Wednesday, August 18, 2010

The Witches of Quogue - Part one

For the past three months I have been counting down the days until our next trip out of town. We had planned a visit to my niece, nephew and their 9 month old baby boy (Mr. G.). They recently bought a new home in the Hamptons.

The Hamptons are divided into 4 basic areas:

Westhampton, Quogue, Southampton, East Hampton & Montauk

1. WestHampton - Not so Hotsy Totsy


2. Quogue - Hotsy with a side of Totsy


3. East Hampton - Extremely Hotsy Totsy


4. Montauk - Beachy for Surfer Dudes


My niece and her hubby bought a newly built home in a small town called Quogue (pronounced KWAWG - rhymes with FROG)

Quogue has a very small population and three main stores - Target, K-Mart & Walmart. There are also small grocery stores and local vendors for seafood, produce etc.

We set out for YYZ (Toronto Pearson Airport) on Thursday morning. My sister met us there and arrived at the exact same time as we did. As we made our way to the Air Canada check-in Steve noticed that there was no line at the Executive Class counter. The representative simply waved us in and we proceeded to follow the line entrance that is set up with those rubber straps and poles. Naturally this was not the way Steve wanted to go in so instead he ducked under the rubber strap and snapped it off sending both poles flying. Why is it that men can't follow simple instructions? If it says ENTER HERE and follow the PATH it's there for a reason. Right or wrong?

His excuse is that it is a "waste of time" to walk around in a maze when you can just jump over or under the straps and get there faster.

Number one: What's the hurry? We were two hours early for our flight.

Number two: once you pull a move like that and break the stinkin pole you have "wasted" time... AND while he's repairing the damage I'm already through the maze being handed my boarding pass.

What do most travelers do to kill time in the airport while waiting to depart? There are three must sees.

1. The Duty Free Shop

2. The Tim Hortons stand

3. The Newsstand.

We normally do them in the order we see them in.

Duty free was first. My sis and I walked around looking at fragrances and makeup while Steve perused the booze section for a nice bottle of scotch (a gift for my nephew).

Let's talk about trying on fragrances for a moment. Retailers have come up with an ingenious way of testing out different scents by spraying them on small white skinny strips of paper. Smart eh? Well not if you're Steve. Unbeknownst to us, my husband was left unattended in the men's fragrance section....for way too long.

He walked over to me and said "smell me here honey and see if you like it". He pointed to the left side of his neck. I nuzzled up close and sniffed him. "It smells like a foot", I determine.

"Okay, now smell me here" he says turning to his right side. I'm now nuzzling his neck on the right and conclude that this scent smells like an underground subway station stop on the Yonge Street line. "Okay, see if ya like this better" as he raises his left wrist towards my nose.

This is when I stopped to question his actions in the Duty Free store. "Steve, did you spray all your visible body parts with the cologne testers?", I asked.

"Um ya", he answered.

"STEVE!!!! They won't let you on the plane, you reek of cologne!!!!, I scream.

"No worries, I will wash it off", he assures me.

Wash it off? Last time I looked in an airport washroom I didn't notice a shower stall so how was it humanly possible to "wash off" cologne from your exposed flesh in a sink? Nonetheless he made his way into the men's bathroom and emerged still smelling like a field of peonies and musk. So what are we supposed to do with him now? We forced Steve to walk ahead of us to "air" out. As we approached our next stop "Tim Hortons", we set our bags down to look at the delectable goodies in the display case. As usual I have mine picked out in under 10 seconds because I am familiar with the array of muffins that Tim's has to offer. (Bran Cran Blueberry...easy).

My sister on the other hand was distracted. She couldn't decide between a bran with blueberries, plain bran or the tall airline pilot that was standing in front of her in line. How hard was this decision? I live with a menu studier and now I am stuck at Tim Horton's with a display and pilot studier. In the meantime, my husband "Mr. Acqua Di Stevo", was already paying for our snacks.

Once we settled up and got our muffins and coffee off we went to our next destination ( the GATE). The lounge area was fairly full but we managed to find three seats in a row.

I start getting really anxious about flying at this point. I am already at the airport. My luggage is gone....I'm cleared through security.... There is no turning back now. There is also an odd feeling that envelopes me..... my senses become a dog who can hear a silent whistle. I start scanning the airport for suspicious looking travelers who might be on my flight. As I am picking out the terrorists in the lounge area I am overwhelmed by the smell of soft woods, musk, citrus, magnolia, oriental floral,sandalwood, lavender and .......bran.

