Thursday, June 21, 2012

Part Three: The Tow

I just wanted you to get a picture of how stressful this whole breakdown situation was. Clearly, I'm barely surviving. . .

 Oh, sorry, where were we? Ah yes, Dan the tow truck man had just motioned Nicole and I into the truck. We hiked up into the cab and I wiggled into the middle, where it became apparent I'd be resting my feet on some sort of battery pack box the whole trip. I didn't have a seat belt, and said a quick prayer that we'd make the two hour (tow truck time) trip back to Boston safely. 

I'd be lying if I said that it hadn't crossed my mind that Dan might be some sort of serial killer who preyed on innocent young girls when their cars had broken down along the coast. My fears were allayed, however, once Dan placed a called to his wife as we got going. You know, since there's no way he could have faked that. . .

As we headed on our way, I started to wonder what we were going to talk about all the way home.  Do you ask personal questions? Thank him every 3 minutes? Just stay silent?  Turns out, Dan was a friendly guy full of stories about towing boats to the Florida Keys and other fun adventures had at the helm of his truck. Whenever he has to take long trips, his wife goes along and they have themselves a little mini vacation. 

We became so comfortable with him, we even joked with him that we were glad he wasn't some crazy axe murderer. We all chuckled jovially about what a nonsense idea that was as we chugged along toward home. 

Despite the sweltering heat inside the truck, Nicole and I enjoyed being so high up and having a clear vantage point of everything around us. In fact, when we got a little turned around in Boston, we were level with a group of duck boats that were driving by and enjoyed a few moments of their tour for free. And they quacked at us!

Finally, we made it my mechanic and after some finagling of the truck, got Betsy snuggled into a space while I filled out some paperwork to leave for Fred. Just before he departed, I asked Dan if he'd take a picture with me for my blog. He obliged, and even asked me for the address! So, Dan, if you made it to KatyDidWhat, thanks for making our tow experience so pain free! We appreciated it!

And here are just a few more fun pictures of Betsy getting hitched to her ride home. All photos in this post are courtesy of the lovely Nicole T, my travel companion on this fateful Sunday afternoon!

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Part Two: The Breakdown (again. . .)

A little hesitance, a little grinding and a hiccup. I knew exactly what those signs meant, but prayed it wasn't so. Just minutes after my pal Nicole and I pulled out of our hotel parking lot after our packed wedding weekend, Betsy (my car) was struggling with her "get up and go." In other words, she was playing her latest favorite trick of rattling her transmission fluid line loose, effectively stranding us in the middle of the main drag in Ongunquit, ME. Nicole hopped out without a second thought to help move the car out of the road, and I did what I could to push and steer her toward the non existent shoulder.
Just one of the many puddles Betsy graced
 the streets of Maine with. . .
In one of those moments that restore your faith in humanity, several men and women appeared out of nowhere to help us get the car into a parking lot of a hotel that one of the men worked at. They yelled to me to hop in a steer, and I remember at one point turning around to see them all in a row running behind my car. Within minutes we were out of the road, safely parked, if slightly shell shocked.

My usual tendency in these car related catastrophes is to dissolve into tears (shocking, I know), but I remained surprisingly calm. To her credit, Nicole was also incredibly put together. At her urging, I contacted some friends who might be in the area to help us, while she ran across the street to grab a business card with the address of the hotel we were at while I placed a call to AAA.
Stephen at AAA in all his professional empathy, ensured me that we would, in fact, be able to ride to Boston with our tow truck driver and we were given the whole "there in 45 minutes" speech.
 We decided to head across the street to the swanky looking hotel whose lot we were hanging in. No one seemed the least bit disturbed by our arrival so, without a backward glance, N and I sashayed through the lobby and out to the back, where we were greeted with an expanse of pools, hot tubs, lounge chairs, and entry to a manicured beach lawn.
It was here that she and I proceeded to spend our hour and fifteen minute wait for the tow truck. We did stop short, however, of ordering drinks and charging them to a random room. I won't say the thought didn't cross our minds, though. . .
lounging on the lawn at the hotel!
After a warning call that the truck was close, we headed back over to where Betsy was stranded. A man in a giant flat bed truck pulled up, and got to work hooking Betsy up.
Once she was up, Dan, as we'd come to learn was his name, motioned us up into the truck. Lest, you think this adventure is over. You're dead wrong. Third times, the charm folks, and I'll see you for it tomorrow !

