An old and good friend, a fine young man I have known since he was a young boy, got married on the Cape this weekend. I was invited. So I gassed up the Mercury, consulted Google maps, and set off for the Cape on Friday. Weather was fine. I reached Rte 128 in only two hours. Then the fun began. In the past I have driven straight thru downtown Boston on I93 at mid day, no sweat. Not any more. Traffic was stall and crawl from Melrose (north shore) until I got to Rte 3 (south shore).
For the one hour traffic jam I was treated to flashing electric signs every mile or so. They flashed "Fire works Illegal. Penalty Fines and Jail". Looks like the state fire marshals (who hate fireworks) had got the funding for a massive anti fireworks publicity campaign. It was the first time I'd had a sign threaten me with jail.
Traffic loosed up on Rte 3 until the Sagamore bridge of ill fame. Built in the 1930's, and only four lanes wide, Sagamore has been a fearful road block since I first drove on the Cape in the early 1960's. Half a century later, it's still bad. Very bad. They are repainting it, again, and the arch is all covered up in scaffolding/spray paint containment masking.
The wedding was in Truro, far out on the Cape. Funny, they have signage for Hyannis and Barnstable and Wellfleet and P-town, but nary a sign for Truro. I guess the Truro town fathers failed to pay off the state highway signs people.
The wedding was excellent, out of doors, at a shore place that the bride's family owned. All the groom's numerous family turned up and lots of reminiscences ensued. Dancing went on past midnight. Best party I've been to in years.
Trip back was uneventful. Set off at 10:30 I had to fill up the Mercury on the cape ($3.83 a gallon, $58 for the tank). There was only a 15 minute backup to cross the Sagamore bridge (this at 12 on Sunday) The wipe-out-Rte-128 campaign has been successful. Coming north on Rte 3, nary a sign to get you onto 128. Fortunately I know the code numbers, I-95 West = 128, and had no trouble.
Stopped in Concord at 3 PM for a Big Mac and fries. McD's is on a bossiness kick, with new signs on the doors refusing entry to any food except McD's food, and more signs inside warning against loitering, and tables must be vacated within 30 minutes. Gives a real welcoming touch.
Checked out Gibson's bookstore in Concord. They just moved into a fancy new building, lots more shelf space, a coffee shop, nice carpets, all the trimmings. I hope it works out for them. On a fine Sunday I was able to park on Main St, right at their front door. I was the only car parked there. They had a few other customers, but I'm worried about sales volume and continued survival. It's tough being in retail.
Made it back at 5. Stupid Beast was pleased to see me, after a three day absence. I had left plenty of food out for her which she had hardly touched.