So this whole thing started about 6 months ago when I got a call from my cousin Anne after 15 years of being out of contact. It began the process of planning a visit to Montauk for some overdue re-introductions to long lost cousins at Anne’s beautiful summer home on Lake Montauk. There were so many things that excited me about the potential visit. I was excited to see people I spent many summers with but hadn’t had any real quality time with my entire adult life. I was excited for CJ to meet people that I was confident would love her energy and humor, and that she would love getting to know. I was excited to tour places that were nothing but a foggy distant memories to me to see if there was a shimmer of familiarity. Down to the end the trip was in question due to the fact that we just invested so much time away and energy on our engagement, but both CJ and I felt that this trip was an important/significant step to take for both our present and our future. We could not have been more right. But with every great trip there is a price to pay. CJ got up at 6:00 am on Wednesday coming off a late night at class, packing, olympics and three hours sleep. I came off of a crazy work and teaching week and three straight nights of less than 5 hours sleep. CTA train to the airport. Plane to LGA. Cab to Queens. Bus to Montauk. Automobile waiting for us there. 10 hours total and we had John Candy and Steve Martin beat by two methods of transportation already!
In the end we arrived in Montauk at about 5:00 p.m. after a ride on the famed Hampton Jitney. The Jitney gained glamorous fame to me during the time of Sex and the City on TV. The reality was an interesting variation. We arrived at the Queens Jitney connection in front of a Cineplex Odeon theater about an hour before our scheduled bus so we did the only thing we could to kill the time. We grabbed a couple of drinks and some wings at the Hooters across the street. When we got on our bus it was mostly full so CJ and I had to take seats on the aisle two rows apart from each other. The guy sitting behind CJ was sitting on the aisle seat next to me with his bag on the window seat next to him. He gave of the strongest “do not even ask me to move” energy I have seen in many years. When CJ tried to recline her seat he gave her a hard two handed shove in the back at which point I looked at him and said “She has every right to recline her seat. Why don’t you just be nice?” Strange to see a 70 year old man behaving like a child. He never said another word or even glanced my way for the next three hours. Both CJ and Pointy Max were no worse for wear.
The sights on the L.I.E (Long Island Expressway) were different than I expected. I guess I expected to see more waterfront and beach towns. What I saw was a lot of lush greenery and sights that reminded me of a cruise through wine country in my beloved Michigan. Beautiful nonetheless but different than I thought. When we finally reached Montauk we were more than ready to get off the bus and the first thing we saw was a teenage boy sitting on a bench having an argument with his presumed to be girlfriend. There was a gathering of a handful of people some of whom seemed to be Irish student summer workers with their groceries. When the guy on the phone screamed “I hate you you f#@cking bitch” CJ quickly retorted “Aaaand…Welcome to Montauk” to the laughter and delight of all of us. Let’s just say everything got exponentially better from there on out!
My cousin who came to pick us up arrived waving her arms in the air behind the wheel of her SUV and we quickly got into the story exchanges. After a short ride back to the house we drank wine and ate amazing sushi from a local place. Top notch! More stories to tell but that’s for another chapter…