So what was it had me occupied most of the past week? Well, my mother decided that what with the wedding and buying a new car she and my father couldn't afford a proper summer trip overseas, so she figured a road trip somewhere nearby would satisfy her travelling urges and not unduly strain the budget. Of course, New York City and Philadelphia are so nearby they barely even count as road trips, but on the East Coast there's no shortage of interesting places to go: the coast of Maine, Boston, Rhode Island, Baltimore, Washington DC, the North Carolina shore ... so, naturally, we set out for Cleveland, Ohio.
And why Cleveland? This is a question she'd been answering for months now. So had my father. So had the college friend of my mother's whom they like travelling with. The attraction was a tour of Vatican Splendors, artwork and artifacts from the Vatican which is touring Saint Petersburg (Florida), Cleveland, and Minneapolis, and of the choice Cleveland was the least inconvenient. Our expectations weren't high, supposing that any show of the Good Stuff would have made it to New York City or at least Washington, and my mother expected to take it in for maybe an hour, which makes an estimated seven-hour drive out and back again across the impassible obstacle of the Appalachian mountains all the stranger. But we could also spend an hour in the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame, so ... ah ... yeah.
In the time leading up, too, we had all sorts of normal little anxieties erupting into stupid shouting matches over things like who had called the lady who'd feed the cats. And I had my natural aggravations mostly about whether I'd be able to keep my journal updated. The hotel reservation forms said there'd be Internet access available, but I know that's always a lie. So we all set out with that sullen mixture of frustration, annoyance, and hopes that whatever came up wouldn't be as unpleasant as we expected it would be. The big question: would the first shouting come before or after we'd left New Jersey?
Trivia: Royal Assent to the Longitude Bill of 1714 -- giving prizes for methods of accurately determining longitude at sea -- was granted on 9 July, less than a month after the bill was introduced to Parliament. Source: The Quest for Longitude, Ed. William J H Andrewes.
Currently Reading: The Guns of August, Barbara W Tuchman.