Toll Road Ahead

Well, I haven’t gotten any further on Astonishing, and no beach days, but we’ve done a little exploring of the Northeast.  And by exploring, I mean dropping off Nerd Child at his summer program and visiting Man Child and Miss Lovely Music.  We went to eat at the restaurant where Man Child is working, and this picky picky Mama says without hesitation the food was delicious.

Much as I drool over the fantasy of a beach vacation, it’s been glorious to take a couple of opportunities to leave the city, and just breathe.  The air really does smell different–and we weren’t on any farms, so no manure, just sweet.  Bonus points for allowing myself to have time away from screens without guilt.

As a bonus while traveling, the dealership we bought the car through screwed up.  We paid extra to have a navigation system and iPod thingie put in. The navigation system stopped working after two days.  Then we discover  the DVD player isn’t working anymore either. Turns out they disabled the DVD player in order to place the new GPS–but didn’t tell us.  Nice business practice.  So glad we went there, so we could feel confident we’d be treated decently by Husband’s relatives.

We’ve never had a DVD player in a car before, wasn’t on our list of necessities–hell, it wasn’t even on our wish list.  But it came in the car we bought, and I assume the cost was built into the price of the vehicle.  Now they have to replace the whole navigation/iPod/radio unit, because the one they put in really isn’t working, it wasn’t that we hit a wrong button. And they tell us we can’t have the DVD player working anymore–unless we want to pay more to have them install a different DVD unit.  WTF?!

I, of course, want my money back.  Take the damn car somewhere else to have a system installed.  Nope, they can’t/won’t give us a refund.  So glad I spent a gajillion dollars for a car with a bazillion miles on it, so I can have all the little perks that make traveling more pleasant.  Fuck!

We arrived home much later than expected after visiting Man Child, caught behind a s-l-o-w moving vehicle on a twisty two lane highway.  I walked into the apartment holding my breath, and was unsurprised to see puddles on the floor.  Hmmm, that’s an awfully big puddle for Little Incredibly Dumb Dog.  Must have been Big Senile Dog.  Wait, no, that isn’t his pee-in-the-house pattern.  Cause, yanno, if he’s going to have an accident, he likes to dance around as he does so he can pretend it isn’t him–and leaving a trail everywhere.  Both of them?!?!  Nope, turned out my Swiffer mop sprang a leak, and it was all cleaning solution.  I now have one very clean area of the living room floor, especially the undersides of the planks, where it all sank in.  Lovely.

We plan to leave the city again for a couple of days next week, to do some further exploring and explore my Mrs Fringe wants to live in the country fantasies.  Manhattan may be an island, but you can forget any thoughts of cool breezes.  Asphalt and concrete traps every last bit of breathable air during a heat wave.  Tar Beach, indeed.  The heat wave is over now, though, and today is gray and cool.  Really cool.  No winning in the city this summer.

I used to be one of those moms who always meant to bring the camera, but would either forget to charge it or forget to bring it.  Now, because of blogging, I bring the camera most times.  Embarrassing to the boys, I get it, I look like a tourist.  “But it’s for the blog!” has become my battle cry.


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  1. It is my partially formed medical opinion you are still suffering from the “Green Acres Syndrome.” Forget Eddie Albert…you don’t want Mr. Hainey hanging around your place all the time. Besides, everybody eles’s dream is to live in the fast lane of Manhattan…I’ve seen it in the movies. Sky line with Brooklyn Bridge – a shot of Central Park – 42nd and Broadway – all from a distance, so it isn’t so real. And yes, you can have that tree. Kurt Vonn and a couple of friends at Cornell bought a bench, put it in a park near their pad, and used to pick it up and take it whenever they’d see a cop. After the question, “Ayyy, ya tink you own dat bench, or what?” one of them would pull out the bill of sale. We all need some young, dumb, prank to pull out of our….ahem… every now and again to lighten the tone.


    1. Oh my, you’re right! I’ve got G.A.S. The question is, which direction is it blowing from? 😉

      Pffft, true, many dream of living here in the Big Apple. I’m ready to move on. With my tree. And my bench, too. Come to think of it, I did buy that bridge…


      1. Take your small piece. Love to see you out there with some sort of hot-suit, goggles, blow torch, tearing your bit of girder off the bridge. America is such a socialist, collectivist country, we all own bits and pieces, even though John Locke said something about implicit agreement of – whatever. Got to write something about sidewalks, streets, lights, etc., and the creeping socialism that makes it possible to function…piss a whole bunch more people off, I’m sure.


          1. Got to love Americans…Socialism is a big, red “A” on the breast, but eveybody seems to be on the gov. payroll somehow or using publicly financed conveniences, and Costa Rica, which is Socialist, has more entrpreneurs per square inch than any place I’ve been besides Morocco. They try to confuse me, and are succeeding.


