It was a great weekend. Friday night we went and picked up our special order storm door at Home Depot, and I restrained myself from asking my husband to install it – at 8:30 or however late it was. Everyone should be very impressed by my restraint. Then I did the packing that I should have been pecking away at all week, but hadn’t done. I actually only forgot one important thing – neither one of us remembered to bring a book for Sunday morning.
Saturday morning we got a later start than we would have if the cats hadn’t interfered. I was actually awake at 6:00. The problem was that Becket was all snuggled into my armpit and being nauseatingly cute and cuddly. Since snuggling is something I want him to learn as "kitten" wears off, I was profoundly reluctant to disturb him. Therefore I laid there, skritching the kitty and thinking stern thoughts to my bladder. Eventually he wandered off to investigate something more interesting than me, and I was able to get up and out. We made a side trip first thing, and then headed for New Hampshire. The traffic was annoyingly heavy, but I think that was because of our late start. We usually hop off of I-495 and go around the NH tolls. Not to beat the tolls, but to avoid the traffic backed up behind them. This time we decided to exit earlier at Amesbury, MA to beat the traffic on 495. It was the same numbered route that we would be on up in NH, we’d just get on it further south. There were two complications to this idea. The first one is that Amesbury is one of those towns that does not want to clutter up its historic center with ugly, modern signs. It’s an admirable concept, but it also means that it’s impossible to follow Route 150 through the middle of town where it makes a hard left turn because the sign is so small that you don’t even notice it’s there. The second complication is that they were having their Independence Day street fair, which made us even less likely to notice the tiny sign because we were watching the traffic and the pedestrians. So we got looped through the center of Amesbury twice. It wasn’t a problem, but it ate any time savings the back route had provided. We headed straight up to Kittery from there, grabbed lunch and had a nice afternoon shopping. I have a husband who actually likes to shop (or lies very convincingly.) How great is that?
Despite not buying much, I managed to spend a lot of money. Isn’t that always the way? We also made a side trip to Barnes & Noble to pick up reading matter for the parking lot on Sunday. I decided that I was in a Tom Holt sort of mood, and am now halfway through "Falling Sideways." It’s as cracked as the rest of his stuff, and a lot of fun. Then I had my lobster dinner, which was the proper mate to the bay scallop lunch I’d had earlier in the day. I love the seafood up there. After dinner we checked into our usual hotel, and thank goodness we had reservations! Everything up there always books up on race weekend, so I made reservations back in December. Apparently this time my paranoia was correct – while I was checking in she took four phone calls from people calling around looking for a room. The pool was still open, and we were thinking about some time in the spa, but it was full of teenage boys and I just wasn’t in the mood to face that.
Sunday morning dawned cool and overcast. Perfect race weather! We actually pulled out of the hotel at about 8 a.m., and got to our lot in good time. It was cool to the point where we never bothered to set up the sun shade – just pulled out the chairs and our books and settled down to kill time. We packed up a little after 1:00 and grabbed the shuttle bus in to the track. One of these days I want to go up there when it isn’t a race weekend and clock the mileage from the lot to the main entrance at the track, because I’m curious how far we’re walking to get back to the parking lot. I shan’t bore anyone with a recounting of the race. If you’re a Nascar far you watched it, if you’re not you couldn’t care less. I’ll just say that the temperature was cool to chilly, which was a lovely change from usual. The racing was hard and clean – almost no wrecks, and we had a good time. I could actually read the leader board for once, because with the overcast it didn’t disappear into glare. They’ve gone back to also performing the Canadian national anthem, which I like, and the flyover was outstanding. I enjoy the flyovers regardless of what they do, but yesterday’s pilot obviously wanted to give us a show. I think it was an A-10 Warthog, but my plane identification skills are non-existent. Usually, they come in from the south, fly over the track and disappear off to the north. This guy came in from the south, banked over the track to give the stands a good long look and then peeled off back the way he came. I loved it! The only one I’ve seen that was better was when the F-16’s came in over the track, stood them on their tails and kicked in the afterburners. THAT was a show!
We made our usual efficient escape from the stands as soon as they threw the checkered flag, and walked back to the parking lot. The police are getting more efficient at traffic control every year. This year they seem to have gotten a good handle on the pedestrian traffic. We saw one great moment: the police stopped the crowd from crossing route 106 at the main entrance so that they could let the shuttle buses out. One self-important yahoo on a cell phone decided that didn’t mean him, and trotted across the street. The cop ran after him, grabbed him, marched him back across to where we were, and in his words gave the guy "a time out." After the buses had gone they let the rest of the pedestrians go, but made him stay for another rotation. It was perfect justice. The thing that really floored me was that even while he was being hauled across 106 by the officer he was still holding that cell phone up to his ear. Wouldn’t you hang up if a police officer was yelling at you for being stupid? I guess I just don’t understand the modern way of doing things. Because it was so cool out, it was a nice brisk walk, instead of an "I want to melt" slog, and we made good time back to the car. We decided to be adventuresome and tried a slightly different route to get out of New Hampshire. We took our usual back roads down to Hooksett, but instead of getting on I-93 and getting stuck with the rest of the tourists leaving New Hampshire, we stayed on route 3 down through Manchester and crossed into Massachusetts in Lowell. That shaved off maybe ten or fifteen minutes and a fair amount of frustration. All in all – a good weekend.
Tonight we’re going to install that new screen door I mentioned. I just can’t wait. Partly because it’s going to look so nice, partly because I’ve wanted to open that door to let the breeze in, but mostly because I want to stop letting in all the bugs as I come and go. Becket will be very disappointed that we’re keeping his toys out again, but he’ll get over it. I was originally planning to give the real door its first coat of paint Tuesday evening when I get home, but I just realized last night that I’ve got a canton meeting that evening. Oops. I’ll still get it painted over the 4th, I’ll just have to adjust my plan a little bit.
Here’s to fun weekends! And lobster.