South from Boston
We woke up in Boston to the sound of rain outside. Pouring rain. We had to get to the Hertz lot and back before checkout at noon, so we got up in a hurry, hailed a cab and left the hotel somewhere around 11am.
On our way down to Hertz we talked about what kind of car we wanted. Of the two we’d had so far, we were both most satisfied with the Cadillac. The Lincoln Towncar was a beauty, but felt like driving a boat. And while spacious inside, there were nowhere to place our stash inside the cabin.
A rainy day in Boston
We arrived at Hertz. Our car was.. a Lincoln. We weren’t thrilled, and asked if we could get a Cadillac instead - but they had none in stock. So we figured we were stuck with the towncar. We had to be back at the hotel soon, so we just ran for the car and got in. Our first discovery: Neither Kitty or any of her sisters were in the car. So we had to find the way back to the hotel ourselves. We made a few trips around the neighborhood before finding our way, but with Google Maps pre-loaded on the Mac we managed to find the right way - eventually.
We got back to our hotel just before noon, got our bags and checked out. But as we got ready to drive out of Boston, we both admitted that we really, really missed Kitty. We’ve yelled at her a lot, and she’s gotten us into some major trouble a few times, but never the less: she’s helped us out a lot! So we decided to go back to Hertz and ask for her help.
As we got back to Hertz, the lady behind the counter looked rather worried as we walked through the door. It turned out they didn’t have too many cars with the Hertz NeverLost (Kittys official name), so we spent some time deciding between the alternative options: A Toyota SUV or a Volvo XC70 Cross country. Louis was bummed out that he had to choose between a Kitty-less “boat”, a huge japanese thing - and a booooring Swedish family car.
But after some serious considerations, Louis chose the Swede. Selma didn’t much care, as long as Kitty would be able to tag along. The Volvo was $20 extra pr. day, and this time we had to pay $10 per day for Kitty as well. We dropped the extra drivers fee, since Selma only spent a mere five minutes behind the wheels on our last rental period. And, we figured we’d try to switch back to a Cadillac again as we got further south.
With the car-issue settled, we made ourselves comfortable in the Volvo (which, to be honest, was quite easy. It is, after all, a decent car) and headed for Cambridge and Harvard, We had planned to check out the campuses, have lunch at Harvard square and just chill for a while in the sun. But with the rain pouring down and us being far behind our schedule (due to the car swap), we ended up just driving through. Actually, Kitty III must have been one of Kitty’s older sisters. She is a bit thick headed, and a bit slow - so she kept sending us in the wrong direction. And, we stopped by a Best Buy to buy an external hard drive for backups of our photos (more than 8000 thus far), which set us back even further. So as we finally reached Harvard, we were so sick of Boston, so sick of the rain and so sick of driving around on narrow roads, we just passed through and went straight for the highway.
We told Kitty III to take us to Hartford, Connecticut. Louis’ friend, Jenny (from Lillehammer) lives nearby with her fiancé, Greg, and they would both meet us there after work. We arrived just before 5pm (half an hour before we’d arranged to meet them), and started looking for the brewery that was to be the meeting spot. But as we reached the first crossing, there was Jenny on the other side of the road.
We walked with her to the restaurant, and met Greg on the way. And, like we discovered in Madison, it feels really, really good to meet friends on the road. Louis had never met Greg before, and Selma hadn’t met either of them, but it felt like we were all old friends. We had stopped just an hour earlier to catch up on that lunch we planned for Harvard square, and wasn’t really that hungry, so we both settled for some spicy buffalo chicken tenders. And they were really, really spicy! But we hardly noticed, ’cause it was so nice to sit down with someone for dinner again!
Selma, Jenny and Louis
Greg picked up the bill, and we headed across the street to a bar. With one eye to the TV set where the Yankees and Red Sox were playing, we continued talking for another hour. At 8pm we figured we’d better hit the road again, and Jenny and Greg had to pick up their dog from day care on their way home. They walked us over to our car, Louis traded a Grill Bill CD and a can of Aass beer with a cigar, we said our goodbyes - and we got rollin’ again.
We kept driving for nearly two hours, and got close to the New York border. First we tried to make Kitty recommend a place to stay, and she took us out on a trip to a fancy neighborhood hidden in the forest. Lots of nice houses there, but alas - no hotels. So we went back to the highway and started looking for a place to stay along the exits. We ended up in Stamford, at a Holiday Inn Express with just a few rooms left. A local college had a fraternity gathering there, and all they could offer us was a smoking room (for $99 + tax). A little more expensive than we’d preferred, but it was getting late so we decided to go for it.
The room smelled awful, and it was really humid in there (even the linens were damp), but it was late and we were tired, so we settled down rather fast and managed to get some sleep.