          2. Confusing for sure. On the bright side, leaves lots of room for your wife to get her photography business off the ground and thriving in CR. 🙂


          3. No police, lots of taxes, too many lawyers, and nobody who knows how to make any of it work makes for a good environment….although that describes both countries. Costa Rica means it, though…they’re only a generation away from harvesting fruit for the United Fruit Company under the watchful eyes of U.S. Marines. That’s a whole post, also….the complete overhaul of a culture in two generations, with a warped model of the U.S. they saw on Sanford and Son, or the Brady Bunch re-runs in dubbed Spanish.


  2. I hate dealing with a dealership after the deal is done – they have no incentive to help you at that point – have you been asked to be bumped up to the manager? I had an issue with my Jeep that they seemed unable or unwilling to solve so I pushed to speak to the general manager, after that I went to Chrystler – a couple of emails later and they were thrilled to help me and even brought in a jeep specialist from Detroit. Squeaky wheel. I quit buying Nav equipment and just use a good app on my iPhone these days. It stinks paying for something and not getting it. I love the photo gallery – some really great shots. Love that tree stump with the mushroom, and the views back on the city.


    1. One of the cousins is the manager. >:o
      I don’t know if going further up the chain will help, because the dealership isn’t the brand of vehicle, kwim? I really want the built in NAV because it’s a much bigger screen, easier to take a quick glance while driving. Blech. Good for you, getting it done. I think I need to channel my not so inner Brooklyn. 😉

      Thanks! I loved that stump, right outside Man Child’s apartment 😀


      1. I have a coworker who mounted his iPad so he could have the bigger screen – but I’m with you there. Sometimes your inner Brooklyn is what it takes.

        It always amazes me how things like that mushroom will find a place to thrive.


          1. Me too – I’m actually starting a shitake patch on some oak logs – the fungi feed on the sugars from the wood as it decays. I hunt morels in the spring too – there are all these legends about the kinds of trees they prefer to be under, I think it’s random – I never see the pattern there.


  3. I agree, what the hec is with the weather!! I may wear my winter coat today 😉 I am so glad you had a nice little get away! UGH about the car, I would write to everyone possible (I’m a letter writer, screamer? ) I just got 800 bucks back from Delta after our Cancun emergency landing fiasco, Dave thought they would be delivery a jet after I was done with them. I also LOVE the legs sticking out of the barrel thing THAT is awesome!


    1. 😀
      Yes, I’m definitely not done with that dealership yet. It’s the dishonesty that gets to me. Good for you!! So glad Delta was responsive.

      Isn’t that cool? It’s an awesome little town, sculptures and art everywhere 🙂


  4. The car scenario is sending my mind into a tail spin.I want to come over and get some money back. You so can but only you have to decide if the mental stress is worth it. Now if it were the breaks but then you mightn’t be here to post the tale.
    The weather here in London town is delish but we usually get what you pass on.
    I spent 15 years trying to work out which dog’s poo it was (urine I didn’t try) and got pretty good. It wasn’t easy because Flynn aways looked guilty regardless and Bertie didn’t give a shit 😀 ever.
    Your photos are great, so good to actually see where you went/are.
    Blogging taking over life. Soon you’ll be willing the car to break down. No that will never happen.


    1. Very true, it’s an equation, how far to push vs mental stress.
      Glad you’re having nice weather now, hopefully we’ll get some back one of these days 😀

      Poop is easy here in Fringeland. It’s the little one. The big one has only had one poop accident as an adult dog, and he was horrendously, terribly sick, to the point where he exploded. 😮

      Thanks for the good thoughts on the photos, I continue to be surprised by how much fun I’m having taking and uploading my own.


  5. I’ve always wondered about DVD players in cars. How many distractions can people need to keep their children from talking to them? I used to want to visit New York, but you’re curing me of that. A flight United Airlines tried to sell us on landed at Newark, then expected us to cross town and catch the connection at Kennedy, something like five hours later. The husband told me it would not make for a good first impression of New York, and there was no such thing as a good any time impression to be found in Newark. I think it would have been an adventure.
    On my Way…


    1. THAT is freakin nuts!! Did UA tell you that Newark is in NJ, and Kennedy is in Queens, NY? Total, complete insanity. Husband is absolutely right (sorry), not the makings of an adventure, but a nightmare.

      DVDs in cars…when the kids were younger, we made quite a few road trips, no TV or DVD in the car, and I have to say those are among our best memories. ❤


    1. Thanks Diana ❤

      Yup, it's a mushroom growing out of there. I'm such a dork, instantly fascinated. 😀

      The car thing continues to piss me off, so aggravating!


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