Based on (roomie!) "pillow talk" the previous evening, I'd somewhat expected to do some stuff with Nancy early this morning. But she disappeared while we were getting about readying for the day. I put a few more things up in the car and ambled off to the hall a bit later, to see if I could finally get a moment with Frid. I was still thinking I'd be seeing him later anyway, but I did want to see him at the Festival all the same. In the hall I found the other roomies, Malia and Kristi, hawking Frid-vids for last-minute buyers. I think that's Mary at the end, and everyone else is gathered around the far end to see Jonathan, behind there somewhere around the table corner/by the doorway.
Bobbi serving guard duty. She encouraged me to get on up here!
Well, they shoved me into the man's path, now or never! Uncharacteristically brave of me, I stuck my hand in his and blurted out hello, I'm Sherlock. To which he kinda blinked and looked at me and said "they said you were in black!" I presume clothes. Of course I was wearing black slacks...and off and on, my black hat. But whatever, it was an amusing thing with which to be greeted. I had him do the standard autograph on his picture (that all the banquet-goers got) and had him sign a copy of his DVD. I had everyone I could get hold of who'd worked on the DVD to sign it, just for me...I thought that would be a cool trinket and remembrance of the project. That was about all there was time for, however.
Jonathan finished up and immediately began gathering up to leave. I hovered back with his cadré so I could talk to him...he still hadn't seen the painting, among other things. He was really eager to get going so I had to talk up and talk fast, and reminded him (I'd emailed several times) that I planned to follow him up to Canada, in order to run through Ontario to Michigan to visit my pal Lorraine, so if he wanted me to carry anything or make any plans, etc., all he needed to do was say the word. But he was worn out and said he'd be very busy and didn't know about whether he could work in any visits (much less project work) so he doubted very much any connections this week. Call first.
Well, while I totally understood (I've never been able to see how people can run off to cons and be back to work Monday sharp...cons are draining enough merely in the attending, if you ask me...and if you actually Do something, guest/serve/show/work/etc., it's utterly exhausting), it was a bit of a disappointment all the same, since I'd mentioned it a number of times ahead (he may not have read anything, of course) and hadn't really Met him at the con, and did want to do something with the Richard III painting. And I didn't mean to make any demands, either, just say hi. But even a little can be a lot, I know well myself. So I was sad and kicking myself for even thinking about it at the same time. Rolling with the flow, it occurred to me I still had his portfolios, so I said, oh, wait, I have to get those for you! He was annoyed that his group hadn't already done that and Mark went with me...we got the albums and I grabbed the Richard III painting. Everything was shoved into his car and I quickly unveiled Richard, said here, it's just a fun thing for you to play around with, and Richie went into the car too. I was rather surprised that some of the colors in Richard had turned yellow...Richard suddenly had a bad case of jaundice that he hadn't had at the start of the trip. Nothing I could do for the king's liver at this point, though, and it did kind of add a certain malevolence to the piece. Or something. At any rate, all present bye-byed, and the guys headed north.
We gals strolled back to the hotel and I talked to Malia about how to track down my cooler....she made suggestions and I finally found it in Kathy's room upstairs. Kathy knew nothing about it or how it ended up there. I was miffed that it still was full of beer, old dip and veggies, and a lot of water, was beat-up and a handle broken off. But it seemed to be today's theme, just-deal-with-it, LOL. Dumped what I could and hauled it off with my little dolly. No one wanted the beer, and we couldn't find Nancy, so I labelled it a room tip for the maids and let it stand at that, heheh.
Finally it was time to get it all together. I finished loading most of my things into my minivan, arranging the cooler to be open so it could dry out. Malia had all her stuff out, and I thought Kristi had, but there were still a few things left in the room, so they must be Nancy's. I discovered that apparently Nancy had left early for some untold reason. Without actually delving into the stuff, there were some important-looking things left, and I was afraid she'd really need them. Being a good little samaritan, I tried finding a way to unite Nancy with her stuff. Bobbi was about to leave and lived the closest to Nancy, so we got the stuff to her and thought everything was settled. I even glommed onto a few free books KLS left in the hall in a giveaway box (a few she didn't want to cart home, I guess). Now all we needed to do was settle the bill and get on our ways.
Kristi came back and we soon discovered that again, no good deed goes unpunished. Half the stuff left in the room was indeed Nancy's, but the rest was Kristi's. She was going with Malia and another to stay a few days in Manhattan, and so really needed the stuff. We went through all kinds of permutations and plans and what-ifs to figure out how to deal with this new problem; apparently getting Bobbi to Fed-Ex the stuff back would be too late and anything else would be quite impractical. We spent a while trying to catch Bobbi, who was on the road...by the time we did she was almost in Philly. She had to pick up someone at the airport and do other things, so she couldn't swing back, so all the logical options were out.
