After the success of Sunday, we again turned our faces to my Aunt and Uncle's house, and the glories of the pool and the cousins. (Sorry about no pics yet, my hard drive is running short of space, to soon be remedied). It was to be a fine day of fall gardening, relaxing in the pool, and playing with cousins. The perfect adventure.
We tool down the road in good time, stop for breakfast, then stop for gas at the 1/3-way point. We have to cross the Potomac on 301, and I want to be sure we have a nice potty break before crossing into the world of Southern Maryland- it will be a good half-hour before we reach more civilization after leaving the little corner and the safety of its WaWa. We pull out, and toodle down the road. All is good.
Now, there are two ways to get to my Uncle's house. There is a rather straightforward way up I-95, then cut over to 301 from there, but it requires a ride over the Wilson Bridge, a total nightmare, and not a lot of places to stop quickly if Joey feels unwell, which he has been doing more of lately. The longer but pleasanter way is down 301 over the Nice Bridge, with plenty of place to pull over, even the shoulder of the road is reasonably safe if need arises. It's also much prettier, with more to point out to the boys, and plenty of family history to talk about along the way.
Toodle, toodle, toodle. What are all those cars doing up there? Why are they stopped?
Oh, no. Accident on the bridge.
301 might be great if you have to pull over, but turning around? Not so great. Now, better than if there was a problem on 95; but there are other ways to get up the 95 corridor, such as route 1. But once on 301, getting back to 95 is an hour venture, plus we'd be back to the start of our journey. Yeeps. Eeps. Erk. Once on 301, you are stuck on 301. There are not parallel roads to turn on to and skirt the disaster. besides, the disaster is the Bridge. On either road, no "alternate route" in the world will help if the bridge is down. There isn't a close alternate bridge.
So we are stuck. For an hour and a half.
Also, 301 at this point sits right next to Dahlgren. For my non-locals, Dahlgren is a military installation that works on missiles and other fun technologies of destruction. Hence, the area is a cell phone dead zone. I can't even call to tell my Uncle what has happened, and why we are running late.
And I have my poor mom with me. Now, this Uncle is my father's brother, but they've been so insistent in asking about her that she decided to join me for the visit. Also, I have two small boys in the car.
And one of them has decided he needs the potty. Now.
One of the good things about having small boys is their keen ability to pee in a cup. A large-sized McDonald's cup, specifically.
I hopped out of the car at one point and fetched our crayons and coloring sheets form the back of the van. That bought us some time. We sang songs. We read books. I did some needlepoint. We finally got across the bridge.
First item up for bids was getting a potty for Mommy, who had to drink a very large McDonald's soda in order to provide a cup for other necessities. Then we had to pull over and let the boys run for a minute, as they were going INSANE. Then we still had another hour to drive. Oh, and now it was after noon, and lunch awaited us at the end of that further hour- an hour and half late eating does not make for happy boys.
Yes, it was a joyful ride. One babbling away, the other demanding silence and any toy Joey put his hand to. Mom didn't say much. It was hard to hear one's self think, which is required to form conversation.
But at long last, we arrived, and there was much rejoicing. And much swimming in the pool, despite it being C O L D. And much running of the cousins. Not much gardening. And a smooth ride home, with Andy sleeping most of the way.
But oh, the adventure!