Ponce Chronicles 2021, Part 2

As I said last time, I dropped Jayce off at the San Juan airport today, to fly home. (She is, in fact, already home with the dogs!) Time was, we used to fly straight into Ponce from Boston, via NYC or Orlando. But those flights stopped with the pandemic, so now we have to come in through San Juan, a two-hour drive over the mountains. (Just as well, as it turns out, since there were no rental cars to be had in Ponce.)

This year’s car has a stereo unit that picks up your smartphone as soon as you plug it in to charge, and shows your phone’s GPS display on a larger screen. This would be great, except for the occasional lag in update of the display. Said lag (and poor road signage) has resulted in some missed turns and frustrating detours. Today, after dropping off Jayce, I headed to Costco, not too far from the airport. I sort of spiraled in, like a vulture looking for its next meal to give up the ghost. Eventually, this and that aligned, and I made it.

After stocking up with various consumables needed for the house, I paid and headed for the pizza area. I had never eaten Costco pizza, despite my brother-in-law Andrew’s long-standing testimony to its excellence, and I thought: The time has come. So I bought a slice. I liked it! I ordered a whole pizza to bring home and hit the road.

Now, ordinarily, the route from San Juan to Ponce is pretty much a straight shot over the mountains on the reasonably well-maintained highway, PR52. Due to ongoing construction, Google Maps told me I’d save 20 minutes by taking an alternate route: Route 1, winding through the mountains. Have you ever seen the Snake River from an airliner while flying across the U.S.? Wind and curl and curl and wind and loop. Serpentine to the power of 10. That’s PR1 through the mountains, except much narrower, with tight turns, back and forth. Fractal, like the Norwegian coast. Throw in a driver in a Corvette who seems desperately to want to pass the car ahead, and who treats the single yellow lane marker like the centerline of a runway. And the little beer joints on the righthand side of the road, from which cars randomly back out into traffic. It’s fun! I pass some private driveways that look like the first hill of Cedar Point’s Millennium Force*. I’m getting a taste of the mountains. Despite all this, the detour ends up cutting my projected drive time by half an hour. That must have been some backup on 52!

Arriving home, I put the pizza box on the kitchen counter and went to find Allysen. I came back a few minutes later to find one of the neighborhood stray cats up on the counter, pizza box open, scarfing the cheese off the top of the pizza. He got almost half of it before I chased him away. Testimonial to Costco pizza?

Now what do we do (humanely) about the influx of stray cats on the hill??

*The Millennium Force is my favorite rollercoaster! I’ve been on it just once.

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4 Responses

  1. Jim Ortner
    | Reply

    Millennium Force is one of our favorite coasters, too! We’ve been able to marathon it multiple times at Coastermania and extra ride nights. We grew up south of Detroit and Cedar Point was our home park. We now live in Arizona but still take trips back every other year to hit Cedar Point and Kings Island multiple days although Covid screwed up our trip last year. Next year we’ll be back on the coaster. Taking a roller coaster vacation with my oldest son and daughter next year hitting 5 parks in 2 weeks and ending up at Cedar Point.

  2. Jeffrey A. Carver
    | Reply

    Fantastic! 🙂

    I grew up just down the road from Sandusky in Huron, so I was at Cedar Point all the time as a kid. Used to go there in our boat, in fact. Now, I don’t get back there much. We did camp at Cedar Point once, about fifteen years ago–which is when I rode the Force and introduced my kids to C.P. That was our last visit. But maybe with our new Mothership to travel across country….

  3. Jim Ortner
    | Reply

    How do you pronounce your daughter’s name? My daughter’s name is Jaycie.

    • Jeffrey A. Carver
      | Reply

      We pronounce it “Jase.” It’s a name she picked for herself, after deciding that her given name didn’t feel right. Took us a year to learn to make the change. 🙂

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