Tag Archives: transportation

The Sassy Ass Sportscar

28 Jun

062712185830     062712202644

“Just hold yourself in your core”, Laura said.

Yesterday, I accomplished another item on my bucket list, riding a motorcycle. I have always been frightened of them. Not because of their sound nor the speed, simply for the fact that I know you have to ride them correctly as a passenger or you will crash, scrape every bit of skin off your natural body, and possibly break every bone and die if you don’t lean correctly. Jesus Christmas, I have to learn to lean.

Anyway, my friend was being so supportive and her husband has ridden and motored forever, so I think, “If I don’t do it now, I never will. It’s my last day in the Vineyard. Stop being a baby and do it.” So, here I go as a passenger on a Repsol. I had no idea how unstable riding a motorcycle was and how much I’d have to use my thighs to balance myself. I told Laura, “I feel unstable. I’m not sure”, as I sat there in my helmet, engine roaring, while her husband waited for the order to go. “You’ll geddit”, she shouted and gave him the order to take off. I scrunched down behind him and held on for dear life, overly attentive to my leaning. My thighs were killing me two minutes in and I am really fit. It’s as hard as TRX hamstring bicycles. Even though the ride was short, not even ten minutes, it was enough to count. Up to 35 mph I went, and then I needed to stop. All the while I just thought, “Breathe…just breathe…you are doing this. Just be here…let go.”

After the exhilaration of the ride, I needed to be ready to go on the Fast Ferry out of the Vineyard. I had pre-planned to pick up the rental car at the ferry office and then follow my Google maps, all neatly folded and prepared, to the South Kingston Amtrak station to pick up Mom. That’s when the first call came. “Cyndi, its Mom. There were some branches on the tracks and we blew an engine, so the train is delayed in Washington DC. We’ll be a bit later to Kingston, maybe 8 to 9pm.”

Okay, I think…that’s cool. I just have extra time. Then, the text came about an hour later; high winds cancelled the Fast Ferry service. I would now have to take the state ferry to Wood’s Hole, then they would bus us to the ferry office in North Kingston, Rhode Island.

Wait.  Crap! That puts me in later than the rental office’s hours. Uh oh.

So I call the rental office and they begin to give me all sorts of grief. Without going into the minor breakdown that almost occurred at my friend’s kitchen table, she says in her fine Massachusett’s accent, “Gimmetha phone”. She calls up the rental office manager.

“Yeah, this is Laura . .I’m caullin’ for Cyndi. We need to werk out sumthin’ about this cah situation because it won’t do foar her to not have transpoartation.

No, I’m not her mutha….I’m her pursonul assistant and she’s a vehry impoartant and busy lady so lets taulk about what YOU are gunna do to to get her a cah!”

At the end of that conversation, ahem rant, all I needed to do was fax them a copy of my driver’s license, and credit card and the car would be waiting for me in the parking lot at the ferry office, keys in the possession of the Fast Ferry clerk inside. I could have kissed her. I actually think I did.

So I board the state ferry and endure the 90 minute bus ride, maneuvering myself at last to the office of the Fast Ferry in North Kingston. That is where the fun really began. I roll off the bus, go into the office and get the keys and back out into the gravel lot I go looking for the mild mannered Honda Civic that Mom had rented for us.

Nothing. The sole car was a gorgeous sporty silver and black souped up Ford something or other. Uh, really? Did Laura make them THAT nervous?

I went back in to check and the clerk replied, “Yes, that’s your car.”

I almost dropped the keys. I actually think I squeaked a tiny bit.

As a driver of an oh so practical soccer mom Matrix that I traded by new VW bug for,  I opened the door of a brand new 2012 silver badass sportscar and sqeeed for at least a minute straight. “Wonder how she’ll handle at 120?….THIS IS FREAKIN’ AWESOME!”.

