Monday, July 9, 2012

Day 323: Road Trip!

SUCH a fun day, and almost nothing healthful about it!

Today we experienced Springfield, Massachusetts, a town I visited just once, about 20 years ago, and remember nothing about. It was a glorious day — a perfect periwinkle-blue sky with only a few small clouds, and a lovely breeze.

Usually Husband plans our road trips, but I was clutching a tattered article torn from the paper five years ago, and I Googled the places I was most excited about to make sure they were still open, and I carefully MapQuested how to get from one spot to another, so I considered that we were all set.

Yeah. The place I chose for lunch, Gus and Paul's Deli (something like that) is still there, all right, and my directions were perfect . . . but it's not open on Mondays. I even went to its website, for heaven's sake! How did I not notice this???

And I'm sure there are many lovely places to eat in Springfield, but we had literally just arrived and didn't have our bearings yet, so we simply ate at an Olive Garden (not my favorite place, but I knew we would get a decent meal). And even though we shared the "never-ending salad bowl," you can't count it as healthful as it comprises a mountain of iceberg lettuce and barely anything else.

Onward! We visited the Dr. Seuss Memorial Sculpture Garden (lovely!), the Quadrangle (a quartet of museums surrounding the garden) and gift shop, and the original Mulberry Street, Dr. Seuss's birthplace. Then we went to a perfectly wonderful park and zoo — so many animals, and you could get so close to them! I petted goats, donkeys, and the dearest potbellied pig; ogled beautiful sleek jungle cats; admired a brand-new baby monkey and a giant black bear . . . oh, it was so much fun. And we drove through the park, which went on and on and on. Duck ponds! Rose gardens! Amphitheater, mausoleum, numerous bridges over a lovely stream! Martini got out at one point to roll down a grassy green hill, which particularly tempted him. I am wildly coveting this park.

But we'd been walking for a while and were ready for dinner. I'd chosen White Hut, a fast-food joint known for its yummy shakes, deliciously greasy grilled onions, and low low prices. We followed my perfect MapQuest directions to 280 Memorial Drive . . . which was a dead-end street noted chiefly for its fields of yellow weeds and chain-link fences. Husband had to stop the car, he was laughing so hysterically. "See it yet?" he sputtered. "Anything look good to you?" Hardy-har-har.

Turns out: The address is Memorial Avenue. Which, apparently, is a significant difference. And practically a town away, as the White Hut is in West Springfield.

But my husband is a directional savant, and he actually found it, albeit with a fair amount of driving around. But still. I am wildly impressed!

And we had very fabby burgers and fries and dogs and floats and shakes, with plenty o' grilled onions, and all was well and happy in our little world. Mommy is a dope.

On the drive up, I read aloud Cheaper By the Dozen, which failed to capture my feckless children, so on the way home I read The Famous Stanley Kidnapping Case, the sequel to The Headless Cupid, which they loved, and this was somewhat more successful. I'll pick it up again during our next road trip.

Today I ate melted cheese and breadsticks and you don't event want to know my White Hut dinner menu. Plus, I have entered my Womanly Time. All hope of hitting the '40s tomorrow has been abandoned.

However, I did walk a lot. And I did a deep knee bend to have my picture taken next to the statue of Theodore Geisel. And that was something.

A perfect day with my perfect family. And now, to bed.

Love to all,

Lady C

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