a priest, a monk, and a rabbi walk into a bar

on friday michelle and I geared up to drive to pittsburgh for the Fourth! Annual! Mardi Gras! Party! We were excited to go, and then michelle emailed me and asked if I’d heard that Rts 78 and 80 were closed in PA because of solid nasty sheets of ice that had stranded motorists for twenties of hours. No! I hadn’t! and then I mentioned it to mariss, and said that while I’d considered driving up to binghamton and driving south on 81 to 78, 81 was also closed so instead I would take 76 across PA. and then he sent me a news story about a tanker truck full of flammable xylene that had turned over and was being carefully pumped out prior to removal on Rt. 76. Leaving all east-west highways across the entire (very large) state of Pennsylvania shut down on Friday. Eek.

When we learned that all three highways were closed, really, it was like the beginning of a comedy routine. “the bartender says: I can’t serve you here!” you know. or maybe you don’t.
Of course, being the fine adventurers we are, michelle and I decided to go with it. if something bad happened we would stay in a hotel, we said. and besides, I had lots of snacks in the car. so we drove west on 78 until just before the highway closed, and then south on 476, and then west on 76 (which had opened by then). and we drove and drove and drove. it took almost 8 hours to get to Pgh, and partly because I had to stop and take a 30 min. nap on the way out. I was So. Tired!.

but the mardi gras party was so fun! and it’s lovely to see mariss and kelly again, and they’re always such wonderful hosts. speaking of hosts, man, that aurora and jesse throw a good party. and I lost my car keys at the sharrushalards house, so michelle and I had to go see them again on sunday morning! and then by the time we hit the road to go home Rt 78 was open again, so it only took 6 hours (as per normal) to get home! Plus, because we had to make sure we had emergency supplies for the trip home, we stopped at the co-op and stocked up on gluten-free goodies for our trip. tasty.
And here’s me in my crazy sparkle belly dress and associated accoutremonts. (courtesy mariss and kelly!) The theme of the party was “the crystal ball.” with michelle’s guidance and lead, I dressed as an, um, amateur chemist. Right.