“What I want is what I’ve not got, and what I need is all around me.” – Dave Matthews Band
Miles traveled: 363.8
Before getting on the dreaded 95 South (and yes, I know there are other routes to take, but trust me I spent a copious amount of time checking traffic patterns and delays and general inconveniences that are found in the northeast, and all options were ungodly terrible – as to be expected), my mom and I went to check out the Five Mile Lighthouse in New Haven. Turns out it would also be the most expensive lighthouse I likely will ever lay eyes on – and also the only visit I would ever make to it, because it was outrageously expensive. Because my car is not registered in the state of Connecticut, we got to visit the no longer operational lighthouse (you literally could just walk up to it and stare at it) for an obscene $40. Highway robbery.
This jolt back into reality made me thankful that I would be out of the Northeast by the evening! Don’t get me wrong, it is a beautiful area of the country, and I have had an absolutely wonderful time visiting the different states and places along the way. It is however expensive, and Sarah is frugal – so the combination isn’t fit to withstand a long-term stay this time around! Now I don’t want my negative Nancyness to take away from the lighthouse – even though it is no longer an operational lighthouse, there is still history there and it really was cool to see and to be able to walk up to along the beaches on the eastern shore of New Haven. I’m a sucker for a lighthouse viewing. Clearly. Given my wallet took a serious hit today to see one. Sorry Lighthouse, I didn’t mean to rant and take away from your place in maritime history, but you have to admit that you are quite ‘spensive!
I had also wanted to go into downtown New Haven and walk through the Yale campus. While I was not intelligent enough to even apply to Yale back in the day, I have always read it is a beautiful campus from an architectural standpoint, so I wanted to make sure to add it to my agenda for the day. I also wanted to get in a good walk, since the drive to Baltimore was going to be a bit longer than the last few days on the road. The weather in New Haven wasn’t stellar, but not horrible either. When we started our walk, it had stopped raining, however as the walk progressed we got stuck in some misty rain for about a mile until we returned to the Jeep. My mom wasn’t thrilled about it, especially since she had just straightened her hair and it was not damp and curly – whoopsie daisy! Sorry mom!
I cut the walk short due to the not so optimal weather and we got back to the Jeep and made our way out of New Haven and on the highway. We made a quick stop for an early lunch at the always classy, Cracker Barrel. This is an establishment that I have a lot of respect for – I mean in what other place can you order dumplins with a side of freakin’ dumplins?! Nowhere – that’s the answer. So of course we had to stop. Of course. We ordered our lunch, and my mom included a baked potato to go with her salad. I mention this because – and she’s probably not thrilled that I’m including this, but I did warn her it would be fair game for the blog today – after she seemingly finished her baked potato, she proceeded to empty the second packet of sour cream into the remaining shell of the baked potato. I indicated to her that I needed to better understand what was about to happen. At this point, I was concerned that her flight issues and cancellation from the previous day had finally gotten to her and she was losing it. Mom said, “there’s still good potato left in there” – and well, we all can imagine what happened next. I took a picture as evidence. Seriously lol.
As the baked potato ‘situation’ progressed, I had finished my dumplins and had moved on the classic peg board game at the Cracker Barrel table. My high level of skills got me down to just one peg. Folks. This is pretty incredible news you are reading. Be excited to know that you are reading the words of a true genius. The peg board game said I was genius. So it must be true. You are welcome.
Anyways, after a quick lunch, we hopped on the dreaded and miserable i-95 south and made our way – SLOWLY – to Baltimore so mom could catch her flight home to Charleston. Keep in mind that on a perfect, utopian day on 95 that this drive would have taken less than 5 hours. Well after taking about 2 hours to go 6 miles in New York, that 5 hour drive turned into an almost 8 hour drive in which Sarah began to get a little snappy. At times, I willed my inner Baltimore driver to emerge to make it through all the absurd traffic, but I don’t really have it in me I suppose! I did honk at one person who nearly took me out, but other than that, I carefully watched the clock to make sure I was going to get my mom to BWI in time. Thank you to the dear city of Brotherly Love for only having half of the eye-sore of the George Washington Bridge open on a Friday. The glacial pace at which we ‘moved’ through the 20 miles in the state of New York was thrilling and reminded me that traffic on 95 or anywhere in the vicinity of NYC was reason number 79,637 that I will never live in NYC. More power to the people that do – I have the utmost respect for your level of patience (I’m sure it’s a very cool city to live in – it’s just not for me – I don’t mean to offend)! I’ve never been so happy to say, “thank god I’m finally in New Jersey!”
Anyways, once we got into Jersey, we really only hit traffic at the base of the Delaware Memorial Bridge – as to be expected – it’s a poorly designed train wreck of an interchange after the toll. I stopped to gas up the Jeep once we got into Maryland, and we made our way to BWI with time to spare, so mom could easily get checked in and to her gate for her flight home to Charleston. And yes, she did arrive in Charleston on time! Woohoo! After dropping my mom at BWI, I backtracked up 95 about 20 miles to my wonderful friend, Judy’s house where I would be lodging for the weekend (yay for laundry!!). She was kind enough to save me a plate of a home cooked meal, which I munched on once I arrived (it was delicious) and sat down to catch up with her and her mom over a glass of wine. Judy, her mom, her kids, and Coco and Phoebe are a significant piece of my Baltimore family – so it is great to be back after a few months (I moved from Baltimore back to Charleston in June after living in Baltimore for about 4 years – for anyone who is confused) and to be able to hang out with them like old times!
I will be in Baltimore all weekend (and will likely do just a single post from the weekend- unless the masses urge me to write in detail about all of the laundry I will be doing this weekend) and will get back on the road to close out the last 10+ days of my road trip on Monday!
Until next time…