Friday, January 15, 2010

The Drive

It was perhaps the perfect drive.

When Richard and I arrived at the Hertz centre in Manhattan, it was with the understanding that we were to collect a Hyundai accent for our trip to Boston and Connecticut. I'd made the booking on line, and being the budget traveller that I am, had decided we should go for the economy car. Imagine our surprise and delight when instead of the tiny accent, we were offered a comfortable (and very stable-looking) Jeep.

Richard and I had searched our route on google maps and written out a 28-point list of directions that would take us from Rachel's apartment in Harlem, to Christina's house in Roslindale - just outside of Boston. We were heading up there for a Memorial in honour of my father. The university at which he used to teach - Lesley - would be celebrating his contributions as a writer and teacher of writing.

Leaving Manhattan was simple enough. It only took a minute or two to get used to driving on the right side of the road. And our directions seemed to be spot-on.

Within a few minutes, we were heading north along the banks of the Hudson River - miles of bare trees to our right, the cold and quiet Hudson on our left. White snow glistened and sparkled on the banks and fields, and we drove past frozen lakes that were like magic to me. Although I've lived through many winters in England, I've never really experienced the expanses of frozen water that we drove past.

I threatened to start singing, and Richard turned on the radio! He found exactly the right music - mellow and easy to listen to: familiar but not distracting. And we sang, or sometimes just sat in a sort of quiet elation at this perfect moment that lasted for hours. Until we got to Boston and got lost! Alas... such is life. But I'm certain to never forget that drive.

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