Wednesday, October 05, 2005

roadtrip report - part 1

Last week at work was a bit of a mad blur. The past few weeks have been like that actually and I was getting myself very stressed out. Like, extremely stressed out. Actually, like I had a total meltdown at home last Tuesday after work. On Wednesday, I talked to my manager about it and she was terrific. Offered some helpful solutions and, basically, a rope to hang on to. Perspective was what I needed, that and to know that a light does indeed exist at the end of the tunnel.

So, New York. Back in August (or late July?), when I first heard that Belle and Sebastian were playing at a festival (Across the Narrows - more on that later) in New York, I was interested but not confident that I'd go. For starters, I'm not a big fan of festivals because many of them (in these here parts anyway)involve sitting on blankets, in farmers fields, and portable toilets. I'm too old (imho) to deal with insane mobs and no real bathrooms! I discovered that this particular festival was taking place in the very civilized, Keyspan Park on Coney Island.

I talked to Mark about it because we had already planned a December trip to New York (we wanted to be in Strawberry Fields on December 8). He was really excited about it because he'd not been to Coney Island in years and I'd never been to Brooklyn so it would a neat adventure for us, in addition to my finally getting to see Belle and Sebastian. Over the years, I've had many "near misses" with seeing them but it never happened. I got us some tickets, I booked us a hotel and we starting making plans. We didn't have a set schedule of events for the weekend, just certain things we knew that we wanted to do in addition to the concert (like going to the Carnegie Deli and shopping in Chinatown).

Our original plan was to leave on Saturday morning, check into the hotel sometime that afternoon, have a night out on the town and go to the show Sunday. Monday would be our return trip travel day. A couple of weeks ago, Mark suggested that we leave on Friday after work. We'd drive into the wee hours on Friday and would most likely be dog tired but, we'd be waking up on Saturday morning in New York. I liked that idea, a lot. As work went from crazy to insane last week, I started questioning the sanity of the trip: should I be going away in the middle of this busy-ness? Will I be able to relax and enjoy myself? Lots of doubting thoughts kept popping in and out of my head but one thing kept me going, I was going to see Belle and Sebastian!!

Friday, I left work at noon. Mark worked until 3 and this gave me just enough to go home, pack us up and do a few things around the house. It all worked out perfectly, he arrived home, about 15 minutes after I'd finished packing and I was ready to go. We crossed the US border without incident. I don't know why but those guys always make me feel nervous. For the first time ever, we had a guy with an actual sense of humour. It was refreshing. Once we hit the I-81 South, I started getting excited. Neither of us had eaten lunch so we stopped for a quick (ie drive-thru) chicken sandwich and an ATM stop in Pulaski, NY. We had decided, because we were staying in Brooklyn (instead of New Jersey like we usually do), that we'd take a different route. Instead of getting on the thruway in Syracuse, and heading east to Albany, we stayed on I-81 and headed toward Binghamton.

...when I have time (hopefully tomorrow?), I'll get into part 2. I know it's not the most exciting thing that you'll have read but I'm doing this more for me than for you. So, there!!

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