After a very good night’s sleep, we woke up and had some chai and coffee, said our goodbyes and went to have breakfast with our friend Curtis, from JET. It was good to see him and he seems to be doing well. It’s always nice to see a much-loved friend after a long absence (it really does make the heart grow fonder). We hit the road again and were soon into Pennsylvania.
I didn’t feel much like listening to our audiobook (even though David Sedaris’s When You Are Engulfed in Flames is hilarious. Side note: I actually own a signed copy of this book. My sister and Juan gave it to me as a gift. If I’d remembered this, I wouldn’t have spent $21 for the audiobook, and instead just taken turns with E reading it aloud), so we chatted about nothing in particular instead. As we drove through a very cloudy Pennsylvania we noticed what looked like a body of water in the distance. It looked massive. We both swore it was a lake or bay, but we saw no signs and couldn’t find anything on the map. Eventually we realized that it was low lying clouds in the valley below us and through the gray, it gave the illusion of being water. At some point we stopped at Panera for “lunch” (it was around 4 pm). I was a bit sleepy and so I ordered a green tea, only to find out that their version of green tea involved ice, pomegranate and a ton of sweetener. It was foul. I couldn’t even taste the green tea (which really should NEVER have sweetener in it) and I was pretty sure it contained no caffeine. I should have taken it back and ordered something else, but I was eager to get back on the road. E asked if I would be all right, or if I wanted some of his cappuccino (equally vile, in my opinion) to stave off the sleepiness, but I told him that sugar and rage would do the trick.
On Meg’s advice, we took HWY 209 to avoid driving through NYC on a Friday night. 209 is the Delaware Water Gap that runs through the Poconos and is a really pretty drive away from all the usual highway nonsense. I fell asleep for a while and when I awoke, we were 20 miles or so out of Danbury, which was around where we needed to take another highway to New Haven. I asked if we were in Connecticut yet and E said we weren’t. After 10 more miles or so, I asked if he was sure, because I knew Danbury was in Connecticut and that that we were awfully close to Danbury. Again, he assured me that we were still in New York. Another 5 miles and we still hadn’t seen the “Welcome to Connecticut” sign and I asked if he was absolutely sure. He told me that I would get used to this – that New England states are small and that one day I would make a wrong turn and end up in Massachusetts, but that it would be okay, because it’s not that far away (I think Kim may have actually done this on her way to the airport once). Finally, we arrived in Danbury (and consequently Connecticut. I didn’t realize it was a border town). After a few more miles on 84, we cut South and East (which I really want to keep calling West, because for me, “West” is synonymous with “toward the ocean”). Some dark, winding roads here, some unclear signage there and eventually we pulled up to my new home. We said hello to Kim, unpacked the car, found some food and crashed into bed.