April 15, 2004

Massachusetts and Home!

Today, as we awoke in Oneonta, New York, we rolled over, rubbed our eyes, looked out the window, and saw ... clear skies and sunshine! Could this be for real? Well, yes — for a while ...

We hit the road with our usual vigor and aplomb, and headed eastward (where else?). Despite the brilliant sky, the temperature was still rather cold, and our Giulietta's top stayed up, which had been the case ever since we left Oregon. (Oh, how we lamented not being able to drive across the country topless ...)

Along our route, we passed through the quaint village of Prattsville, NY, founded by our esteemed ancestor Zadock Pratt. Below is a shot of a current Prattsville landmark. (I know what you're thinking, but this is an unretouched photo.)

We meandered through some lovely countryside, skirting the northern edge of the Catskills, and finally arrived at a milestone: crossing the Hudson River via the Rip Van Winkle Bridge (which, incidentally, was the first toll we had to pay during the entire trip).

We were starting to feel at home, and knew that we were back in the American Northeast, as evidenced by the following:

Another milestone: Massachusetts welcoming us. Welcoming us back to high taxes, inflated property values, and people who sound like Ted Kennedy when they talk, that is.

Our reverie was shattered, however, as we drove back into the weather pattern that had caused us all the consternation almost the entire way across the country:

But we arrived home safely, and were greeted by the lovely Vi, who had two kinds of chili simmering on the stove for us. What a woman! By the time John left, the sun was out, prompting the photo op below:

So what did Vi and I do after John left? Why, we went for a ride, of course!

Culture of the Day

Unfortunately, this is a little hard to see, but the photo below is of a truck made entirely out of wood. (Well, except for the door window frame.) Also on the property were a wooden motorcycle and a couple of wooden bears. The two buildings were made of short logs with the end grain showing. Most impressive! There was also a Corvette there, but it, alas, was made of fiberglass.

Beer of the Day

Now we're talkin'! Pratt's homebrew at last! On tap were a British ale (a Boddington's clone) and a Czech pilsner (a Pilsner Urquell clone). We'd do these trips more often if the beer at home weren't so decent.


Alfa Spotting

We did keep track of all the Alfas that we encountered on the trip. If you don't consider the ones owned by Doug Zaitz and Patrick and Tami Iaboni in Portland, and if you don't consider the ones owned by us, the answer is:


Of course, to be fair, it's early in the year, and the weather we experienced along our route didn't exactly encourage Alfa drivership.

Well, folks, I guess that's it. Our oil consumption, thankfully, remained moderate, and we'll investigate the problem in greater depth over the next few days and weeks. Right now, I've got the carpets and mats removed and drying in the garage. Tomorrow or Saturday, I'll give our Giulietta a well-deserved cleaning, and start making amends for the abuse we've put her through over the past week and a half.

The short top-down drive that Vi and I took this afternoon reminded me what a fabulous car this is, and I'm really looking forward to many years of stewardship of this delightful Alfa Romeo.


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