...how to waste an afternoon. Last Monday was supposed to be a leisure day . We were going to go to an early lunch then hit a movie. Arlene had to be home by 5:30. About 9:30 A.M. she calls and says she really didn't want to go to a movie, suggesting rather lunch and maybe a ride somewhere. Those last two words "ride somewhere" proved prophetic. I really didn't care about the movie and as far as riding somewhere, it wasn't etched in stone. Or was it?
We had lunch at "The 99". A chain restaurant in the northeast. Not a bad place. Good food at a reasonable price. I know, that sounds like a commercial. It was a beautiful day, about 62 degrees and sunny. As we ate lunch we talked about some of our favorite movies. I mentioned a few that I would like to own. Arlene then suggested,
"Would you rather just go somewhere and buy a movie?"
I said OK and, "Let's go to Best Buy. It's just up the Revere Beach Parkway."
This is not one of my favorite roads. In fact no road around here is my favorite road. I do feel sorry for people from out of town. There are many wonderful things about this area but the road layout and built in stupidity aren't among them. And the worst part of going to Best Buy, "just up the parkway", is that it's less than two miles from the restaurant. Get on one parkway, and if the lights are with you you can be at the other parkway in about a minute. Even with the light, the turn off for the store is maybe two minutes ahead. In the last 10 years a shopping center was built on the right of the Revere parkway and the Best Buy is on the left. Up until 10 years ago it almost a straight shot east to the ocean. About 7 miles. Now with all this new retail going in they had to design an elaborate exit lane system. That's all well and good. And you know what's really important? Having a sign telling you what lane you should be in.
Oh they have a sign. Unfortunately they put it around a bend under an overpass, where by the time you see it, you had better be in the correct lane, or you're either going towards the ocean, into the Best Buy parking lot or back the way you came. I pick a lane and round the bend. I can see the sign, but at this angle there is a tree in front of the sign. Not an old tree but something planted when all this change happened. What dumb ass plants a tree where it can block a sign! And what dumb ass thought it was a good idea to place the only sign where you really can't make a choice. There are 4 lanes but there are cars on either side of you. So we ended up heading east towards the Atlantic. Well not for long though. After a bit of driving We found a place to reverse our direction. You have the same problem on the way back. You approach the area where all the turn offs are and face an onslaught of lunatics shooting out of the same underpass you just passed through. You look for your opening and pray it's the right one. Wrong again.
"Listen. It's such a beautiful day, why don't we go to the Such and Such Mall in New Hampshire. It's the first exit after we cross into New Hampshire. It's a straight shot up 93." reasoned Arlene.
I had to agree. Rt. 93 runs right through my home town and it's a straight shot into New Hampshire, about 25 miles. An easy drive at highway speeds. And there is another plus. No sales tax.
We could have been in that mall up north in all the time we wasted trying to go to Best Buy. Up 93 we go. The January thaw is here. It's in the 60's and the sun is bright. It's an uneventful ride. The both of us are yapping about something. Probably work.
"My boss is such a (fill in the blank). Do you know what he did?"
We had apparently crossed the state lines when Arlene said, "Ooooh! That was our exit!"
There's plenty of blame for both of us. The easy drive after the nonsense after lunch, must have lulled us as we headed north of the city.
Now what do we do? I decide to take the very next exit to try and double back. I mean if we wanted to we could have driven to Canada. I have a GPS but for some reason I took it inside with me and so it was home. No clue as to where the mall is or where we're going. We're in about a 30 mile radius of home so it's not like we we're on the edge of nowhere. Little towns in southern New Hampshire and into Massachusetts with little farms and rolling hills. All very quaint and nice. We are on Rt. 97 heading south/southeast. I have never heard of Rt.97 but we were either going to end up near the ocean or pretty close to home. The most annoying thing was we were traveling strictly through city streets. Places I never heard of. Places I may have heard mentioned on the local news. There had to be a sign eventually mentioning a highway I recognise. We're not all that far from Boston.
This day started at 11:45 a.m. After an eternity of being behind a garbage truck, we soon saw a sign for a road we recognised. We were still a half hour to 40 minutes from home. That was only a guess because the road we hit is a highway that encircles Boston by 20 miles or so. You have to be sure to pick the right direction, north or south. There are even places where when you are traveling on Rt. 128 south, but actually heading north. As long as I am heading the right way I will be able to grab Rt. 93 almost right to my driveway. There's a tad of exaggeration there, but it's less than a mile from the highway to my house. It all sounds so simple. Then there's also looming rush hour traffic.
We eventually pulled into my driveway at about 4:20 p.m. I had two beers in my refrigerator. We drank them. Apart from lunch, they were the best part of the day. 4 hours, 80 miles. No DVD. No movie. A day we should have headed straight home after lunch. We settled in and listened to George Carlin for a couple of hours. We needed the laughs.
So we started thinking about how the day played out. We figured going to lunch and the movies might be too much. She had to be home by 5:30. At least that was the plan. Nah, let's buy and watch this movie I want. It seemed like a simple and quick solution. Then we decide it's actually easier to travel north and hit that mall than to deal with the traffic bedlam around here, and if you're paying attention it is. We weren't. We ended up having lunch and "taking a ride somewhere".
I'm outta here.