Friday, January 16, 2009

January 16, 2009 D&D, Virginia, US Air flight 1549

Here it is, Friday and Dan and I have made the trek south and north again.
We left here at 7:05am on Tuesday. Made an uneventful and speedy trip south and arrived in Mechanicville, VA just after 4pm. 9 hours. Dan traveled beautifully, only had to stop once in Delaware for gas, food and a pee break. Dad, Kat and Em had spent the day in DC touring the department of agriculture, treasury and the botanical gardens. We actually arrived at their house before they did. Dan behaved remarkably well, and during the drive I weighed the pros and cons of spending the night in VA then continuing south to Florida Wednesday morning. Dan's reaction upon arriving in Virginia changed my mind. He was frustrated and unruly upon arrival, obviously overtired and overwhelmed. Dad and Kathy picked Red Robin for dinner, a good choice and he made it through. We got him home, dressed him for bed, and tucked him in. He was asleep within minutes.
We awoke Wednesday morning. Dan and I took a walk/bike ride down to the end of Dad's drive way, quite a ways, and back, then a walk through Dad and Kathy's nicely manicured woodland paths so Dan could collect gum balls. (Seed pods from the gum tree) Dad and Kat had some things to do but Dad, Em and I ultimately agreed to meet Kathy in Richmond at the museums. Dad and Emily went to the science museum Dan and I checked out the Children's museum was right next door. Kathy met Dad and Em sometime during their visit. Everybody had a great time, We all climbed into the van and drove down Monument Ave, and the around the corner to a restaurant called Kuba Kuba. was very eclectic, a highlight was the fresh squeezed lemon and limeade. Dad had a crayfish omelet (obviously not called that, but it's what it was) with vegetables. The girls Turkey, spinach and tomato sandwiches, Dan macaroni and cheese and I had a fishcake sandwich which was very good. Dad, Dan and I drove past the Richmond speedway on our way to BJ's for trail mix. One ingredient of our later dinner. Kat and Em headed for the library, then met us at home. Dad retired to the garage for a cigar, Dan and I curled up on the couch to watch Tarzan and Jane, one of the movies we borrowed from the library and he watched at least 5 times on the ride down. I don't understand how someone can watch the same movie over and over again but it works for him. Admittedly it was pretty cute...once. Dan and I thought we'd try a computer game called Qbeez that Dad, Kat and Emily have really taken a liking to...and Dan and I were quickly addicted as well. Dad, Kat and Emily prepared dinner. Since we ate lunch at 3pm or so we weren't really that hungry and decided to have cut melon, pineapple, grapes, pears, apples, trail mix and popcorn for dinner. It was very good and just enough. We all found a spot in the living room to watch Pirates of the Caribbean. Dan really liked it but before the final battle couldn't keep his eyes open. He and I went off to bed figuring we'd watch the end in the morning.
I woke up Thursday morning and with no plans for the day considered leaving. It was about 15 degrees. I considered that the inauguration was the following Tuesday, and that DC was probably only going to get busier, and harder to get around. Talked to Dad, and decided that would be the plan. We'd leave at 10am. One thing about split second decisions is that very often things are forgotten. An unhappy Danny waved goodbye to Em, Vavo and Kathy and we were on our way. I did have a unsure moment as I debated the wisdom of taking a right onto 95N or a left onto 95S. Both presented delights and pitfalls. But deciding not to push my luck with Dan and traveling took the right and headed north. It wasn't until we'd navigated the mixing bowl that I got the dreaded text from Emily notifying me that her carry on backpack was still in the back of my van, or that we'd completely forgotten to reload Dan's bike into the van. Whoops. With 2 hours behind us and bad weather in New England I briefly questioned continuing on. We did however and decided we'd mail Em's wallet, ipod, etc back down to her, and get Dan's bike on some later trip. The ride was great and except for some pretty significant snow squalls in New Jersey uneventful until Port Elizabeth at about 3:25pm. Dan said "Mom" from the back seat and I look back to see him wiping blood from his nose. He'd woken up with a slight bloody nose that morning so I wasn't all that surprised but driving 80 MPH in the high speed lane with a child leaking alarming amounts of blood from their body is unnerving. I managed to make a few quick lane changes and pull over regrettably to the breakdown lane. Not my favorite choice but I didn't have the luxury of choice at that moment. I made my way into the backseat and did what I could to contain the bleeding until it subsided. We started our trek North after about 10 minutes. What I didn't know was that had I been looking to the right I might have seen US Air flight 1549 make it's final landing into the Hudson river. Dan and I were on the George Washington Bridge at exactly 3:37. The time of the crash was estimated at 3:26, The plane cleared the bridge by an estimated 900 feet. Sometimes I'm very sure that everything happens for a reason. Had we not been pulled over for Dan's bloody nose we might have been right there when it happened, and although the outcome was good, it could have been different. Miracles. We made the slower trip through rush hour Connecticut, stopped at McD's for dinner, gas and a pee break and made the relatively simple drive through RI and Mass. We saw no evidence of the storm until we were driving down Rt. 130 in Sandwich, the further south we went the more snow there was. Nearly nothing at the Sagamore bridge, 4 inches at our house. Very bizarre. We arrived home a little after 8pm, (10 hour trip home) to Mike who was completely surprised to see us. We did a quick unpack, got Dan in the bath since he looked like he'd been in a fight with his bloody hands, face and clothes. Mike built a puzzle with him and we tucked him in. I quickly followed. It was a good long day, I was very interested in seeing the images of the plane that I'd been listening to on the ride home, and so glad that everybody was rescued safely. We had a good trip and a quick adventure. No warmth to speak of. Wished I'd kept my motivation and left Wednesday morning for Orlando. But then again I'd still have 24 hours of driving to not look forward to...OK, maybe I'm glad to be home.

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