May 21, 2006: The Long Drive Back

Dominica, Oreo and I slept in until 8:30 this morning. We have nothing going on today except for a lot of driving. We got ready to go and we stopped by dad’s hotel room two doors down from us for a few minutes to visit before we drive back to New Jersey. I am really tired of driving and don’t want to go back at all. I really wish that there was some easy way to take the train but they don’t allow dogs on Amtrak which totally screws us. Amtrak runs right from New Jersey to Alliance very near the hotel. It would be perfect!

We ran to the McDonald’s in front of the hotel right at 10:30 and managed to get breakfast there before getting onto the road. Then it was drive time. Today we decided to take the northern route on US 80 through central Pennsylvania because Dominica’s parents are meeting us near Hazleton so that they can take Oreo. The plan this week is that Oreo will be going to Frankfort where he will be staying until probably the weekend of June 3rd which is very sad. I have only seen Oreo for about half of the time since we first got him a year ago and I really miss him a lot. Dominica is flying out to Houston, Texas on Wednesday morning from Newark. She will take the New Jersey Transit train up to the airport which makes it super convenient. Then she will drive on Saturday and Sunday with Francesca and the girls from Houston to Frankfort. She will stay in Frankfort, most likely, for the week so that I can pick her and Oreo up that weekend. So I am going to be alone in New Jersey for almost two whole weeks, again.

June 4th is dad’s sixtieth birthday!

The drive on US 80 is better than the drive on US 76 and there are no tolls – and no opportunity to test the EZ-Pass again. We got out to Hazleton a little ahead of the Toccos so we drove north on 81 and ended up meeting them at Mountain Top in southern Wilkes-Barre. We met at a Perkins and had a late lunch and then gave them Oreo to take back with them. It is very sad.

While we were at lunch I was stopped by a couple who mistook me for their son. They were very nice and we had a nice conversation and my twin, Leonard, who lives in Scranton.

We continued on to New Jersey. Dominica drove most of the way from Wilkes-Barre. It was getting late by the time that we got in, about 8:30. I wasn’t in the mood to sit down and work so we decided to run out and to do some shopping. Dominica needed to get a book on Microsoft Access 2003 as she is taking a database class from Empire State College this summer that uses that and she has not worked with it much for a long time and wanted to have a lot of the basics down. Our local Barnes & Nobles closes at 9:00 and that wasn’t going to give us enough time so we ran a few minutes further away to the B&N at Menlo Park Mall in Edison where the B&N is open until 11:00 everyday. And it is much larger. Unfortunately, even for being a giant book store it doesn’t have that many books in it and its technical book section was downright dinky compared to even a small Borders in New York.

We shopped for probably forty-five minutes or so. Dominica decided to just start off with “SAMS’ Teach Yourself Access 2003 in 24 Hours” which is a good series and generally pretty inexpensive. I picked up “SAMS Teach Yourself AJAX in 10 Minutes” and the “MySQL Phasebook” since I was there and doing some shopping anyway. I am happy that some AJAX books are starting to come out from some trustworthy publishers.

Dominica was hungry so we went to the Omega Diner on the way back to the apartment. I wasn’t really hungry but since we were there I decided to get some French toast (what do they call that in France?) It turned out to be the best French toast that I have ever had. I will be getting that there on a regular basis.

It was pretty late by the time that we got back to the apartment. We were tired but I had some work that needed to be completed before I could go to bed. Stuff that was left over from Friday that I was unable to do over the weekend. Dominica settled onto the futon in the living room and read in her Data Communications and Networking textbook while I worked. Then we got off to bed around midnight.

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