Friday, October 12, 2007

Columbus Day Weekend

It was Columbus Day weekend when the fall colors are usually at their peak. In previous years, Tony and I would try and use that weekend as our fall getaway. When the kids were little, I would ship them off to my mom’s. This mini-vacation relieved us for a short time from parenthood while it was a few days relief from parents for the kids. My mother, brother and his wife would treat the kids to everything that their ever-trying-to-be-the-perfect-mom did not do for them. Their weekend would include a visit to McDonald, as much TV as they wanted, and a trip to the toy store where they would come home with some noneducational toy. I think we all made out.
Typically, Tony and I would go to some B&B either in the Berkshires or upstate NY. This Columbus Day weekend, given we had just went away and could only do a day trip, we decided to drive up to Dutchess County NY. I had heard about a winery up in Millbrook where there were great photo opportunities and good wine. So with camera in hand, and the top down on the Miata, we left home.
I can say the reports were accurate. The winery was very picturesque and the wine was surprisingly good. We attended a tasting where we picked up a couple of bottles each of a white Chardonnay and a red table wine, both under the winery's label for under $20/bottle and delicious. If the Miata didn’t have such a little trunk, I would have purchased a case but, little did I know, that little trunk would be the reason our day’s plans took a nose dive. After leaving Millbrook, we headed on Route 301 to Cold Spring. Shortly after getting off the Taconic, Tony, of course, picked up the vibration while I was still contently looking at the countryside. Before I knew it, we were pulled over on this two lane country road with nothing but trees as a landmark, and a large hole in the left rear tire. Oh yes, that little trunk, that did not have room for a case of wine, it did not have room for a spare either. We tried fixing the hole with tire repair fluid which leaked out as fast as it was pumped in.
Trying to be calm, I called AAA getting an operator who didn't want to be bothered. I gave her my coordinates but she kept asking me for an intersection. I should have told her we were between Maple and Elm. Then, of course, I got disconnected. We then called Mazda roadside assistance who first said courteously they would help only to called back five minutes later to say we were on a restricted road (??) and to call 911. I later found out that most auto company use AAA as their roadside assistance centers. Figures. Our lovely day was quickly melting. If I had a corkscrew, Tony and I would have had a better time.
So I now I feel that if I don’t get out of here alive, I am going down bestowing a verbal tirade on some deserving AAA person. I called AAA back three times before I got someone who didn't hang up on me and actually knew how to read a map. He found the road we were on and dispatched a tow truck.
In response to the 911 call, the local police came and so did Casey’s Towing for AAA. We headed back home in the cab of Casey’s tow where we made conversation by complementing his truck. Never mind that the cab was air conditioned by a small fan powered by the cigarette lighter. An hour and a half later, cranky, tired and eating hot dogs for dinner, we were home.
I'm determined to try again to see the fall colors, so this weekend, we are going up to Vernon, NJ. Its only 40 minutes from home and this time, I'm taking the Jeep and a corkscrew. I'll let you know.


kristen said...

Oh my!!! Come to flemington!! We'll be at Northlandz this weekend.

But no, you're looking to get away from kids, not hang out with two couples and their two kids under the age of reason. What is the age of reason??

jen said...

There is such an important lesson to be learned here. The corkscrew-don't leave home without it!

jen said...

Just an afterthought. Rick and I just tried an interesting vintage called Screw Kappa Nappa. It sucked!

robert said...

NO trunk is ever too small for a corkscrew! Priorities, my dear, priorities.