Hanging out with Erin is a good time! That Chuck sure is one lucky bastard. (I can call him that, because I believe that is what e called him right after they cut their wedding cake. Ahh, wedded bliss!) Here are some of my favorite stories with Erin from over the years (this is but a sample since there are WAY too many to ever write).
Driving in England, on the wrong side of the road, isn't too difficult. What you really need to worry about is getting the car into reverse. On a weekend trip, Erin and I (jetlagged and therefore not up to our usual cognitive brilliance) could not for the life of us figure out how to get our rental into reverse. We tugged, pushed, slammed, wedged, and begged but we still couldn't get that damn car into reverse. We drove over half of England looking for hills to park on so we could "roll backwards" or drive through parking spaces, there was even one foray through some Manor's circular driveway (and maybe a little bit of the lawn). You use reverse a lot more than you think you do. We were convinced that the car actually made it out of the factory without reverse having been installed. It was a pretty small car, it was entirely possible that reverse wouldn't have fit. But if that was the case, how did they get the car off of the truck? hmmm? A humble and defeated call to the rental agency for instructions finally fixed our problem, which off course, was only obvious after it was explained. If you ever get a car with an obscure plastic "ring" anywhere along the stick shift just try lifting it up when shifting into reverse and see where that gets you. Magnificent design, Peugeot.
On the same trip to England ...
On our way back to London from Bath, we noticed Sudley Castle not too far off the path. The sun was setting, and the gas tank was low but we decided to go check it out. Imagine our disappointment when we pulled up and the castle was closed. We took a little stroll down the English version of the AT, which ran along the side of the estate hoping to get a glimpse of the grounds. We noticed that the walls around this particular castle were quite low. Low enough to scale, as a matter of fact. We looked at each other with a look that clearly said "I will, if you will" and set about breaking and entering. Things were going well, until a man in a neon green windbreaker showed up. Now, in England neon green is the color of choice for policemen. I, for one, thought "oh shiiiiiiit." But, happily, he turned out to be just a guy who likes neon green and was also interested in breaking and entering. So we combined our forces and leaped over the wall. Still wary of being thrown in the slammer we walked on tiptoe, careful not to disturb the raked gravel, and spoke in whispers. It was all very thrilling! If you can manage it, I highly recommend seeing all of your historical landmarks illegally.
Sunday morning in Jamaica, Erin and I drove into Ocho Rios discussing all of the things we wanted to do that day. We'd neglected to look up the local chapel, and were probably feeling a little bit guilty about that. (Old habits die hard). As we parked the car one of us said, "Well, it's not like we could find the chapel even if we knew where to go." We looked up, and right in front of us was a sign that said The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. What are the odds, I ask you? We still didn't go to church.
On our famous "Gay Vacation" to Maine, we were looking for somewhere to eat.
Erin: "Hey, let's eat at this place. They've got a coke sign. In my experience restaurants with coke signs are really good."
Me: "Really? OK." long pause. "I don't think I've ever eaten at a restaurant with a coke sign." another long pause. "How many restaurants with coke signs have you actually eaten at?"
Erin: "Well none. But they seem like they would be good."
Can't believe she thought she could get away with that outlandish lie. But I think it did turn out to be a pretty good place to eat.