I have an hour to kill since Mom’s train is delayed, but I have plenty of time. I make a command decision. Get car phone charger. My phone did not charge properly the night before and it was on its last bar, problem number 50. So, I see a Kohls nearby and I roll in and ask. No luck, BUT the Verizon store is right beside it. They hook me up with a charger and a ten dollar discount just because I’m nice. I’m thinking, “Wow, thanks Universe for helping once again!” Then, I see a Dave’s Fresh Market next door and the Verizon folks assure me they have cool deli case takeout, nice salads and such and the bonus is a package store right up the block. I think,”I’ll get dinner and wine for Mom so we won’t have to worry about eating late in Mystic, roll into the Amtrak station on time, and be the best daughter in the Universe. We’ll relax at 9 and it will be a golden evening. Yes!”

So, I’m rollin’ with my Google directions, listening to the pre-set pop/rap station. The car is so technologically advanced, I have no idea how to change the radio station or even find a new channel. I have GPS, but have no idea how to use it. No manual is there.

I am:  on. my. own.

But….it made me feel totally cool to listen to Whiz Kalifa, Rhianna, and Maroon 5 driving in that car. “Call Me Maybe” comes on for the gajillionth time and even though the music isn’t my normal listening pleasure, I start to feel, well, pretty young and sexy. And the car just seems to be the expression of something rising within me. I start to feel like I really never felt in high school: awesome. I begin to drive and wiggle and sing.

Take me by the tongue
And I’ll know you
Kiss me till you’re drunk
And I’ll show you
all them moves like Jagger
I’ve got the moves like Jagger
I’ve got the mooooooves, like Jagger

I mean my 2005 Matrix doesn’t exactly put a wiggle in my shaker if you catch my drift. And I start to feel really SAS-SAY. I take my new silver girl up to the limit, and a tiny bit beyond.

Speeding along,  I cross a huge expansion bridge and come to a toll booth. This is when I start to realize something isn’t right. I ask the attendant if I’m going the right way to the South Kingston Amtrak station. She says, no. I’m over 30 minutes in the wrong direction!  I pay a double toll ($4) and get a pass to turn around. Crossing back over the bridge, irritated and anxious I am suddenly witness to one of the most miraculous sunsets over water I have ever seen. Its been years. The sight stunned me out of my teen pop imaginative world and pushed me into a place altogether different. Flying into a sunset of pure freedom in a silver bird,  I had a moment, one of those  “this is my life and its absolutely perfect right this second” moments. Maybe this whole thing will turn out for the best. I’m feeling like it might. I want more of those moments.

Soon, however, that changes. I take the wrong exit off of the bridge and begin a drive through the BF backwoods of Rhode Island for over 90 minutes. I ask six different people at six different places how to get to the train station, including a pizza delivery joint and each gives me some rambling mess of instructions none of which get me anywhere nearer to Mom who is now at the station sitting in the lobby. I’m on the phone with her, practically yelling in frustration. The rap is now turned off and I’m getting low on gas in a high tech vehicle that I have no idea how to even put gas into.

There was one moment where I thought, Do I call the police? Will they even know where they are? Does anyone in Rhode Island know how to get anywhere?

Finally, I get on the right road and magically end up at the station. Bless my saint of a mom. She had real instructions to Old Mystic Inn from the owner. We roll into Mystic at ten, and the sportscar-sassy-ass woman feeling is all gone. I crack open the bottle of Relax Riesling, which I bought mainly for the name, and we finally eat our picnic at the bed and breakfast room coffee table.

It struck me at that moment that being on my own can have its great parts and its not so great parts. But I’m learning.

I’m learning.

Upon Having Arrived

20 Jun

So today, I rode Amtrak all the way to South Kingston Rhode Island from Lynchburg. With intermittant WiFi and a dumb phone, the only way to adequately describe my train riding experience is to share my Facebook stati as the day rolled on, and my wisdoms gained on a train trip:

8a.m. Pardon me boy….is that the Chattanooga Choo Choo?……..

12:00 Eating on Amtrak is like eating out of the fast food case at Sheetz, except 3x more expensive….note to self always pack a lunch…..

4:00 Eyeing the monster Fosters this elderly gentleman has beside me…..can’t.wait.to get.off.this.train.so bored….ack!