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Part One: The Wedding

I've always wondered what happens when you're on vacation far (ish) from home and your janky car breaks down. This past weekend, I found out. 

But, I'm getting ahead of myself, here. This weekend, some pals and I headed north along the coast to Maine for a friend's wedding and some relaxation. 

Friday dawned sunny and summery as my friends Nicole, Rachel and I headed out early with plans to join up with some other friends later. We had a blast talking, being goofy, and unabashedly singing and dancing our way through all the little souvenir shops along the coast.

We stopped by the famous Nubble Lighthouse (which we affectionately took to calling The Nub) grabbed  ice cream at Brown's, and played on the dock off our hotel at dusk. It was beautiful.

On Saturday, we gathered with more college friends to watch our boy, Andy, and his beautiful bride, Julia, tie the proverbial knot. Their ceremony was sweet and thoughtful, and even a little bit funny.

But the real fun? The reception. Chiefly, the dancing. If there is one thing my college crew and I know how to do well, it's tear up the dance floor. All night long (wait, is that a song?). We all have our classic moves, we get each others groove, and we look dang good doing it, too.

We danced well into the night and it was wonderful. I love wedding dancing. It is, as they say, "good, clean fun." 

How does this relate to the great Betsy Breakdown of 2012. Oh my friends, did you think I was going to throw that down so easily?

Enjoy some pictures of the sweet union of Andy and Julia, and our fun weekend, and come back tomorrow for the conclusion. . .

Friday, June 15, 2012

Without a Trace

At 7:43 AM, I awoke with a strange feeling. Call me Ms. Clavel; I just knew something wasn't right.

I stepped out of my room and realized the problem. My sweet roommate, Jenna, never made it home last night. Not entirely disturbing, given she's a grow woman and there are lots of plausible explanations for her absence. For a normal person.

After getting a glass of water, I sent her a quick text to make sure she was OK and headed back to snuggle in bed to enjoy my day off.  But I couldn't fall back to sleep. My years of watching Without A Trace and CSI kicked my brain into over drive and I started to worry.

What if something terrible happened? Surely not, I told myself. She just stayed the night at a friends.

But maybe not. Maybe her phone had died and she'd left her keys somewhere and couldn't call me and had to spend the night on the stoop of our apartment or walk around to find a hotel for the night. Except she just moved to my side of the river and wouldn't know there's a Best Western right down the street.

Don't worry, I was just getting started.

I might, sometimes, be one of those worst case scenario people, and I began to wonder if maybe she'd been in some sort of accident or mugging and her phone was broken or stolen. And in the age of cell phones, no one knows anyone's number. So at the hospital, she would probably only be able to call her parents home in California and they would have to somehow relay the information to us back here on the East Coast. Probably via Facebook. Which could take a long time if she was unconscious for awhile at the hospital. . .

Or maybe she'd been kidnapped!

What happens if no one hears from her in the next several hours. How do you file a missing persons report? Do you call 911? Do they listen to you or do they just assume you're a crazy, overzealous roommate who needs to take a chill pill and wait for a text back?

Luckily, this only went on for about 15 minutes. Roughly the time it took Jenna to text me back and tell me she was fine. Obviously.  Like I was worried she wasn't. 
hahah, hah. hah. 
She's alive (and so pretty)!

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Here's the Scoop!

Today some coworker friends and I decided to hit up The Scooper Bowl during our lunch hour. The Scooper Bowl is a wildly popular fundraiser put on by the Jimmy Fund every year in downtown Boston.  Several ice cream vendors set up shop and for $10 it's an all-you-can-eat ice cream bonanza (a.k.a. heaven on earth). It's a little ironic that the fundraiser organizers would choose to fight one American problem (childhood cancer) while aiding the spread of another (obesity) but this isn't that kind of blog. Also, I love ice cream too much to think too deeply about that.

Some of you may recall the havoc an overindulgence in this frosty treat has unleashed on my life in the past. If you don’t, you can read about it here. The fact of the matter is, I might be slightly intolerant of that pesky little thing called lactose, ice cream might have this strange soporific effect on me, and I might ignore both of those things because if I have to live a life without ice cream, I don't want to live.

Enter the Scooper Bowl.

Lemon Poppyseed ice cream from SoCo Creamery (a local place!) stole the show this year, in my opinion. So light, fresh, and absolutely amazing!