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Adventure Defined

Earlier today I posted on my twitter account (twitter.com/crthomas42) that “The benefit of having moved out here is that everything I do is an adventure. The downside is that EVERYTHING I do is an adventure.”

I thought I would now take the time to explain what I meant.

Today, I went to New Jersey to visit my aunt and her family. … as an aside, I should mention that this is after the police were in my apartment, because my roommate got a threatening phone call this morning.

So, off to New Jersey I go. … or so I thought.

To tell the story of today (Sunday) I have to tell the story of Friday after work. I got out of work late, because the support room is undergoing renovations, and we had to assemble some storage. I decided since I had put in a hard week’s work (a six day week, since I had to work last Sunday) that I didn’t want to cook. I went to Wendy’s. Had I left work on time, or not gone to Wendy’s, I would have made it home before the storm. Instead, the skies opened up while I was eating. The storm was bad enough that I had to turn my lights on while driving home. The storm lightened on the way, however. So, I got home, turned off my car and went inside.

Smash cut: Back to Sunday. I turned off my car, but not my lights. My battery is dead. Luckily, John has jumper cables, so I am good. I get in the car, I drive the wrong way for about three miles, I turn around, and then I make it to New Jersey. Not to my aunt’s house yet, though.

So the skies open again, and the visibility is so bad that I have to slow down to 15MPH on the freeway to avoid hitting the cars in front of me that I can barely see. It is coming down hard. So hard that when I get off of one freeway to get on the next, the ramp is flooded. I had to stop on the entrance ramp because of traffic. I am stopped. There is a bump in the road ahead that I would have never seen in the rain or flood waters (it has stopped raining now). Luckily the New Jersey DOT has placed signs in the way of the hole so that I won’t drive into it. Unluckily, there is so much water on the road, that, despite having sand bagged the sign, it has washed down the road, and hit the front of my car. I reversed, hoping that it would stay in place, and I could go around it, but it just washed into my car again. So I had to get out of the car (on the freeway entrence ramp, mind you) and push the thing around the car. Now I am drenched through my shoes and socks. So I get back in the car and remove said shoes and socks in order to avoid trench-foot, and drive the rest of the way to my aunt’s house barefoot.

Also, as this will be important later, I knew there were toll roads, and I had cash on me, but there were no manned booths, so I had to use exact change. Luckily I had $.75 in quarters stashed in my ashtray.

I make it the rest of the way without incident, and have a wonderful time with my family.

Then I go out to my car. I did it again. Twice in my life I have forgotten to turn the lights of my car off, and it happened twice in a row. Luckily again, my aunt has jumper cables. I get on the road, find my way relatively easily, and get to the toll booth again. Again it is un manned, and again it cost $.25. I toss in one of my two remaining quarters, and I go on my merry way.

…for about 1/4 of a mile, and then I hit another toll booth. Again, it is un-manned, but this one cost $.70. I have $6.25 in cash, but this only takes change. I see a red sign that says “No Cash – Take Envelope,” but there are no envelopes in the box. So I just go through. (Someone remind me to warn my parents to be on the lookout for a ticket from the New Jersey DOT.) Then I get to the George Washington Bridge, and it is Sunday night, so everyone is returning home, and the thing is jam-packed. At least this will have a cash toll booth I think to myself. It does, but I only have $6 (having paid $.25 of the $.70 toll) and the toll for the GW is $8. So, I take the last exit before the toll, and hit the ATM button on the Sat Nav (a wonderful feature) and it takes me to a super shady area, naturally). I think this is my favorite part. Since my car has just been jumped (twice today) I am worried that it won’t start again if I turn it off. So I leave it running, lock it from the outside, since the door and ignition keys are separate, go to an ATM, get cash, and get back in the car. I made it the rest of the way home safely, and without incident.

That is what I meant when I say that everything I do is an adventure.

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