(Step Two) Vacation: Getting There

9 Jul

Shortly after stocking our car with everything and anything we could possibly need for an 8 day vacation…

…we pulled out of our driveway and hit the highway. We drove in two cars, as I may or may not have mentioned in the previous post. Clearly, we had too much crap in our car to fit all five of us so I graciously accepted the honors of riding in “Uncle” Zoonie’s car with my Uncle Scott, Aunt Michelle and cousin Kian. Note: Zoonie (whose real name is Tim–don’t ask) is my Uncle Scott’s brother… my Uncle Scott married my dad’s sister, Michelle. End family tree review, but do realize there is going to be a lot of family to digest in the next several posts… perhaps I will create a visual to demonstrate all of the relations…

Anyway, we pulled out at roughly 6PM and endured the 11.5 hour trip to Cape Cod–Mom, Dad, Zach and Andrew in my dad’s car (somewhere amongst all the crap we packed) and then myself, Aunt Michelle, Scott, Kian and Zoonie in Zoonie’s car. Our plan of attack for this obnoxiously long, butt numbing car ride was to drive through the night as to avoid massive 4th of July traffic. But also, considering we had a 2-year-old in tow (Kian) we thought he’d sleep most of the ride; thought* being the key word.

45 minutes into the trip we had to stop at a Walmart in order to buy a new in-car-DVD-player because the one we had basically fizzed out and became nonfunctional. Being that we had a two-year old strapped into a car seat for what was about to be an 11.5 hour drive, we had to stop to replace it. If for nothing else, to maintain our sanity.

So our small caravan stops in Dunkirk, NY for an emergency DVD purchase…

And naturally, we couldn’t just be “regular” people who are stopping at the store on their way to spend a week at the beach… oh no. Zoonie, in his forest green, 1998 Buick pulls up to the nicest car in the parking lot, leans out the window, nods his head several times and proceeds to ask the driver of the car’s wife, “What’s that baby got under the hood?” The classic car drove off into the humid summer night, but not before Zoonie could ask them to, “LIGHT IT UP!!!” Which is a Zoonie-ism for let’s hear the engine at work.

Anyway, $100 later, we had a top of line in-car-DVD-player and we were ready roll. Zoonie lit up the 98’s engine and purred right back onto I90. The next several hours were seemingly uneventful… until we hit a toll booth in Massachusetts that had one toll booth operator working both sides. At this point it was roughly midnight/1am and everyone was getting tired. We sat in line at the toll booth, with honking semi’s and swearing New York drivers for a solid twenty minutes. We speculated that perhaps the other toll booth workers called off? Zoonie was certain there was going to be a ,”$%^#ing riot!” But there wasn’t. After a long, honk-filled wait, it was our turn to pay the $0.85 toll and we were back in business.

Shortly after this toll booth, we arrived at another toll booth. Rob (dad) was having a fit because 1.) he hates stopping when he is driving and 2.) “The roads are a freaking mess here anyway; what are all these tolls going to?! This is a flipping conspiracy!!!” However, this toll booth had no operator and no funnel to stick your money in either. So for a solid 2 minutes my dad sat at the toll booth, getting more furious with each second, waiting for my mom to tell him what to do. The convo went something like this:


Dad: Sue, how much is this toll? I can’t read that damn tiny writing!

Mom: ….

Dad: SUE! How much is this toll? Zoonie is way out ahead of us now!

Mom: ….

Dad: SUSAN!!!! What are you doing!!?? What do I do!? There is no worker here!!! We need to pay the stupid toll, what am I doing!?

Mom: (zoned into her iPhone) What? What’s happening? Hold on, I only have thirty seconds left on my game…

Dad: SUE! This is no time for a game! What do I do? Tell me what I am supposed to do? Where do I put the toll? There is no worker… I don’t know how flipping much this toll is, probably $50..those sons a…, and Zoonie is long gone, we are going to be lost…

Mom: Oh, just throw a twenty out the window and we will call it even!


Mom: Okay, only 10 seconds left on my game! Then I’ll call.

After her game was over, Mom called and Aunt Michelle said that they just drove through the booth… no fees, no questions, and no police chased them down. So Dad put the pedal to the metal and caught up to Zoonie, toll-free. My Uncle Scott claims that people who are ambitious enough to be driving at 3 am are spared the toll booth expenses as a gift for their tenacity. I guess we will really never know why no one was at that booth…

Once we actually managed to make it to Cape Cod, the sun was already starting to rise. It was shortly after 4 am and I had since switched places with Andrew in the car. Cape Cod is actually a really long peninsula, much longer than I had really realized just looking at the map. We drove on Cape Cod for over an hour to reach our house and the whole entire way Zach had his head hanging out the window. Meanwhile, my dad kept telling him to roll up the window because the air conditioning was on… but according to Zach, you can only sight see with the windows down. At this point we were all deliriously tired and everything was hysterical. Zach and Andrew have never truly seen the Atlantic Ocean until this week, so they were pretty pumped to have an opportunity to experience it. Therefore, every time we passed an accumulation of water–I’m talking, puddles, ponds, kiddie pools–Zach was like, “Oh man! I almost thought that was the Atlantic Ocean for a second!” (Needless to say, when he actually saw the ocean, he was elated.)

At 4:45am, we pulled into the house that we would be staying at for the next 8 glorious days… we were greeted by my Uncle Scott’s sister, Colleen, and her two daughters, Chloe and Riley, who had already spent one night on The Cape. We walked down to the beach before we even set foot in the house and watched the sunrise.

It was the perfect start to an awesome eight days…


Next Up: Living Arrangements, Cape Cod’s Flea Market births a Fedora with lights, and ocean living…


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