we took two cars, john driving lionel, mark, andie, and mae, me taking mandy and megan. first we had to drive mae to the bus station, and since i didn't know the way, i followed john. little did i realize john wasn't quite sure how to get there as well, so there was a lot of "follow the leader" driving as we pulled u-turns on highways and right turns from left lanes. we finally did manage to find the train station, but not before pulling over and consulting my map of long island and the gps. mark received an alarming phone call, his parents were in a car accident on new hampshire, they're relatively fine, but a helmetless motorcyclist had struck their car and had to go to the hospital.
the beach wasn't as crowded as in previous summers. we camped out close to where everybody else was, what we lacked in privacy was more than made up for in people watching opportunity.
we got back to the house around 3pm. mandy and i left shortly afterwards. we hit some traffic on the long island expressway, but eventually we made it to my personal mecca, the long island ikea in hicksville. it was to be mandy's first visit to an ikea store, we made a beeline to their cafeteria since we were both famished. i let mandy try some of the swedish meatballs i'd ordered. after we finished eating, we spent about an hour browsing the store, which was absolutely mobbed with weekend shoppers. i didn't want to buy too much, not with the high 7.85% new york state tax. i ended up getting two red slipcovers for my ikea ottomans, a green shag rug, and some cork trivets.
i then drove mandy to westchester, where she was staying with a friend since she had an interview in NYC tomorrow. we had some interesting conversation along the way, and i even watched as mandy flirted with a guy on the highway ("the long island expressway is not your dating service!"). we met her friend in the parking lot of a home depot off of I-95. mandy switched to his car and i drove off, another 4 hours before i would be back in boston.
i didn't get back until 11pm, drove non-stop listening to my 6 cd's of mixed music. at one point in connecticut i blew 90mph across a speed trap (i saw the police cruiser and everything) and i was sure i'd hear sirens behind me but it never came. i was surprised when i heard noises coming from the backyard, which turned out to be andrew and maura, waiting on the deck for my return so andrew could pick up his mail. after they left, i quickly changed and drove to belmont, where i returned the car to my parents and had some late night dinner. i took the motorcycle back to cambridge, glad to be finally home.