The Widdershins

What’s Your Thanksgiving Travel Story?

Posted on: December 2, 2013

Is THAT why there were so many accidents last Tuesday…

Hello Widdershins! I hope your holiday was good, and that you spent time with those you wanted to spend time with, whomever they might be.

According to AAA, approximately 43 million Americans were supposed to travel this past week. My husband and I joined that mass and added about 800 miles onto our car over the Thanksgiving holiday. Our journey went from New York, to Virginia, to Maryland, to New Jersey, and finally back to New York.

The most stressful part of the trip was the first leg, from New York to Mineral, Virginia. (I swear, this place does exist.) We stuffed my brother and sister-in-law, along with their gifts, food and luggage, into our small car and started off around 1 pm Tuesday afternoon. Normally this would be about a 6 hour drive, but what with the nor’easter covering the I-95 corridor with pouring rain, accidents were many and traffic was at a standstill. All told, it was a 10.5 hour odyssey, made bearable only by good music on the radio, and good company in the car seats. Questionable highlights included:

  • Stopping for bourbon (for cooking purposes of COURSE!) in rural Maryland, where we allegedly narrowly escaped being “deliveranced;”
  • Stopping for food on the New Jersey Turnpike, where my brother could not get to his seat in the food court because the woman behind him was so fat, she couldn’t move her seat in far enough to let him pass;
  • Stopping at a Taco Bell for a bio break, only to hear that the woman behind us in line for the ladies’ room had a friend who had just “busted her ass” on the soaking floor; and
  • The epic fight hubby and I got into after we finally arrived and made it into our room in the big communal house, only to have him accidentally break a piece of glass on top of the dresser (which shattered, like movie glass made of spun sugar, into an self-regenerating nightmarish mess).  This was my favorite part of all!!!1111!!!

I know that many of you do not travel for the holidays now, but I’m guessing you used to. Do you have any nightmare travel stories you’d like to share? If so, please do so in comments.

This is an otherwise open thread.

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10 Responses to "What’s Your Thanksgiving Travel Story?"

Madamab right now I am having a laugh at your and your hubby’s expense… I will tell my travel tail later….now its back to the salt mines!

MB, I’m sure it wasn’t funny when the glass shattered, but it is funny as you tell it. You could be the new sequel to “Plains, Trains, and Automobiles”. See Fredster’s post from last week.

PS: They have food on the New Jersey turnpike now?!

MB, I love trips like that — they always make for such good stories. No one ever wants to hear about driving six uneventful hours and arriving right on time. Sorry about the glass, but being regaled about someone busting their arse is pretty good stuff — camaraderie in the bathroom line, the bonds of biology.

Okay, here’s a story. Almost 20 years ago, right after getting out of school and being a very lowly paid government worker, I was driving home for Thanksgiving. An early snowstorm was just awful. I seemed to have the roads by myself in my little 10-year old Chevette. It’s engine wouldn’t have powered a Maytag washer with a full load.

There was about a foot of snow and there was a huge mountain I had to climb. It was just me and a semi on the road and I got to the top of the mountain in second gear going sideways leaving the poor semi in my miniscule mouseketeer tire tracks.

When I finally got home around 3:00 a.m., my dad immediately began in the third paragraph of the decades old conversation about how American education was failing because someone like me should not be allowed to roam free. When I told him about only the semi and me being on the road that evening, his reply was:

At least there were only two fools out on a night like this. You should start a club called, “Survived thinning of the herd.”

It’s been many years since I traveled on Thanksgiving, but I remember for many years driving from our current army base of residence tp Havre de Grace, Md. to see my mother’s family. Other than that were the tri[s hpme from school through the Smokeys to my parents home. Fall is glorious in the mountains, and the highways are thick with flatlanders (some of whom would likely qualify as flatliners) who have come leaf-peeping, thusly turning a four hour drive from Athens into a nine hour excursion on the highway to hell.

@3 “thinning of the herd”….oh, your father sounds like a true original! He sure got you that time!

It’s okay guys, you can laugh! As they say, “Comedy is tragedy plus time.” Maybe it’s my Russian Jewish heritage, but I completely agree. 😀

Prolix, wow. Your dad didn’t time his rants very well, did he?! I so relate to that small car story. I used to have a manual transmission Hyundai that could barely make it up a hill without downshifting into first gear. I felt so bad for all the people behind me wondering why I was inching up the grade at 10 miles per hour. If only I could have had a few extra hamsters running around under the hood…:-)

Oh my gosh, Google tells me it is La Divina’s 90th birthday! (That’s Maria Callas to those non-opera snobs out there.) Here is a clip of her singing before she developed that signature wobble.

The only opera that I am familiar with is the Grand Old one.

@7 MB, thank you. I just listened to and watched the “Tosca” second act segment with Tito Gobbi. Thank heaven they had the sense to film it. She did have a slight wobble in 1964, but she and Tito Gobbi are both the definitive actors in their roles, so it doesn’t matter. I’m almost as pleased that Gobbi’s immortal Scarpia was captured on film as Callas’ Tosca. He was the first Scarpia I ever heard, in a recording from our local library with Antonietta Stella. And he is still the one and only.

Sorry everyone for being terribly late to the party (like after everyone is gone). Internet was working fine today into the afternoon and then when I went to refresh a page…boom, the can’t load the page message. (sigh) It was like that for hours. Then I just shut it down and watched the Saints/Seattle game. Very bad move as the Saints were creamed! Then tried getting online again and nothing until about an hour ago. Have no idea what happened. 👿

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