SHE SAID

Larry and I went to Newport, Rhode Island, to see my son, Chris Hill, graduate from Officer Development School in the U.S. Navy. Here is the rest of the story.

On our short road trip to Newport, Rhode Island, last month I discovered a few new things about you. One was that it takes two navigation systems for you to find your way on a trip. That’s the ultimate sacrifice to make instead of stopping to ask directions, Mister. At first I thought it was just because you didn’t want to listen to a woman’s voice giving you directions so I bought a Garmin that could be switched to a man’s voice. You must have hidden that one under a book somewhere. Now we have the car navigation system and your phone to deal with. So instead of relying on just one of them, you had them both arguing with each other. If one of them said to turn left, the other one said to turn right. I assume that was the reason it took us 16 hours to drive what should have been a 12-hour trip.

The other thing I learned was that you would rather shop than eat. Our whole group went out for lunch and you begged off so you could shop. I often wondered which came first, eating or shopping, and now I know. Of course we did plenty of eating too. After lunch, some of us went to tour a Downton Abbey type mansion, but you were still shopping. It’s unfortunate that you missed it, because it’s going to take a house that size to contain all of your treasures.

The streets in Newport are barely wide enough for two cars to pass through so you decided that those people don’t know how to drive. That was evident in your choice words for them. Could it be that you were the one who wasn’t used to such close quarters?

And whose idea was it that we drive up I-95 anyway? The traffic was horrendous. Once we finally got through there, the toll roads depleted our cash. Cars were bumper-to-bumper when they moved at all. We spent just as much time stopped as we did moving. An 18 wheeler overturned on the George Washington Bridge in the Bronx and that slowed us down for hours. We had planned to meet our group for dinner and needless to say, we missed that.

Of course, it was my idea to return home on Interstate 81. It was much more peaceful. It took the same amount of time but at least we kept moving. It was a beautiful drive on a bright sunshiny day. You’re welcome! Next time, I’ll plan the road trip.

HE SAID

It is funny how two people can be in the same car together for a total of 28 hours and remember different stories. Let’s start with the first sentence. I drove 25 of the 28 hours on a 1,600+ mile trip so I don’t consider it a “short road trip.” A short road trip might be from Danville to Greensboro or Roanoke.

You’re right about the shopping part though. I would rather shop than eat. I knew nothing about dinner the first night. Someone forgot to mention that. I will say that I could not control the 40 miles of construction work that we encountered, the overturned tractor trailer, or the $50 worth of toll roads, plus the heavy stop-and-go traffic. Your car GPS has a reputation for being wrong or giving the directions to every country road between here and New England. My cell phone is much more reliable and even she had a difficult time with the northern driving patterns and the tendency of roads to change course every five minutes. You brought along two sets of printed instructions from MapQuest and they, too, gave different directions to follow. About the mansion tour– no one told me of those plans, so I don’t think I can be held responsible for something like that either.

The reason we were in D.C is because you wanted to go to our favorite restaurant in Baltimore for crab cakes. They were delicious, but not so sure of the $130 tab that I so graciously paid. As far as the driving habits of those wackos in the north I only mentioned that they were just as bad as the wacko drivers in the south so that was a wash. I was glad you suggested I-81 to come back on since I had never heard of it. (I think I suggested I-81 to begin with but someone had to stop off in Maryland to eat.)

Welcome, world, to our road trip to Rhode Island.

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