As the end of February approached, we made arrangements to spend an extended weekend visiting friends back on Long Island but, little did we know that a few problems would be thrown our way. Given that it is an 8 hour trip door to door, our usual itinerary is to leave home around 5:30 in the morning, drive about 5.5 hours to the New London ferry, spend about 1.5 hours on the boat, and then another hour driving to our destination. We have made this trip so many times it has become a routine.
Unfortunately, the weather for February 24th was not going to cooperate. A storm was approaching that would change from snow to freezing rain just around the time we would be on the road. Driving on slick roads, especially while it was still dark had me a bit nervous, so I convinced my husband that we should leave Tuesday night and at least drive to the halfway point in New Hampshire. This would allow us a later start in the morning, when the weather would be changing to all rain.
All went well for the remainder of our drive on Wednesday. In fact, making an earlier boat allowed us to arrive on Long Island around lunch time so we could enjoy a good New York style pizza; one of the things we truly miss in our new home state. I believe we split a whole pie between the two of us. Every bite was heaven. Once settled, we spent our time visiting former co-workers during the day or squeezing in a few hikes. The evenings were spent visiting friends who helped me celebrate the big 60th.
Sunday came and we were up in time to drive the 1.5 hours to catch the first ferry of the day, allowing time to get a bagel along the way. I am sorry to say, we never did get that bagel on Sunday morning. We were barely an half hour into our trip when the car started to overheat. We were also on a stretch of road which was mostly agricultural with no service stations for miles. We threw the remains of our water in and hoped for the best but we did not get far. A park ranger who had been parked across the street at a park entrance, came over and did try to help but ultimately we knew we were not going to make that boat. We soon discovered that the worst time to have car trouble is at 6am on a Sunday morning; although we could get the car towed to a service station, no one would look at it until Monday morning.
The guy driving the tow truck was kind enough to drop us off at a nearby hotel but we still knew that we were stranded. Stranded on a main street that consisted of a Tanger Outlet, car dealer alley and a Panera restaurant within walking distance. We probably could have walked to the dealer where we had bought our last three cars if things got real bad. We did spend some time walking around the outlets and ultimately decided on replacements for our everyday dishes of over 30 years . So I guess our extra time on Long Island was not totally wasted.
We set our sights on Monday with the thought that if the car was done by 4pm we could make the boat at 5 and still get home by midnight. Unfortunately, the service station did not receive the new radiator until 1pm and finished up the car by 5. We were there for one more night. Finally, we arrived home around 3 on Tuesday afternoon. A trip that should have taken 8 hours, took 3 days. The time spent with friends was great, the drive provided some new experiences, but we were glad to be home.