10:00  Things I learned on a train:

  1. Amtrak food sucks
  2.  Every woman on the train seems to be reading 50 Shades
  3.  Get a window seat or be prepared to barf
  4. Amtrak wifi does not work and I need a better cell phone
  5. Train and bus bathrooms are practice for a night in a country bar riding the mechanical bull
  6.  It takes just as many hours to get off the vertigo as it does the train…jeez I have ferry tomorrow.
  7. I love traveling solo..but having the phone helps

More adventures tomorrow…I love my life 🙂

The point of real departure to adventure was marked by arriving a bit later at the South Kingston Amtrak Station than I had expected and as I quickly muscled my suitcases to the platform, I began to search for a taxi. The host at the King’s Rose Bed and Breakfast assured me that there would be taxis out in front of the station to bring me to the accommodation, but when I surveyed the front of the station however, nope…not a taxi in sight. As a matter of fact, nothing was in sight. So I sat on my luggage and attempt to dial the host. Before I could finish, though, a taxi drives up and an elderly lady begins to load her luggage into the back.

I shout, “Will there be any more taxis?”

He shouts back, “Uh, heyas a numbuh…cooawl them” and some rambling mess of numbers comes out before I can even get my fingers to begin to dial. But I plug them in and call.

Finally, I get someone on the phone and he tells me, “Eh, I can be theya in a haf an ow-ah.”

Oh, okay Mr. Taxi guy, I’ll just sit here for 30 minutes and wait to go two miles up the road…sure.

Finally, he shows up and takes me to the bed and breakfast where I meet the lovely lady who is host at the King’s Rose. She has put me into one of the most lovely feminine rooms I have ever seen. Pink floral and calico, it’s filled with antiques and pictures from the twenties and thirties. And the bed is one of those high New England jobs. And I had to, I took off from the bathroom and leapt over onto the fluffy feather top and then jumped on the bed at least three times.But the real adventure was securing my first solo vacation dinner.

I ask the kind host where I might go eat.. It is already 8:00, and I ‘m hot, tired, and frankly I need a very cold beer. So, she tells me I’ll have to walk down to the University of Rhode Island campus about a mile away. There will be a food court with some choices and I can get dinner there. As I began the trip, I was tired, but feeling really sort of free, brave to the point of almost being, as Granny calls it, ornery. This is the first trip I have ever taken completely solo.  Sometimes it strikes me that I am a living lesson of sorts, as if others are sort of vicariously living in my adventure. Its a big reason to keep going and to be brave, to do what I’ve always wanted to do.

As I walked,  the heat came rolling off the pavement in waves. It was soooooo sweltering hot today. This has been the worst heat wave ever. The host told me that she had to put my air conditioning unit in the window yesterday.That usually doesn’t happen until July, she said.Upon rounding the corner onto the back part of campus, I see the International Slice Pizza Company. I’m not the world’s biggest pizza fan, especially since I have been training so heavily, but at that point I didn’t really care. Pizza has a companion: BEER and it’s cold and my God, I’m drinking the largest one I can find.

So I waltz into the shop, a perky blonde gal is behind the counter, and I say to her, “Please tell me that you have beer and that its cold and that you will give me the largest one you can muster.” She looks back at me and says “Oh, I’m sorry. This is the UR campus. Its dry” At that moment, a feeling mixed between murderous rage and hopeless despair wells up in me and the inevitable Valkyrie yell of “CRAP!” comes rolling out of my filter free Sagittarius mouth. What I hadn’t noticed was that a guy had come in behind me in line and the minute my whining began he says,

“Ay, I gotta beeyah out in the cah, ya want one?”

I whip around and look him straight in the face and with all the conviction of a freight train I utter my response.”YES……YES…. I …..DO.”

So I follow this guy to his late model Pontiac in front of the pizza place.

He says to me, “Its a Busch, hope ya don’t cayah”

I say, “No, thank you so much. Please let me give you a buck or two for it”

“Nah,  no prahblem…its cold” he says, as he rummages through a cooler in his back seat for a can of beer.

So he hands me this icy can of Busch beer and I slip it into my purse. I walk back into the pizza place and order two slices from perky pizza gal, BBQ chicken and pineapple ham. I request an extra styrofoam cup for the beer and then mosey out to the picnic table for my first solo feast. It strikes me. Of all the times in the past I have eaten out alone, this meal, THIS ONE is the best I can think of.

God Bless the State of Rhode Island.

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