And then I remember that I am sitting next to my Acqua Velva Man.

Rummaging around in my big carry-on bag I manage to find a bottle of Purell Hand Santizer. I hand it to Steve and instruct him to shmear it on every visible piece of flesh that is exposed on his person. Now instead of smelling like the entire fragrance counter at The Bay he smells like Lysol Toilet Bowl Cleaner...much better.

The first boarding call is made. "Now boarding all passengers with small children and those requiring assistance".  Second call. "Now boarding passengers in the Elite, Super Elite and Executive Class seats".  Third call. "Now boarding all you other cheap asses who bought their tickets online in a seatsale". I stand up. My sister stands up. Steve remains seated. His theory is as follows: There is no reason to get into line with your boarding pass with all "remaining passengers". When he is the ONLY remaining passenger it's fine to go. No rush....the plane will not leave without Steve. So why did he feel he needed to race to the check-in counter and get his boarding pass quickly, snapping rubber straps and sending poles flying when we arrived? I dunno.  The only issue that interferes with Steve's theory is this......remember that he is COMPETITIVE. If I am in line before him this might potentially mean that I could BEAT HIM onto the airplane.....

So as I edge forward towards the Gate attendant I can see Steve in the corner of my eye ..(he has that READY, SET, GO! look on his face).....and then he makes a last minute dash to my side just as I am handing them my boarding pass and thus forfeits his theory that there is NO RUSH to get on the airplane.

As we made our way onboard I notice that this is not a "normal aircraft". There are only 2 seats on either side of the cabin. Which translates in my mind to.....small and old. I'm nervous already. My sister is sitting one row behind me and I can see her in through the crack of my seat. "Hi!" I keep saying repeatedly.... while Steve is inserting his earbuds and pressing all the buttons on the overhead lighting and air ventilation systems. We are ready for take-off ...which means that I can safely hold Steve's fingers and squeeze them until they are blue. He is used to my antics on flights and tries to "fake sleep" while I am digging my nails into his forearm. The pilot does a nice job and we are up in the air and on our way.......until......somewhere over New Jersey.......there is turbulence.....not just a couple of bumps in the road......I'm talkin.....TURBULENCE.....

I don't know exactly what transpired during that brief moment of my life passing before my eyes but I do remember hearing someone in row 16 screaming out "Holy F'n Hell......we are all GOING TO DIE !".

I believe it was the passenger in 16D (Steve was seated next to her in 16C).

Delay number one:

We safely land at La Guardia, grab our luggage and make our way out to catch a courtesy bus to the car rental place. Steve arranges a nice 4 door sedan in black and I am prepared to navigate the interstate highways from the airport to the Hamptons. Just as we are pulling out of the car rental location Steve stops the car. "what's wrong honey", I ask. "I have to make a call", he says....

Delay number two:

The call is over and we are finally on the road trying to figure out what the heck 27th and East 40th and 80th and West Garden is. Steve turns on his i-phone GPS system and starts fiddling. We manage to find the on-ramp to the first highway thanks to my sister who is in the backseat and uses her BRAIN GPS instead.

Delay number three:

The Eyelash Incident. Somewhere between the Garden State Hwy and the East 495, Steve discovers that he has an eyelash stuck in his lid. "I can't see", he says. "what do you mean you can't see"? I ask. "I have an eyelash and it's really bugging me", he answers. "well try to pull your upper eyelid over your bottom eyelid", I suggest. "I still can't see", he says.

Remember..this is all happening as he is trying to drive on a busy interstate without getting off on the wrong exit.

I make a suggestion to veer to the side of the road which is an option for our safety but Steve refuses to do so. He now has one hand on the wheel while pulling his eyelid over the top of his head.

"got it"! he exclaims.

Now that we have no further delays......Steve starts yawning. "Are you okay"? I ask.

"Ya, just a little tired", he replies.

Please see picture below and let me know if this looks like someone you would want to drive with .....

and yes....he had one eye open while doing 80 mph. on the freeway....

Did we arrive safely at our destination? Well, I am still here to write this aren't I?
Stay tuned for - The Three Witches of Quogue Part Two.

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