Now THAT was an Intense Trip: Part I

I didn’t sleep last night and now I am wandering, unblinking, in the Boston heat wondering how my body is functioning on no sleep and a few sips of Raspberry Lipton tea.

Nick and I just got back from the airport. We walked into our apartment and I had temporarily forgotten that our life here is almost over and is waiting to be shipped in brown boxes. Ugh…why bother unpacking?

So this is what happened…

On Thursday, June 5, we took an uneventful train ride to the airport with our bags so heavy, our arms were ready to fall off. Awesome – our flight is delayed three hours. I love American Airlines.

So, Nick is flustered because our gate has changed and while I am crooning to Whitney Houston’s old school ballads, he is pacing the terminal, looking nervous. As he sits down, he’s muttering, “I have a feeling we should be at the other gate and we’re going to miss our flight.”

I counter, “Didn’t they just announce that we need to be at C42?”


“Aren’t we at C42?”


“Then what’s the problem, man?” It’s odd being the logical one.

“I don’t know. I’m going to check it out.” He’s off, taking long strides before he’s even done talking.

I go back to my iPod.

Sometimes I think Nick would prefer for the world to be full of oversized signs and arrows, written in the sky so there are no questions when it comes to traveling and itineraries. Whenever we are in Dayon and there are enormous painted white arrows on the highway that point forward with huge 75 N above it, he grabs my hand, “I LOVE these things! So easy to read!”

I just shake my head.

Anyhoo — we get on the plane and land in Akron without any other major obstacles.

We head to my brother’s house where we need to pick up the key to my parents’ house, where Nick and I are staying. It’s late, after midnight, and Fran asks if Nick wants a homemade enchilada, “They’re still warm, ” he tempts Nick. Through the dark, I can see the hungry blue in his eyes. He smiles, “Well, if you make me….” and saunters off toward the kitchen.

As we chatter and catch up, we watch clips of one of my favorite movies, Rocky Balboa, while Nick passes out from his enchilada on the couch. Fran grumbles that the Celtics clinched Game 2 and that it should have been the Cavs, we leave for my parents’ place.

An empty split level house, we make it through the door, thoroughly fatigued. We fall asleep pretty quickly, not even bothering to cover ourselves with blankets. Exhausted.

Friday, June 6
We wake up at the same time and immediately start talking.

“Do you hear that?” Nick smiles.

“Yes – it’s been awhile since I’ve heard that.”

“Birds singing. When was the last time we heard birds sing in the morning?” He stretches like a cheetah, taking up 90% of the bed.

“I’m used to the bus screeching, people yelling, a police siren – the usual.”

Nick pauses, “I’m just used to this,” he contorts his face into a hell ball and lets out a scream that sounds something like a cross between a lamb being slaughtered and a ten fingernails on a blackboard.

I laugh deliriously and know we are on a good path to moving to a place where we appreciate the quiet and simplicity of the morning wind.

We quickly shower and head back to my brother’s house, Fran, to finally meet my newest nephew, Joseph Gaetano Factora, who was born last month. He is baby boy #3 and child #4 for Fran. It’s getting to be a full house. After a few hours, we head up to Cleveland to finally see our house.

I have not yet seen our future home and entrusted Nick to see it several weeks prior. With nothing but online pictures to go on, I was more than eager to finally set my eyes on it. We pulled in and I gasped, I loved it.

A 1928, 4 bedroom, 2.5 bathrooms, and new kitchen home will be ours on Thursday. I adore it. End of story. We stop by St. Dominic (Nick’s workplace) to drop off paperwork. We run into Nick’s staff, who are more than warm, welcoming, and generous with tips, suggestions, and furniture.

We get on the road and I am deep in thought about our house and keep reassuring Nick my silence is more contemplative, not disappointment. I think he just wanted to make sure that I loved the house and he didn’t want to hear anything else for the next 55 years of our life together about how I should never have trusted him to make the decision.

We change clothes at a gas station (classy) to get ready for Bella and Anderson’s wedding rehearsal. We make it in time and it’s fantastic to see everyone. The Ohio temperature is unreal. When we left Boston it was in the mid 60s and Cincinnati was dangerously close to triple digits.

I feel like a wilting flower.

My reminders to Nick that we need to purchase a GPS is confirmed as we take nearly 30minutes to get to Montgomery Inn. “Pete Rose Way is down this way…I think…”
What a debacle. A quick call to Keith helps us navigate to Sawyer Point and eventually to the Boathouse, aka Montgomery Inn; home of the best ribs and Saratoga chip uptopia.

It’s the small things that throw Nick and I off. Things like valet. Why is there mandatory valet parking? I hate the awkwardness of the tip, exchange ticket, bleh…But, we get through it with our usual side jokes and laugh at our awkwardness and move into Rib heaven.

The rehearsal dinner was lovely and I felt that if I tried to stuff one more bite of anything, I would burst into million little BBQed Filipino pieces. At around 9:30pm, my teeth began to chatter and my head began to pound. Thinking I had one too many glasses of vino, I kept ordering more water, but the achiness began to spread throughout my body. Within a few hours, my head felt like it weighed 90lbs and loud noises hurt my eardrums. Not even the site of black raspberry chip ice cream from Graeters (dessert) cheered me up. When Nick spotted my forlorn appearance, he knew it was time to go.

We headed back to Keith’s place where he had just moved in with Jay. The Borchers brothers were all under one roof. Kelly and Tim drove down from Columbus to spend time with us. Kelly hugged the stuffing out of me even though I was lame and immediately laid down on Keith’s bed. They hit Dana’s while I sadly wrapped myself in a blanket and waved goodbye from the couches. Curse whatever bug just invaded me.

At least there’s good movies. As I watch Halloween 5 and Cinderella Man (I adore underdog/boxing movies) and try to hydrate myself with plenty of water, I grow increasingly frustrated at my health. I wanted to go out and drink watered down beer from Dana’s and take an incredibly expensive taxi ride home and then wake up in fog and hear about what ridiculous comments I made to Nick in private that he would eventually blast to everyone else to further humiliate me. I couldn’t sleep and felt my stomach begin to turn sour. Ugh.

Hours past.

As I began watching A Shot at Love with Tila Tequila, I heard the door rattle open and see a suitcase plop down on the coffee table. I sat up to read the words, “What You Crave.”

“What’s this?”

Nick kisses my forehead as greeting, “Kelly’s treat!”

I watch a sea of hands reach eagerly for the suitecase as I squint to see an uncountable number of White Castle sliders on the coffee table. Ignoring the most advanced parts of my brain that were schooled by fine teachers and philosophers, brushing aside my digestive misery, I reach for a mysterious soft square of bread, cheese, and something that resembled meat. I take a small bite.

How is it that I don’t even have to chew before it goes down my throat?

That was a critical decision.

The clock now reads 4am.