We spent ten hours on what should have been a five-hour drive from Annapolis, Maryland to Mystic, Connecticut. Truly, it was the drive from hell: non-stop, pelting rain and continuous traffic jams from the end of the Jersey Turnpike through New Haven. Horrible, horrible, horrible.
To compound matters, we had the dogs in the back of the car. Mind you, these pets traveled in the height of luxury, thanks to Rod's clever improvisation of two soft dog beds atop blankets. Chloe, always the princess, sank luxuriously into her cushion, rousing herself periodically to peer out the window. Maggie, more restless by nature, pawed us anxiously and refused to settle, making a hellish trip even more miserable.
Today, I might add, we are drugging Maggie before completing our journey to Chatham, Cape Cod.
Last night we arrived in Mystic, exhausted and hungry, not to mention bedraggled from numerous stops in the rain with the dogs. Thankfully, the staff at the local Comfort Inn were pleasant and helpful, for which we were infinitely grateful. We got to our room, fed the dogs, and promptly opened and began draining a bottle of red wine. By the second glass, we realized that food was a necessity--unless we both wanted to pass out on the motel floor. We wanted delivery food; after the ten-hour drive-from-hell, there was no way either one of us would willingly get into a car again.
In some strange state of free-association (exhaustion + wine + empty stomach), I remembered Julia Roberts in the 80s indie flick, Mystic Pizza. It turns out there really is a Mystic Pizza, and they even deliver to motels on the outskirts of town. Well, I'm happy to report that the pizza is as good as its filmic reputation: it's actually the best pizza I've had since we were in Florence five years ago. The crust was flavorful and crispy, the sauce herbal and pungent, and the ingredients absolutely fresh. I especially appreciated the quality cheese, apportioned in just the right amount. The salad also delighted: again, fresh ingredients with some nice touches, such as freshly roasted red peppers, artichoke hearts, and crumbled gorgonzola. Thank you, Mystic Pizza, for one ray of sunshine in an otherwise bleak, soggy day!
Contentedly fed and watered, we watched an eminently stupid but enjoyable movie on HBO, Blades of Glory. I don't know why I watch trash in hotels that I would never tolerate in my normal, workaday life, but I hear this is a fairly universal phenomenon (to be pondered in a future blog).
And now for the second leg of our journey . . .