Sunday, July 23, 2006

Back from Vacation... Finally!

Just a few laborious details about our trip... It was utterly exhalsting! First, we flew into into Dulles International Airport outside Washington, D.C. Nice flight on Jetblue from Long Beach, CA. We arrived at 12:10a.m. EST then went to Alamo to pick-up a minivan... Pontiac Montana! We felt great in it for the first hour then realized that the bolsters on the driver's seat were'nt adjustable and would put my legs to sleep... Not good for a drive the next day to New York City for 5 - 7 hours. So, off we went... deciding first to see our vacant house in Potomac Falls, VA. Everything was fine there except for my setting of the Minivan's Car Alarm at 2:00 in the morning on our old neighbor's... DRATS! After drooling over our house and the kids wishing to move back to Virginia, we drove to my mother-in-law's (a.k.a. -- MAYMA) house in Chevy Chase, MD. Awaking her at about 3:00a.m. --- Still on California time... I stayed up for a while to watch T.V. -- Very sleepy to next day.

Day 2: My wife needed some shopping time and wanting to visit Tyson's Corner Mall in Mclean, VA to see its Multi-million dollar expansion... Tyson's is now the best mall on the east coast... it's huge and there well over 250 stores! The food court and Barnes & Noble... fantastic! We found 34 cents there! She found an amazing dress for the wedding reception -- low-cut, black and exquisite.

Other news: Mayma just sold here house and will be coming to L.A. to live with us and my brother-in-law and his wife in Pasadena, CA. She will also spend time in Cerritos, CA with her sisters. For now though, she will just sit tight on the proceeds until she figures out what kind of home she wants in L.A. - Condo or house... I'm voting for a house with pool for the grandkids!

Anyway, Mayma decided to fly to New York after work and that we would carry here travel bag with us on our drive to NYC. No problem... will do. So, at about 7:30p.m, after strolling and browsing all the shops at Tyson's Corner Mall... my wife suggests that we just drive up the next day in the morning... I took one look at her and said, "Are you crazy?" If we didn't go that evening... I would hear about my Mother-in-law not receiving her bag on time for the next decade... Ouch! So, we left for New York from the mall and spent the next 8 hours on the Route 95 and various detours thru NYC. Absolutely the worst traffic! The Goethals Bridge was closed into NY (they didn't put a sign alerting us to this fact and we got of at Exit 13 only to spend another 20 minutes fuguring our way back to the NJTP. That sucked.) So, we decided on the Holland Tunnel -- bad choice on our part as it too was only a single lane in... more waiting. The Manhattan Bridge wasn't too bad at 2:45AM... we arrived in Roslyn Harbor, NY at 3:30am... Almost 8 hours to travel by car to Long Island from D.C. -- I won't be gladly doing that anytime soon. BTW -- Pontiac Montanas SUCK! The first words from my Mother-in-law upon arriving at Aunt Smita's house, "where's my bag?" Isn't life grand?

We made several coin finds getting to Long Island, NY... 34 cents at Tyson's Mall, 5 cents at rest stops, a few pennies at a Baltimore Burger King, 12 cents at a Glen Cove 7-11, penny in Dunkin Donuts and a dime in a TJ Maxx store on Glen Head Rd and a penny in Roosevelt Field Mall.

I would have a more accurate list but failed to keep one -- I did, however, store all our finds in a separate compartment in my shaving kit. Must be about a $1.50 worth of coins in there. Unfortunately, I left the shaving kit at my mother-in-law's house and will only be able to retrieve it when I return to help her move in late August. I will update it then.

Next Post -- The wedding.

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