So I was thinking today about some of our more memorable trips to Boston with the Toodle Bug (you will read about all of them at some point I am sure), and this one really stuck out...
It was in December 2008, December 14th to be exact. Oh yes, I remember the date EXACTLY.
Tess was scheduled for a routine EEG at Childrens Hospital but living on this lovely island that we do (will explain more on that later for those not in the know about remote Maine island living) we left a day early.
We had the drill down by now of course...Tessie needed to be sleep deprived so we had to make sure to have her awake for the day by 4:00am for a 10:30 test. It is never easy to keep the Toots awake when she wants to sleep but we were pros, had planned ahead and even went so far as to plan to get to Boston the day before to spend the night so that we could all get to bed early and not be completely wrung out the next morning. Plus, by eliminating an early morning drive, it would be easier to keep the Toots awake.
Ahhhh, we were so smug...so sure of ourselves....by this time, our middle daughter,Ellie, who was eleven at the time, had never been with us on a trip to Boston and really wanted to see where Tessie went. Now remember, we were pros at this point and figured that it would be a good experience for both Ellie and Tessie...so Ellie came along for the adventure.
The weather report sounded iffy (after all it was December) but we had a reliable four wheel drive vehicle and besides, aren't weathermen always wrong? We headed out and were making really good time...we got about to the halfway point and had probably another hour and a half of driving left to do so we pulled off to get gas.
Hhmmmmm....was that a snowflake? Now had it been a snowflake, we, as good, conscientious parents would have found a hotel nearby and made sure our precious cargo was tucked in safe for the night. We decided it was just really fat rain.
We happily (stupidly?)plowed ahead (plowed...haha get it?) and within the next twenty minutes the roads were covered with a slippery sheet of snow. My ever faithful hubby was at the wheel and confident this snow wouldn't last. Besides, four wheel drive, plenty of gas...no problem!
By the time we hit Massachusetts, from Kennebunk, Maine, it had been over five hours of relentless, blinding, twenty mile an hour, absolutely hellish driving. Keep in mind, Ellie was told another hour and a half over five hours ago and as I've stated in previous posts, the Toots just went with the flow, and being the most awesome kids that they were (are), smiled and we kept on trucking.
At this stage, I am sure that many of you are asking the obvious question..."what the hell is wrong with you people? Why don't you pull off an exit and get a hotel room?" Here is my answer...I, to this day, do not know. It was us against the snow and, as anyone who has ever met me will tell you, I play to win!
We actually passed a Coach bus on I495 literally stuck in the middle of the highway. Other unfortunate people had apparently run out of gas and abandoned their vehicles wherever they happened to stop running. We of course congratulated ourselves on getting gassed up and being prepared. Fools!
By the time we were going over the Tobin Bridge into Boston (passing one lone sports car completely stuck) it had been nearly seven hours for an hour and a half drive.
On the radio, a lady called in and said that she was stuck on 495 in a Coach bus...the same bus we had passed! We thought it was just so funny now that we were so close. We were so happy to be in Boston. We knew we could do it!
Never mind that I now had a migraine from the stress and Charlie would be leaving permanent finger markings on the steering wheel from gripping so tight...we did it! We were there! Ellie Belle actually dared to ask again how much longer and since we were only two miles away from our hotel we cheerfully called out "five minutes!" We were such morons. It was not sixty seconds after that when the traffic literally stopped. We could see our hotel from where we were. It was maybe five or six blocks away.
A man on skis whizzed by us. I was jealous of that asshole.
My poor little Toots, still smiling and sitting in a very wet diaper, who, remember, really can't talk except for about three functional words, actually whimpered...."mama.......up". That was how desperate things were getting. I felt so bad for her. Ellie, at this point, was just sucking it up.
But a scene was beginning to play out to our left. A big van was pulling out of a Burger King when it got stuck just at the point where the parking lot meets the road. We watched him spin his tires for a bit, spraying every pedestrian within a ten foot radius with dirty snow and were generally quite amused. It got better. The guy gets out of this piece of shit, nineteen seventies van and he is HUGE. MASSIVE. Dirty shirt, gut hanging out, the works. He sizes up the situation, goes back to the van and comes back out with the front floor-mats and puts them under the back tires for traction. Maybe the guy wasn't as dumb as he looked?
My very astute hubby on the other hand started to laugh and said to us..."keep watching. This is gonna be good." The fat dude gets back in the van, floors the engine, and the van lurches forward as the floor-mats go flying out from under the tires and HIT a pedestrian and actually knocks him to the ground! I thought Charlie and Ellie were going to die laughing. The van gets unstuck and the fat guy, seeing the man down on the ground, stops. So I am thinking, okay...maybe he isn't such a jerk until I see this tiny little woman get out to retrieve the mats! She grabs them, never acknowledges the man, and hops back in the van and away they went...you just can't make this stuff up.
So we finally arrive at the hotel...nine and a half hours later. Let me say this again just to be sure you get it...nine and a half hours it took us to get from Kennebunk, Maine to Boston. NINE AND A HALF HOURS!
It is now nearing ten thirty at night and we finally check into out room. We get the Toots all settled in for the night and all fall, exhausted and just spent, into bed. We let Tess sleep in.
The next day at the Hospital, the nights storm was all the buzz. Tessie's neurologist said something about it being the worst snowstorm in Boston in fifty years. Ya think!?!
But it is Ellie Belle who makes the whole trip from hell worth while.
At the hospital entrance there are huge revolving doors for easy access for wheelchairs, crutches, etc. Ellie, upon seeing these doors, stops dead in her tracks and says, "Mama, now THIS is class!".
You got it kid. Nothing but the best for us!