas station snafu.” I said, “Honey, everything is copy, if you don’t like it, behave better.” We all know that’s not going to happen! Overall, it was a fun trip, with minor altercations, as would be expected! I’ve never visited Niagara Falls and I was astonished by the grandeur and beauty. And definitely the Canadian view is the best. I’m with you Lauren, I’m sort of an introvert, and was a little intimidated by the enormity of New York City. But she has a way of growing on you, charming you with her chaos, and energy. I look forward to returning soon and of course our daughter is the main appeal. Sending love and hugs your way, C

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  6. Reading this about NYC reminded me so much of living in London. And also why I decided to leave that city at the age of 60. The arguments in the car sound so familiar, especially needing a petrol station when it is on the other side of the road with no access.
    The view of the falls from your hotel room is magnificent.
    Great stuff, Cheryl.
    Best wishes, Pete. x

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    1. I can only imagine how the sights and sounds of London are similar to that of New York City and someday I hope see her with my own eyes, walk the streets, taste the food, oh and visit the historical pubs! My son-in-law Tim, who travels extensively, says London is one of his favorite cities in the entire world. I’m also surprised by the commonality of squabbles during road trips, searching for petrol, and the anxiety of exploring the unknown. Niagara Falls was so much more than I ever imagined! Just magnificent. They say what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger! That might be a problem! Hugs, C

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  7. Aw you gave me great memories of my time at Niagara Falls, they are amazing. I can hand on heart say I’ve driven all over Europe with Phil (the hub) and so far we’ve got along just fine, we are so boring. 😀

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    1. Hi Fraggle, I’ve seen pictures of Niagara Falls but it does not do justice to the magnificence of the falls. There’s a documentary on youtube about Niagara Falls that’s worth viewing. Okay, hand on heart, you and Phil must be saints, or you found the perfect man! If gas wasn’t so expensive I’d recommend taking two cars and tagging each other as we travel to common destinations! All I have to say is Larry makes life interesting, if not challenging, and he’s a source of so much material! Hugs, C

      Liked by 1 person

    1. It was such a lovely surprise spending time with you LA, overlooking the skyline, sipping bubbly, and getting to know you. Looking forward to my next visit, seeing more of NYC, and more of you! Hugs, C

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      1. Contacting Facebook has been very frustrating because you can’t talk to a real person or even chat with one. Everything is computer generated “help” and the problem was the person who hacked my account also set up the two-device authentication so there seems to be nothing I can do. So they have my entire site, and I can’t seem to be able to take it down!

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  8. Hi Cheryl,
    I’m in the car reading your blog as Mike and I are driving through Kansas on our way to Colorado. I had to laugh at the point where Larry said to put down the phone and look out the window. Kansas really isn’t that picturesque – unless you like wind turbines- lol
    Glad to hear you had fun in NYC with Kelly. Thanks for thinking of Rachel even though it didn’t work out. Sometime we will have to meet up in New York with our girls.
    Glad you and Larry made it home safe and sound and thank you for sharing your adventures!
    Xoxo

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Gail, oh that’s rich, you reading my road trip woes while taking a road trip! I’m sure Mike is a much calmer car companion and you’re way nicer than me! I used to live in Kansas and I remember all too clearly the miles and miles of bland scenery. Hope your trip to Colorado was as fun as our time in New York City! That’s quite a place. We missed Rachel this time but we’ll try again next time we’re in town. It would be so fun to do a girls trip to the city. Maybe later this year? I hear you’ll be coming out in the fall, we can discuss then! Hugs and love to you all, Cheryl

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  9. I love your sense of humor, Cheryl. What a riot – partly because it’s all so familiar. I too have driven through that tunnel into Pittsburgh and issued a little gasp at the beauty. And of course, the gas-station-search-fiasco. Somehow, it’s funnier when you do it. Lol. I used to live in New England and made it to New York maybe a dozen times. Too big and crazy for me, but I’m glad you were able to get into the groove and let that marvelous place into your bones. Loved the post. Thanks for the entertainment!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Awe, thanks so much for taking the time to travel with me Diana, and let me know I’m not the only one who struggles to find gas stations and her calm! We drove through the New England states during the fall a few years back, it’s absolutely gorgeous, not to mention the lobster rolls and antique shops. I was smitten. Larry was with me on that trip also, he was slightly appauled when I scarfed down a bowl of muscles we were supposed to be sharing. Guilty! xxoo, C

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  10. “he should be highly appreciative of my emotional maturity as I reconsidered biting off his finger and spitting it out the window.” This made me chuckle so hard! I absolutely hate it when someone snaps their finger at me and have the same reaction lol.

    You seem to have done quite some travelling and that image of yours with the falls in the background is lovely!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Pooja, oh how I appreciate your comment! That you relate to my frustration and I made you chuckle is an unbeatable combination! Thank you very making my day. It was a wonderful trip despite the snapping fingers but it’s always good to be home sweet home! Hugs, C

      Liked by 1 person

  11. What a fun read! I think I cussed a little when he snapped his fingers to get your attention. LOL
    I think seeing someone on their phone may be annoying to the driver. My husband hates when I do that.
    That is so funny that you didn’t know which guy was the future hall of famer. Great read!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you Belladonna! I’m overjoyed to have been the source of your laughter! Clearly I was annoying my driver and thankfully we were able to move on! I think the highlight of his trip was seeing Miguel Cabrera and to think I would have never known! Thanks for joining me in the comments, it means the world! Hugs, C

