Following the fire hydrant incident, we were still getting used to the street parking rules in New York. Nick had moved our hire car a couple of times to try to stay within the permitted parking zones but now we had until precisely 11am to pack up and ship out before some unknown calamity would befall our family. We threw our belongings randomly into bags, excited that our next Airbnb house came with laundry facilities, and hit the road.
The drive from New York to Boston is approximately 215 miles and the speed limit on most of the highways is between 55 and 65 mph. A quick bit of mental arithmetic and, with scheduled breaks, we were looking at around 4-5 hours on the road. Events on these road trips were starting to form a pattern:
- Nick packs the car – it’s a long story but essentially, if I do it, it wouldn’t be done correctly and would have to be repacked taking much longer and not helping at all, so I keep out of the way.
- The camera is always to be located in a bag behind my seat. I have no idea why – it just is.
- After setting off, anywhere from 10 to 20 minutes into the journey, Nick will say “Look at that [bridge/river/train/*insert landmark of choice], followed by a pause, followed by “If you had the camera ready…”
- Much hilarity from the kids as I fumble with the lens cap, the electric windows, the zoom and ultimately produce a picture of a moving car with the desired landmark disappearing somewhere in the background.
I have other duties as well, such as changing the music selection, passing drinks back to the children and negotiating peace settlements when disagreements reach the point of violence (of course, I am referring to the children as opposed to other motorists…) Occasionally Nick will ask me if the route suggested by Here Maps is in agreement with the car’s sat nav. Mostly he does this for his own entertainment because I can’t read a map or operate a Windows phone.
As we drove through Massachusetts the fall foliage intensified; many of the highways are like tree lined avenues, as if deliberately landscaped to show off the varying shades of gold and red throughout the journey. You will have to take my word for how stunningly beautiful it is because my attempts at photography were frustratingly bad. In the end I stopped trying for fear that I’d miss the view altogether in my unsuccessful attempts to capture the best picture.
In this way we somehow manage to get to our final destination and, so far, it has always been raining whenever we arrive somewhere new, and it’s always around dusk as we try, in vain, to read the numbers on the buildings.
We were staying in Braintree – our first house in the suburbs – and as soon as we arrived we felt at home. The only problem: very limited internet connection. How on earth would we break it to the boys?!