Having kept a close eye on the weather forecasts, we were not surprised to find ourselves waking to a city enfolded by heavy rain.
We packed up the car, checked out, and headed back to 5th Ave to look for a breakfast place, quickly spotting a diner whose name I've already forgotten. This is a shame, because it was a great little diner. We squeezed ourselves into a booth and lingered there while the waitresses cooed over JJ and L consumed a shocking quantity of pancakes.
And then it was time to get back on the road. Getting out of New York always presents a problem for us, and this time it was no different, as we missed the on-ramp to the expressway we wanted and ended up taking something of an impromptu driving tour of the city, foiled by one-way streets, bad traffic, and pedestrians with a death wish. We were glad to have had a large, late breakfast, as it was well past noon before we finally got out.
And then there was Connecticut. Last time we made this trip, we got caught in such horrible traffic going north that we ended up leaving the interstate and spent many, many hours on the smaller back roads. This time, highway signs warned of a massive back-up ahead due to an earlier accident on I95, so we got off onto 15, which turned out to be a very pleasant little highway. The rain was heavy enough that I wouldn't have been driving any faster on the interstate anyway, so we made reasonably good time, and somewhere around Orange we stopped for gas.
I went into the rest stop and got an iced tea, and came out to find D looking at the car with a panic-stricken expression. The keys were locked in. With the kids. I marched back inside through the rain, explained to the woman at the counter why we were still blocking her gas pump, and called AAA while staving off hysterics. One of the longest half hours of my life ensued, but it wasn't any longer than that before they had a truck there, and the guy manged to open the car for us. An extremely unhappy baby was changed and fed, and we got back on the road, determined not to stop again until we were home.
And we didn't. When we pulled in, I remembered to check the trip odometer: 1,365 miles. We were exhausted, naturally, but it was all in all a great trip. We saw a lot of people we don't get to see very often, which was the point of the whole thing. Next time we go somewhere, it will be with relaxing in mind....