7.30 am on Saturday, I reach over and turn off my alarm. Even on weekdays, my alarm doesn’t go off that early. It’s not the time I’m at my best. Never-the-less I heaved myself out of bed and into the shower. Soon after we were walking the twenty blocks to Hertz car rental. The original, pre-COVID plan was to head to Colorado for Memorial Day Weekend. Instead we have headed Upstate, to the Catskills, a week early to enjoy some countryside.
The rental pickup was easy and clean, with the empty streets of New York ahead of us we were soon back at the apartment ready to load up. While Danielle looked after the car to avoid a ticket, I navigated the three flights of stairs (trying to avoid the elevator). It felt a bit like being back at a music festival when you load yourself up like a mule to try and reduce the number of trips you need to make. I’m still unsure how we had so much stuff (albeit food and drinks included), AND still had to go to the supermarket a few days later.
The first stop was Long Island where we would pick up a car from Danielle’s parents’ house. The idea was to avoid the charge of a rental for two weeks. I got my first experience of driving an automatic and driving in America – as we drove both cars to the rental dropoff. The biggest challenge was where to place my left foot, more than once I leaned it against the brake pedal. Hot tip for any manual drivers – you don’t go very far, very fast, that way.
Three hours and both Mamma-Mia soundtracks later, with some Greece throwback, we arrived. My opinion on the second soundtrack being far inferior, unchanged. That evening we had a bonfire going and some marshmallows roasting, just a tad different from city life (social distancing aside). Sunday was another nice day and with lots of gardening and wood to chop, I kept busy. There was maybe some surprise at my willingness to cut and carry wood but to be outside without a mask on and exercising I’d chop wood most-days!
There have been two main sources of ‘adventure’ since the weekend. We have about an hours circular route around the village nailed down. There is also the bonus option to reverse the route to keep everything interesting! The other element which has added some ‘excitement’ to our lives has been an uninvited and unknown intruder.
An animal, possibly a squirrel, has been wreaking havoc in the kitchen overnight or when we’re not around. I caught a glimpse of it once, looking like a young, red-ish squirrel. The problem with that description is there aren’t many red squirrels around and the tail looked much less bushy. We’ve patched up the hole I saw it disappear into, and another hole we found later after a subsequent visit. Stay tuned for more updates on this visitor, the one positive thing to say is at least it’s social distancing.