The big push - NYC Opera Countdown

We left St. Louis around one in the morning on Sunday with the realization that because of our set backs, we had about 900 miles to travel and 2 and a half days until the opera. That is a lot of miles to put on that car in a very short period of time.

We didn't stop much. We took a "heat of the day" break in Dayton and surfed the internet for the first time really since we left.  We didn't want to and could not afford the tolls all the way across Pennsylvania, so we took this strange route that weaved us in an out of PA, WV and MD.

While we were getting gas and looking for somewhere to eat, we ran into a nazi. This guy was talking to Doc about the car, which happens practically every time we stop. I had gone inside to use the facilities, and when I returned I asked the man about places to go for food. While I was asking him, his shirt collar fell open and he had a bunch of nazi tattoos including a broken cross. Since we were in a part of the country where nazis take their miscegenation seriously, I promptly ended my conversation and got in the car.  There was no confrontation, but it did rattle us a little bit.

About midnight on Tuesday we were caught in a sudden rain storm and had to pull over to the side of the road for a couple of hours in the middle of rural Pennsylvania; our windshield wipers, which had worked before the trip, decided to not turn on.  Instead of going straight to New York, we had to make a detour to Nikki Rolo's house in Philadelphia. Nikki is a great friend, and we planned on seeing her after New York. However, we needed to leave our guns in a place were they were actually legal. We finally arrived at her place in Phillie at about 10am Tuesday, or several hours after we said we would.  Surprise, surprise. We stopped briefly for a shower, while I hatched a plan with my friend Dom.

Three pictures of our brief time in Phillie

Dominic Monfre is a good friend from my undergrad years at UofA who lived in PA. We had already made plans to meet up in NYC (his former hometown), since we had not seen each other since 2003. At this point, though, I was thinking about the car.  Driving in to NYC, with all the cost of tolls and parking, and leaving her with all of our worldly possessions in a big parking lot for a week did not sound appealing.  Also, as time grew closer, the distance between the parking lot, on the far side of Manhattan, and the Lincoln Center seemed to grow further and further. So, we decided to drive to Dominic's town of Bethlehem, PA, and leave the car at his house in his nice, safe suburban neighbourhood, and then all three of us would catch the bus up to New York together.

We got going and drive to Bethlehem and meet in a Sonic parking lot.  Doc and I frantically packed because we were trying to catch the 1pm train to get us to NYC at 3pm - time to drop our stuff off and change.  Little did I know that arriving at noon would not give us enough time to drop our car off and get to the bus station.  We missed the 1 o'clock bus by about 15 minutes; the next train was at 4pm, with an arrival time of 6:30pm.  The opera was set to begin at 7:30.  We would have to change on the bus, and take a cab directly to the Lincoln Center, and haul all our bags with us.  I was stressed.

We have lunch and a beer at a brew pub Dominic raved about.  The beer was tasty, he was right.  The food was good, but nothing stellar.  We arrived early back at the bus depot, boarded, and promptly slept for a bit to be as fresh as possible for the opera.

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