Devastated that I'd inadvertently caused all this trouble, it was my responsibility to dig us out. Seeing that Bobbi got to Philadelphia in about 90 mins. or so, and obviously there was no rush in getting to Canada, I said, well, we'll just make it a day-trip and go down to Philly, get the stuff from Bobbi, see a historical site or two, have dinner, and I'd drop Kristi back off in Manhattan. Kristi was relieved, and I think a little amazed that someone would do that, and Malia even contributed gas money, so that just left contacting Bobbi. We finally got hold of her and she gave us options and directions, and we were as set as we could get. Then we cleared the room and went out to pay up. There was another snafu there, because the room was in Nancy's name but her card was rejected or something, so we had to figure that out, but at long last we got paid up and headed out. Half of us went to Manhattan and the other half aimed for the New Jersey Turnpike to Philadelphia.
Ironically, I was heading straight into the very area I'd avoided in coming to Tarrytown. Not that I wouldn't love to see the sights, but I didn't really want to deal with the driving headaches. Little is so bothersome to me as tollroads and crazed overcrowded traffic. But it was still early on a Sunday, so we were optimistic, playing CDs and still cracking Pep Boys jokes (a running joke in the room all weekend...don't ask). And it wasn't too awful at first, but it got bad very fast. The turnpike was so full no one could move, it was rainy, and every few feet had some sort of construction blockage. The fastest speed we attained was about 20mph for a moment or two. It took hours just to get to a gas stop half-way to Philly, in the rain. The little day-trip turned into a cross-country trek, and we finally got to Philadelphia around dusk, maybe five hours later, straight down the turnpike. Argh! Then we had to find Bobbi's, which took some doing in the rain and half-light, but we succeeded in that, whoohoo! Sadly, no opportunity to do any sightseeing for all that effort, and we couldn't even see any place to stop to eat without a lot of work to park--not something we were eager to deal with in the dark and rain in a city neither of us knew well. So we gave up and headed back north, having a gourmet meal at a Burger King in Maplewood. As I recall I had to remind the counter folks I was still waiting on my order, even as Kristi had finished hers, lol. Not my day?
On we went, another five hours to New York, and eons of white-knuckling our way into the Holland Tunnel...they had some change lanes open and suddenly closed all but one at the last moment, which caused a lot of unnecessary and somewhat vicious maneuvering and repositioning...then they re-opened a lane at the last minute, ufda...but we finallllllllly got into Manhattan. Around midnight. Kristi pointed out some stuff, and I did my best to do quick peeks up at the Empire State Building, etc. while trying to spot street signs and avoid traffic hazards. Kristi tried to encourage me to come and stay with them, and I strongly considered it; I was definitely pooped. But I had a car loaded with stuff and every garage we passed was closed for the night; the hotel they were staying at did not have parking, and running it all through my mind, I couldn't imagine getting out now with the luggage I'd need (or I'd need to repack since stuff was in different bags, neither option I cared for at that moment) and walking X-distance after midnight in Manhattan just for a few hours sleep. So I was truly grateful for the offer but declined...too much energy would be required and I had been to Manhattan a few times before, so I'd live without this particular opportunity.
Dropping off Kristi, waving farewell and making sure she got into the lobby, I pulled back into the traffic and headed north. At least I hoped I was going north. It was rather difficult to tell a lot of things. The map said one thing but the reality was a little foggy. I ran into a totally unexpected toll road, but I did my best to keep the water (Hudson) on my left...somewhere. I got as far as Yonkers just fine, and then got lost. The map and the world definitely did not match here, and I went in circles and circles and circles for a long time. I ended up next to the police station, but could see no police around to ask for directions. To my shock, I couldn't read my map...my eyes were so weary I could not focus at all. I had gone quite farsighted...I could see just fine, but not up close. Apparently I had aged decades during this jaunt.
Giving up and driving totally by intuition and the sense of water to the left, I found my way out and back up on the way to Tarrytown. By the way, when I got home and told this to a friend born and raised in the area, she said the very same thing had happened to her a year or two before--getting lost in Yonkers and circling around at night. Must be a trap...isn't there a play about that, Damn Yonkers?
At any rate I pulled in for gas at the Tarrytown station just up the street from where I'd started off, and then went over to the grocery store lot across the way to take a nap. But there was a sign forbidding that so I couldn't really doze. I just rested my eyes for awhile, noting the streetcleaner and other nightfolk nearby. Around 2 or 3am I inched my way back up the highway to get back up to the interstate, pulling over at a reststop here and there to get a little eye-rest.