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January 19, 2015

It’s Monday, a holiday, and I’m still in Albany. This wasn’t supposed to happen. I was supposed to be in Providence on a little mini vacation. There may have even been meatballs involved.

But yesterday I was all set to drive. The plan was to beat the freezing rain before it started to come down in Albany. I woke up early on a Sunday to make it out the door. But I had failed to check when or if any freezing rain would hit the travel route.

I’ve driven in some hairy snow storms before. I’ve driven in massive, blinding rains. I’ve driven through fog and hail. I’ve driven the cliffs of the Pacific Coast Highway on dark moonless nights. I’ve driven narrow mountain dirt roads after days of rain.

But I’ve never seen anything like this.

We’re totally okay. We didn’t crash. Nobody crashed into us. But we were totally lucky. Because I saw a temporary sign that said, “Speed limit 40 mph” and I think it may have also said something like “No Propane.” But I didn’t think that had anything to do with me.

I mean, it was raining, but the precipitation was coming down as water, not as ice.

It wasn’t until I tried to hit the brakes a little bit later that I realized that the road was pretty much just a giant sheet of ice. Under those conditions, even 40 mph seemed way too fast. And after witnessing three accidents on my side of the highway and a couple in the opposite direction between exit two and exit three of the Mass Pike, I thought it wise to get off the highway and sit it out for a while.

As fate would have it there was a Friendly’s right at the off ramp.

Young Master Fussy spent his early years in the Capital Region going to Friendly’s frequently. By the time Little Miss Fussy came around, they were mostly gone. So she’s missed out on the whole ice cream centric dining experience.

Let’s just say that this took a little of the sting out of missing a visit with gramma. LMF had pancakes with M&Ms in the pancakes, topped with butter, powdered sugar, and whipped cream. And the candy shop sundae followed with even more M&Ms and even more whipped cream.

It had been a while since I was in one myself, and I was relieved to see steel cut oatmeal on the menu. I had that with some walnuts and brown sugar on the side.

And even though we were there at breakfast, Young Master Fussy wanted lunch. Even though some lunch options weren’t available, the lovely waitress was able to score him an order of chicken fingers and fries. She really saved the day.

But the whole time we were there, more and more people were flooding in from the turnpike, trying to escape the ice. And even when we were done with our food, the ice warning was still in full effect. Fortunately, the local streets were a little bit more passable, so I took the kiddos to a nearby mall. DEN was kind enough to see me checking in around town and recommend a place for burritos.

By the time the ice storm was done, it was too late to head to Provo, so we just turned back around. Sigh.

On the way out of the area, I passed by Donut Dip. I cannot even tell you how tempted I was to stop in for some donuts and coffee. But I just couldn’t bring myself to eat one more donut beyond the ones I need to eat for this AOA series.

Speaking of which, there will be another one of those coming any day now. So keep your eyes peeled. And TC Bakery now has its version of donuts too. I heard from Chopsticks Optional that they are fantastic.

5 Comments leave one →
  1. January 19, 2015 2:53 pm

    Donut Dip in Holyoke is amazing. They’re open virtually around the clock (if not all around the clock), and make great donuts. One of my favorite donut places in the country. The Donut Man up in Hadley is also great. Should have stopped at White Hut in West Springfield (I assume you came back on the Mass Pike)… one of the greatest burger places this country has ever seen, open since 1939 in an Art Deco building.

  2. Jessica R W permalink
    January 19, 2015 2:56 pm

    Someone posted this, and I had to show you. Blasphemy or genius?

  3. January 19, 2015 2:58 pm

    And I really don’t exaggerate. Another place to consider if you’re up that way is Atkins Farms in South Hadley, with great produce and an excellent kitchen, and you can follow it up with a visit to Flayvors of Cook Farm, where you can visit the cows who produced the milk that went into making your ice cream. Here’s a link.

    • David Nardolillo (DEN) permalink
      January 20, 2015 3:57 pm

      I wax nostalgic over Atkins, a staple of my Amherst days. Unbelievably, White Hut was unknown to us during the time we were students, and for many years after. I think White Hut figured that disconnect out and opened an outpost in Amherst.

  4. EPT permalink
    January 20, 2015 9:29 am

    Be glad you’re safe and sound, a lot of other folks can’t say that. Plus, time is what we have a lot of.

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