We made it somewhere right outside of Connecticut by the end of Driving: Day One*, and crashed at some sketchy hotel in New York.
*(There were videos in that post that I don’t think were working when I initially published it, but I just embedded them from YouTube so now everyone can run right on over to watch them. No really. RUN! RUN LIKE SNOOKIE IS CHASING YOU WITH HER KOOKA ALL A’THRUST!)
Woke up super early the next morning—after barely sleeping at all thanks to my log-sawing travel compatriots—in order to drive the remaining four hours and make it to Alyson’s house at a reasonable hour, because hello — we had an amusement park to go to! I really enjoy road trips. I like sitting my fat ass in the passenger seat, complaining about being bored, fidgeting with the music, and regaling tales of shit that no one in the car cares about. Mostly, I like not being home and the anticipation of arriving somewhere new. This all goes out the window once we hit traffice. Which we did, for what seemed like HOURS. (But was apparently only about 30 minutes.)
I was nervously excited about seeing Alyson again. We met on LiveJournal back in 2005, introduced by her shitty then-boyfriend, and hit it off immediately. On the outside, we seem very different: she’s metal, I’m a scene kid. But we LOVE THE CURE and share an inside joke regarding that. We have the same ridiculous humor and we find the simplest, most mundane things to be HILARIOUS. Things that make most people (see: Henry) raise their eyebrows. (Or, in Henry’s case, frown.) Music touches our souls in ways that seem confusing and strange to others because, you know, we’re not 16 anymore and it is apparently bizarre that we will travel great distances and go to such lengths to see our favorites perform live.
We also get fucked over in a myriad of astonishing ways by a virtual conveyor belt of “friends,” but are actually just people obsessed with their own unhappiness. Alyson and I first met in person back in 2006 when she traveled to Pittsburgh to attend my baby shower. And the last time I saw her was in 2008 when she returned for our mutual friend Kara’s wedding. It has been a long time between visits and I wondered if she would decide that I was more annoying than she remembered or that Chooch was a brat (very real possibilities!). YOU NEVER KNOW!
But no, we fell right into a groove, begging Henry to speak of the SERVICE and Ted Nugent; sharing stories of our favorite bands and the singers who have shat upon our hearts; and finding sheer delight in the small things all day at Canobie Lake Park, while having our stomachs churned and our brains scrambled. I have always felt that if we lived closer, we would be even better friends.
And I was so happy that she suggested we visit her local amusement park a few months ago in an email, because I’m always scouring the Darkride and Funhouse Enthusiasts website for parks to go to so I’ve known about Canobie and their darkride called Mine of the Lost Souls and was really hoping it would be a possibility to go there on our trip. And Alyson even seemed excited when I replied to her suggested itinerary and said, “CANOBIE!”
What a perfect way to spend our first day together! Laughing like little kids at some old, charming amusement park. What a perfect way to catch up: while standing in line for spinny rides, pausing here and there to point out shitty tattoos and eavesdrop on other conversations while taking pictures of Henry looking exhausted and totally put-upon.
And what a great way for her to bond with Chooch, who took to her immediately and helped himself to a self-guided tour of her home as soon as he walked through the door. The last time he saw her, he was about 2 and a half years old and somehow he actually remembers this. A few weeks ago, I tried to show him her picture on Facebook so that he would know who we were going to see, and he said, “I know who she is. We went to Eat n Park when she was here. I sat on a motorcycle.”
Anyway, we were only in her house for about a minute when I realized we had been pronouncing “Canobie” this whole time. It’s not actually like Obi Wan Kenobi! But CAN-uh-bee. Chooch and I kept catching ourselves beginning to say it wrong all weekend, but Henry flat out kept pronouncing it wrong, because when you’re a SERVICE veteran, you can get away with shit like that.
And then I pointed out that she has a Troy Polamalu bobblehead, to which she responded, “Yeah, YOU got it for me!” Even Henry remembered, but I completely drew a blank.
“Did I KNOW that I got it for you?” I asked jokingly, with a little bit of truth.
Yep, that’s me: That totally attentive friend whom everyone desires.
And we hadn’t even gone to the park yet so I couldn’t blame it on Canobie whiplash.
In typical Oh Honestly, Erin-form, this needs to be a multi-parter because I have a ton of photos to wade through and happy thoughts to sort out and hopefully an official Henry Interview to transcribe. Ciao for now!
(I actually never finished the 2013 Kennywood Chronicles, either. BLOGGING ANXIETY. Maybe I’ll make Chooch finish it for me.)