We celebrated Fathers' Day a little bit early on a spontaneous road trip to Maine. It was a long time in the car, but we have three drivers now, so it made it a little bit better. We were able to see Gary at his managed care facility for 30 minutes a day - which they let us stretch to an hour - outside. Most days, it was pleasant; on the first day, though it was a little chilly. We'd dressed and packed for August but found ways to make do. It was great to see him and hear some stories we hadn't heard before and meet some of the folks who live and work with him.
Oh, and look: a deer! Jen and Peter have been keeping an eye on a fawn and mother that live somewhere in there.
Jeff, Jen and I were all working in between the visits, juggling video and voice calls so as not to interrupt the other. But if you have to work and drive a ton on vacation, there are worse places to do it than Maine in June.
We squeezed in a couple visits with James and David, too, but did little else. Not that any of us were complaining. It was awesome to stroll a bit with Grandpa and to enjoy the peacefulness of the lake. Ali coached Jen and me through a bit of yoga, and we took some walks. Jeff helped chop wood with Peter, who made sure Ali got some good lake time in.
Now, I'm the person who buys at least a pack of gum in exchange for restroom privileges. I don't expect something for nothing. And I try to be responsible in stopping at places where there are lots of options. But one of our stops didn't have much in the way of accommodations. It might have been Pennsylvania. But it could have been New Hampshire or Massachusetts. Hard to remember as I was rather desperate and as you'll see below, most of the trip was just a long blur of trees.
The restroom in question was one door halfway round the back of the building. Both the sign on the door and the guy at the counter claimed you didn't need a key and that if the door wouldn't open, it was occupied.
I tried to open the door, read the sign and crossed my legs some more. Went inside to check that I could still read English. The clerk confirmed the door wasn't locked. I hobbled back to the doorway and tried the knob again. Whoever was in there did not respond. I'd bet $10 no one was in there, and the clerk was laughing at me.
I waited a little bit more, bit my lip and finally said screw it. They must have that somewhat secluded corner behind the place but within site of a little traveled road there for a reason. I put my money on the fact that the few motorists were eyeing the imminent stop slight rather than the lady crouched down by the trash cans. For all they knew, I was tying my shoe. Which is, of course, what I was doing.
State-run rest stops are the way to go. They have more toilets than visitors. The buildings are clean and offer lots of soap and touchless faucets, flushers, dryers and doorways. I'd have left a tip had I seen a place to do it.
Here's that blur of trees, I mentioned. Gold star if you can correctly name the state they're in.
We were all a bit worn out from all the driving, but wouldn't have missed it. While my biggest disappointment on the trip came in the form of a bad pee stop, Alison's came while she was driving. The rule is "Driver Picks the Music" and she and the Captain were rocking out to the song from Rocky Horror Time Warp.
She claims she carefully timed her driving so she could jump to the left lane and then step to the right. "He didn't even notice," she said later.
Jeff had no reason to be disappointed as we made two side trips to pick up craft beer for him and his buddies. This morning, we surprised him with a walk-to-brunch at Delicia and some Crocs sneakers he's been wanting. He and Ali are now watching JoJo's Bizarre Adventure, a Manga series she's gotten him into. With dinner prepared by Ali and me still to come, it's not a bad way to spend Father's Day, I'd reckon.