armed with two maps, the gps, and some mapquest printouts of the final few miles of our trip in westhampton, we drove 90 to 84 (through hartford) to 91 (through new haven) to 95 to 295 to 495 (the long island expressway, aka l.i.e.). we also had the speed pass suctioned on the window below the rearview mirror, which afforded us the opportunity to sneer at non-speed pass cars as we quickly sped through every toll booths. a smooth ride until we got to long island, where we got stuck in some congestion, and then we got a little bit lost trying to find deanna's place. throughout the trip we listened to the radio, the stations fading out as we got beyond their ranges. somewhere in connecticut we discovered some early morning christian radio show for kids involving pirates, then later a length treatise on the life of the doll sheep of alpine alaska and how the lord created the sheep with different special adaptations (including hooves like pliers and a four chamber stomach), followed by a morality play involving a biology teacher who doesn't believe in god and a father and son team we wants to spread creationism into the school. the radio also provided us with other entertainment: the john tesh hour, michael "the bolt" bolton, "'my baby got back.' that was sir mix-a-lot. you're listening to npr.", hair metal hour on the local community college radio station including the song "don't fear the moon," and singing karaoke to eric carmen's "hungry eyes."
when we finally arrived, we were greeted not only by john and deanna (whom we originally thought would be the only other people here this weekend), but also deanna's friends megan, christine, and marianne. megan and christine we met last year, but marianne was a new face, a doctor in real life. soon afterwards all the ladies (except for megan) left to go get groceries while the boys stripped down to our swimming trunks and jumped into the pool (megan read discreetly off to the side). i had brought my flippers, the pool a little safer swimming wise versus the 103 feet depth of loch walden. when the ladies came back it was their turn to get into the pool. deanna's friend erin arrived during that time as well, erin a school teacher in real life.
for dinner we had beef and turkey burgers, corn on the cob, and ziti. we all retired inside, and while john and deanna went out to buy some coffee, the rest of us had watermelon. it was interesting to hear these new yorkers talk about their post 9/11 lives. the topic was a little morose but before it could bring everyone down, john and deanna came back with the goods, and we all had coffee and cake for dessert. the big discussion this weekend was composing a top 5 list of sexiest actors/actresses. as the evening winded down to a close, erin left the party to drive back home. while everyone huddled in the tv room watching a saturday night live repeat (josh hartnett with musical guest pink), i made my way to the camp crystal lake cabin in the dark (armed with my mini flashlight). i took a shower, and came back outside with a lawn chair to look at the stars. something special was in the air that night, as the sky was crystal clear and absolutely dark, dark enough for me to see the milky way for the very first time in my life, a long band of smokey blotches that looked like stationary clouds. initially i had a hard time recognizing the constellations because there were so many more stars than i'm use to. using the milky way i picked out cygnus, and from cygnus the summer triangle, and after that i got my orientation set and could pick out the other remaining constellations one by one. i went back inside eventually, my tolerance for mosquito bites coming to an end. after some reading, i went to bed.