165 Road Trip Week – Maine to Florida Part 1


The goal was clear: Travel to Maine and drive Andy’s Dad’s van to Florida.

The year was 2009 and Andy and I boarded a Bolt Bus to Boston, and then took another bus line to Portland, ME. When we arrived, we took a taxi to the nearby Embassy Suites, where we were to meet Andy’s dad and his dad’s girlfriend. They were to give us the van, and we were to drop them off at the airport the next morning, only to meet them in Florida a few days later.

We waited and waited, and they didn’t show. Andy called their cellphones, and there was no answer. We started to worry. They pulled in late afternoon in a tow truck. The van had broken down 20 minutes after they had left home. This would set the theme for the rest of the trip.

The next morning, we put Andy’s Dad and girlfriend on the plane, and took the van to a local Sears to get fixed. Finally  mid-afternoon, we were on our way.

Somewhere around Connecticut, we got stuck in traffic and it started to rain. Andy turned on the windshield wipers. The wipers went up the window, and stayed there. He turned the wipers off, and they stayed affixed to the middle of the windshield. Oh shit.

Our visibility was getting worse as the wipers continued to stick. After some cursing, I reached out of the window with the ice scraper and hit the wipers back into place. They came down, and we could finally see through the windshield again. Andy turned the wipers back on hoping for a different outcome, but they behaved the same. I thought, “we are either going to die, or get a ticket”, as I was hanging out of the window in the cold rain.

Finally, we were within a few miles from our apartment and I was still pummeling the wipers with the ice scraper, so we decided it would be safer to stop for the night than travel on to DC.

Andy and I arrived at home. We ordered some Chinese food, and went to bed hoping the rain would subside for our two-day drive.


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