Only a few hours, a few beers left.

Started this century heading down to Florida with a bunch of fun-loving Gophers and if I have learned anything over these past ten years, it’s that I would never get to Florida by driving down by way of Baltimore, Atlanta, Tampa and West Palm Beach on the way to the Big Cypress Indian Reservation.

I would like to think I’d be able to plan out a trip a little better now, being a little older & a little wiser. But lately I’ve been leaning towards just trusting my past decisions more than regretting things when looking back on old times. So with that being said, I’m happy it happened. I just wouldn’t do it the same way the next time.

It was tough to leave home once Christmas was finally over, but it was a smooth ride back until the lovely Jersey Turnpike, but that was to be expected. Obie was right when he mentioned how on the Merritt Parkway, one car on the side of the road getting it’s tire changed is liable to hold up traffic for a few miles. But luckily, that didn’t happen this time. I spent most of the time southbound, listening to Boston sports talk radio, enjoying the Patriots and Red Sox talk. Even hockey talk was interesting because of the Winter Classic, the hockey game at Fenway. If not for the Mummers Parade down in Philly on New Years Day, I’d probably watch the game. Instead I’ll catch the highlights.

Every hour, I’d still hear a watch beep- even after I’d left home and despite how loud the music was playing in the Blazer once the last Boston station was out of range. Uncle John’s watch is in one of Uncle Keith’s wooden bowls in the guest room at the folks’ house. It beeps on the hour. It reminded me of Uncle John every hour. Every hour, a subtle, but resounding beep from the gray, digital watch would ring out and seemed to be louder at night as I read this dude’s book about spending a summer living in the Wrigley Field section of Chicago. It wasn’t a great book, but at least an interesting book and it is really relaxing reading at my parents’ house. Chicago is now the one American city I really want to go visit. I want to go for a week or so and really tourist it up. And after reading through two hundred pages of syrupy-smooth praise about Wrigley, I’d definitely want to catch a game or two there.

Back in Philadelphia, almost all the snow that had fell before Christmas was gone except for a few random banks in parking lots and at gas stations. Gas at the apartment has been confirmed, but a disagreement between my thermostat and the heater downstairs continues the lack of heat in my place. It’s not that bad though and thanks to my new slippers, I don’t mind it. It could easily be a lot worse, but it’s fine and hopefully will be fixed next week. The year is almost over, Jason Bay skipped town and is a Met, The Hangover gets funnier every time I watch it and I’m interested to see what’s going to go down in 2010. Looking ahead is always better than looking back- so much easier and far less deep thought inducing. So with these last few hours, I’m looking ahead with slight footnotes of looking back. It wouldn’t be fair to 2009 to just move on so quickly. The year was a good one, not the best one and not the worst one- a nice year of change that has me in a few different places since last year at this time.

2009, it was fun and thanks for the memories. Here’s some money for the beers. See you around.


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