We recently took a trip up to Rhode Island to attend a family reunion. I don't actually have any family in Rhode Island, but Kate's side has plenty. We left early on a Friday morning and returned in the afternoon on Monday so that I didn't take a bunch of days off.
We actually went up and stayed an extra day to visit with one of Kate's online friends, Mandy, a member of "Work It Mom", a support website for mom's who work. More on that in a later post.
The trip up was about an 8 hour ordeal, one that I decided to prepare for in advance by signing up for the EZ Pass, which allows you to have your tolls deducted from an account by way of a special sensor that is attached to your car, therefore making it easier to go through tolls, of which there are many on the way to RI.
The toughest part of the trip was going through New York on I95. That is an experience in itself because of the traffic, congestion, general unkempt nature of the area (think of a paved shithole - the closest thing to what I envision as hell) and the drivers.
I saw an idiot try to negotiate across three lanes when he was nearly at the tool booth, and then got side-swiped by a Wennabago that thought it had plenty of room. It ended up taking off the side-view mirror and the guy got the message that he was trying a little too hard to make it across three lanes so he straightened out and used his turn signal. It worked, he got right across without a problem after that. Word to the wise, common courtesy still works in this day and age.
Shortly after that we paid the hefty sum of $6 to cross the George Washington Bridge, so I snapped a picture or two of that bridge. I figured that I paid $6 for that ride, I might as well get my moneys worth by taking a picture or two.
The rest of the ride was not news-worthy, we got to our destination of Franklin, Massachusetts at about 6:30 that night, a good 30 minutes before Tino and Kathleen arrived. They had left about the same time as us and we met at a New Jersey food stop at noon for some lunch. They decided to go a different route around New York and we went through on I95.
We stayed at a Marriott Residence Inn, courtesy of Kate and her connections (employer) and were very happy with our accommodations. We did have to switch rooms because the AC wasn't working, but otherwise a good stay. Thumbs up on the Residence Inn.
The next day we didn't do much, had some lunch and then attended the Family Reunion that began about 2 in the afternoon. Jack's afternoon sleep didn't end until 3, so we got there about 3:30 or 4. It was at the local VFW Post and it was hot. I don't think of RI as being hot in the summer, but it is and there is a lot more room around there than I ever thought, as well. I expected it to be much more crowded, but it looked like rural Virginia, lots of open spaces, much like farms.
The family reunion was OK, I didn't know many people there at all, same as Kate. Kate's mom knew a few and so did GG, but for me it just wasn't a big deal. It was one of those deals where you go and do your duty as husband, don't complain and be a good boy. I let Jack entertain me and took a few pictures of the people I did know.
I did manage to get some good shots of Reet and Jim together, all the cousins together, the O'Briens and even got someone to snap one of the Goodyears together.
Afterward, we went over to Cousin Sharons house and had some sandwiches and let the kids cool off in her pool. It was great to relax a bit and sit back and enjoy the surroundings. The kids all got in, but Jack is not a big fan of the pool, so he stayed on the side and splashed the water. Bill tried to coax him in, but he just wanted to splash. Funny, because he is such a bath guy, but the pool is just unappealing to him.
He slept great that night. He got to sleep in a "big boy bed" that was actually the sofa that folded out into a sleeper. He liked that, but in the morning, we found him curled up on the floor, we think he got up in the middle of the night and couldn't find his way back.