Random statistics from the past weekend.
Miles Traveled: 354
Hours Spent in Van: Eight, mainly due to hellacious traffic on 93 North Saturday morning which doubled our expected travel time. This also included an impromptu stop on Route 100 in Vermont when five year old announced ‘I have to go pee really bad!'
We Knew We Were In Vermont When: We opened the van door for the youngest to do his business and were greeted by the sound of a gunshot coming from the woods across the river. Must be hunting season. Or Saturday, as it’s called in the Green Mountains.
Most Infuriating Discovery: The tolls on 93 North have one – as in singular – dedicated lane for the EZ Pass. The rest are combo cash/EZ Pass lanes which defeats the entire purpose. Care to guess where this one, lonely, dedicated lane is? Smack in the middle. Not all the way to the left or right, but right in the middle with causes undue chaos and traffic problems on top of the limited options.
I wouldn’t mind so much, but this is the same state that just instituted a high speed EZ Pass lane for their route 95 tolls. I can cruise through those bad boys at 65 and there are two lanes. What the holy hell, New Hampshire??
Number Of Beers Consumed: Lost count. I can say that there were 13 empties lined up in the spot I was intentionally leaving mine for tracking purposes. That was after one night, although I can’t say for sure they were all mine. I can say that I needed to purchase another 12 pack for the next night as my cooler was running low. Let’s just leave it at somewhere between 20 and 30.
Pounds Gained: At least five. Easily. My mother in law baked approximately 350 different deserts and I tried them all. Often more than once and a few times for a pre-breakfast warm up. I also purchased a home made blueberry pie from a local farm.
It wasn’t pretty is what I’m trying to say and I’m not proud of myself.
Miles To The Nearest Market: I would estimate ten. This house is in the middle of nowhere on an unpaved road. Comcast hasn’t even run cable out there, yet. I wasn’t even aware they still had places to conquer.
Hours Dog Chased Ball/Frisbee: At least fifteen over two days. Their dog is obsessed with fetching. She ran more than a marathon while chasing balls and/or Frisbees being thrown by various people. She was limping the following morning she was so worn out. Often the balls would wind up in the pond near the back of the yard and she would dive in, swim to get the ball. I guess it was more of a triathlon. I told Wifey, ‘This is the kind of dog I want’. It never barked, it never nipped or jumped, often I forgot it was in the house until I noticed it lying on her bed. I offered to trade for our psycho dog, but nobody was buying.
Pound of Fireworks Ignited: 30, easily. We had a small display the first night, until I suggested we stage a huge area and set things up ahead of time the second night. Wifey’s brother and I then fired up a bunch at the same time and put on a grand show. Luckily their closest neighbor is a mile down the road, so…you know… fuck him.
Number of Stars Visible: Incalculable. If I had to guess I would say all of them. Every single star was visible Sunday night. It was so spectacular and unexpected it took away from the fireworks show.
Number of Terrible Sleeping Nights: Two. Once while getting adjusted to an inflatable mattress (which suck in case you haven’t heard) and the next with my five year old using various parts of my body as his personal pillow. Yesterday I felt like I had been partying for two days straight with my buddies from college. I was tired, light headed, a bit dehydrated and bordering on hysteria. Good times.
Signs My Body Is Rebelling: Two. I have the beginnings of a cold sore on my bottom lip and my left eyelid is twitching like it’s trying to escape from my head. Getting old sucks.
News Story I Didn’t Know Was News Until This Weekend: The hostage situation at the Discovery Channel. I knew NOTHING about this until Fox News was interviewing one of the girls who was among the hostages. When I pointed this out to Wifey she replied ‘Yeah, that happened a few days ago’ only in a ‘Well, DUH’ tone of voice. I mean, what the hell? I’m online nearly all the time and I miss this story? How did that happen?
Number of Bears Spotted: Zero, although one woman claimed to have found bear shit on the road by my brother in law’s house. ‘It looks like dog poop only with seeds and berries in it’. Thanks for sharing.
Number of Deer Spotted: Zero. What the hell, Vermont?
Number of Cows Spotted: Way too many to count. It had to be in the hundreds. Vermont is cheese country, after all.
‘Down the Road’ (Urban Definition): Between two and five blocks.
‘Down the Road’ (Rural Definition): Between two and twenty miles.
Number of Bars On My Cell: Surprisingly three. With all the mountains and the remote location I was shocked to have any reception at all.
Hours of Sleep I Want Tonight: Ten.
Hours of Sleep I’ll Actually Get: Seven. If I’m lucky.
Three Things I Learned
1: Vermont is a nice place to visit, but I wouldn’t want to live there. I can understand why Wifey’s brother did it (both his boys are fantastic snowboarders and they’ll be surrounded by the best coaches and facilities) but it is way too remote for me. I’m a city boy, through and through.
2: People from Vermont are super nice if a bit…how do I want to phrase this? Off. What I don’t know is whether they are off kilter to begin with and move to Vermont so they can be themselves or if they become slightly deranged because they live in the middle of nowhere.
3: Three things Vermont does better than any other state: maple syrup (bought some from local farm and it’s out of this world), cheese (sorry Wisconsin) and drunk driving. Apparently they lead the nation in DUI arrests and it's not difficult to figure out why that is: There is nothing to do up there but drink. Couple that with the fact that there is usually one main road in every town and you have no place to hide when you're struggling to get home after drinking off your winter depression.
Bottom Line: A pleasant, occasionally fun, booze fueled weekend. Just don’t expect me to be making that trip very often. Once a year is more than enough.
Today’s distraction: A mash up of Star Wars art one man found all over the internet. Check out the photo near the bottom of the young cast to remind yourself how hot Carrie Fisher was. Yes, indeed.