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  12. Hi Cheryl!
    I read this entry with a big smile on my face. Nothing like a 20-hour road trip to bring a couple together. You really find out whether you can get along or not. Glad you (and your marriage) survived. Pittsburgh sounds neat. Bet you could have spent another day or two there and had a great time. The picture of Niagara Falls was beautiful. It brought back some memories. The last time I was in a hotel near Niagara Falls (former Honeymoon Capital of the Eastern US,) the bed was heart shaped, there was a mirror on the ceiling, and the bed would rattle if you put 50 cents in the box at the bedside. And there was a hot tub in the common area down the hall.
    I can totally relate to the rental car gas fill-up rip off. I almost feel like the rental car places buy out the stations near the airport so they can stick it to more people. It is a total fail to return the car with a not full tank. It’s not just the money, but the principle.
    And then New York. The hustle and bustle. The food, the richness of life. Wow. Good for Kelley. I trust she will continue to live a Fab Life there. Glad she has met up with Rachel. The circle is complete.
    Can’t wait to see you all.
    PS I don’t mind if Gail tests, posts or surfs the web while I drive. As long as the driver gets to pick the music or podcast. My favorite road trip song….https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Gy88-5pc7c8

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    1. Hi Mike! It’s always a pleasure to put a smile on your face, read your take on things, and then to find out you have a fancy for heart shaped beds (that rattle) with mirrors on the ceiling. Mercy, this puts you and Gail in a whole new category! Now who’s the cool cousins? Gail mentioned she read this post to you while the two of you were on a road trip. I gleaned from her comment that you two share an easy companionship on the road, no anxiety over petrol stations, while listening to hip road trip music. This feels a little like bragging. You probably found a hotel with a hot tub in the room! Well, with a lot of travel in our future this blog might have to come with a warning! Hey, send some details about your next visit? We should also plan a trip to New York, take our daughters to a dinner and the theater? Hugs, Cheryl

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  13. Cheryl, Cheryl, Cheryl – How opposite we are on the marriage, though not on the spouse, spectrum. I recall many similar road trips with my now ex, and incredibly had been hoping for more during our retirements but alas it was not to be.

    That meant I was forced to take a longer road trip mostly on my own after some very harrowing, sad, difficult and unexpected solo time over the past several years. Fortunately, both the trip and the times are now in the rear view, though I hope to be writing about both sometime, and hopefully as humorously as you do!

    Suffice to say when I emerged from my new 2019 vehicle, purchased specifically for the nearly 2500 mile trip just completed, I fell into my daughter’s arms after pulling into her driveway and uttered the possibly infamous phrase “I’m never taking a road trip again!”

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  14. Hi Susan, marriage is challenging in the best of circumstances, but road trips can be downright arduous on relationships. Unless, of course, you’re both nice! And practice acts of penitence every few miles. Apparently, I’m rather exigent. Divorce is a completely difference experience, something no one expects, but nevertheless must be endured. Often alone. I’m sorry you’ve had to go through all that while caring for your mother. That speaks to your character and resiliency. I’m glad you found some comfort in your daughters arms. Well, you are writing a new chapter now, one hopefully filled with the things you never even imagined doing in your old life, things you can bring about intentionally. I look forward to reading about your adventures. Hugs, C

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    1. Thanks, Cheryl, for the encouraging reply. Thanks also for putting forth new words, or at least new spellings, in this post and also in the draft manuscript you forwarded to me to act as beta reader. While in that process, I looked up the meaning of that term after I looked up the new to me spelling of a word because i had never seen it spelled that way. Just wondering if you want me to comment on stuff like that. Also, I presume your editor may be seeking permissions for quotes from others. That’s an aspect of publication I picked up in a memoir-writing class but I don’t remember if the author/instructor had to do that herself or if that was part of the editing/publication process.

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  15. Ahhhh those road trips. Sounds a lot like some of mine! So many happy moments, but then again two people in a marriage who try to perform, help, fix, figure out together but find and offer two separate paths in which to “get there” or problem solve. Both have the good ideas, but so much feeling and emotion goes into that moment when split decisions are made or one tells the other what to do in unsolicited “parental” advice. Our issues comes when I “hold on to the seat”, “put on the brakes on my passenger floorboard”, or say “watch out”. It touches a cord with him. We have to figure out what buttons not to push. So I try to play a game on my iPad and not watch! I always let him pack the car, but have to tell him what goes in the front seat with me. Mostly we get along fine but there are those moments. For us, my spouse gets “irritated” mid-way through vacation. I guess it’s the realization that it’s going so fast. He has a few hours where nothing pleases when he sees our time is running out and we have way more to do than we have time for. We also disagree some on whether the dog should go certain places or stay. And then we also have tense moments in traffic when we are trying to use Waze to get there. Or whether to use Waze or not. For years he refused to use it. Now when he wants to use it my iPad bluetooth causes interference and Waze goes down in tense much needed moments. It’s laughable when you talk about it. lol. But then the destination seems to clear it all away – it’s all over and done–well until til the next time we land in the car. I’m giving you a follow. Happy 4th!

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    1. Oh my, thank you so much for joining me in the comments and sharing your story of traveling with your sidekick! I’m so sorry for the delayed response, I was obviously traveling and missed several comments on this post. It sounds like you and your husband have it figured out, meaning you are aware of the things you do to irritate each other, and the unique way you manage travel, time, and traffic! I was laughing at your frustration with Waze, we have encountered the exact same issues and mostly just follow our intuition! Which is wrong at least half of the time. The interesting thing is Larry and I still love to travel by car and although we know there will be tense moments, it’s all worth it in the end. And like you say, “until the next time we land in the car.” Thanks so much for the follow! Hugs, C

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