Philadelphia, PA to Evansville, IN - 778 Miles

Larry’s philosophy regarding road trips is that we should drive as long as possible on one day so that we can chill out a little the next day and look around.

Today was the long day. 

At first, we came up with lots of ways to amuse ourselves. Larry sang. I invented a few games to play like, Find My Phone, Listen to My Work Calls and Spot the Starbucks (he won all three)but about 5 hours into the drive, my excitement had started to wane. And so began the 5 stages of the grief...that I gave to Larry.

2:30pm Denial - I start arguing with the GPS - positive we don't have 9 more hours to go.

(And I was right. We had 10.)


4:30pm Anger - Okay okay, we've only been married for a few months. This is as angry as we get.


6:30pm Bargaining - I try to convince Larry that Cincinnati would be a much better place to stop for the night and that we can get up really early tomorrow to make it to Evansville on time. He agrees to stop for dinner and then insists we get back in the car.


8:30pm Depression - The sun is sinking along with my dreams. Sadness envelopes me. 


10:30pm Acceptance - Defeated, I book a room in Evansville, IN - another 2 hours away. We make it there only by blasting the air conditioning and singing along to Right Said Fred.


Salem, NH to Philadelphia, PA - 325 miles

The first time Larry and I shared a hotel room was our own wedding night – which, here in the 2000s, is pretty weird for most couples. That was the night he found out I like to sleep as far away from the door as possible (so that I’ll be the last to be killed when a murderer breaks in) and I found out he thinks touching the top comforter cover will probably, definitely give you Hep C (and also he wouldn’t mind I pulled it off of the bed for him, thanks.). Very romantic.

So when we decided to try life in LA for a while, driving cross-country together also seemed romantic. We would keep the memories we made along the way forever, but we’ve known each other so long, I doubted there was much more I had learn about him.

I took a redeye from Los Angeles to Boston on Thursday night and arrived in New Hampshire in time to go my amazing niece’s dance recital – which in some alternate universe is still going on right now. I crawled into bed with Larry around midnight and about five minutes later, at 6am – we woke up and had to get going.

His parents made us an excellent breakfast and after a teary goodbye, we set our sights on Philadelphia – our first stop. One of our childhood friends was getting married there that night – the perfect way to start our cross-country adventure together.

Larry dropped me off at a hair salon and went to go check in to our hotel. I got there about an hour later and texted Lar find out our room number.

“817, but give me a minute to answer the door. I’m taking a tubbie.”

And that’s when I realized, with this guy, there will always be more to learn. 

LarryTub (1).jpg

No complaints here.


Nine months ago, Larry and I decided to have a discussion about marriage. We jokingly called it “The Summit,” but it was no joke. We would each bring agendas, voice our concerns and hope to reach some sort of amicable agreement. Marriage has never been mandatory for me, but if I’m going to do it, I’m going to do it right.

And there was a lot to consider: I live in Los Angeles, Larry lives in our hometown - Salem, NH. We’d been dating less than a year, but we’ve been good friends since we were 13. Reunited as 30somethings, a powerful combination of history, chemistry and humor had sped things up in an unexpected and wonderful way.

Things between us were fantastic, but life can be hard. The time difference made it tough to talk when we wanted to, flying back and forth had become both emotionally and financially exhausting and when my young, healthy mother was diagnosed with cancer, we realized how quickly life changes. Because just as suddenly as she’d gotten sick, he had become family - and we wanted to live like one.

But what would that look like? Could two stubbornly independent 34 year olds blend their lives so easily? Could we ruin a good thing by rushing ahead? Could a logician and a loony writer co-habitat? And thus, we needed The Summit.

I worked on my list every day for two weeks, I defensively googled things like “top 10 reasons for divorce” and "what happened to Sonny and Cher?" I hastily added extra notes in the margins of my list as Larry drove us to the restaurant. 

My list had 23 items on it. 1. Children 2. Dishwashing Policies. 3. God 4. Finances. 5. Keeping My Last Name. 6. WHERE WILL WE LIVE? And the list continued....

I got the ball rolling right as we were seated. Time to see if this dog would hunt.

“Oh, yeah,” Larry said, almost as an afterthought, “I have two things.”

I was incredulous. “How can you only have two things to discuss when we’re talking about spending the rest of our lives together?!” I scribbled four more items onto my agenda.

“Well, I knew you’d be stressing about it and all the important stuff would already be on your list.”

The most annoying part of his answer was how logical it was. “Fine, what are your two items?”

They say if you flip a coin, whether it lands on heads or tails isn’t really what matters. What matters is what you wished would happen while the coin was in the air. And in the moment before he spoke, I realized how badly I wanted The Summit to be successful.

And then he answered. “One: It kind of bugs me that you want a blue stone and not a diamond ring. And two: I'd like to [sex act redacted].”

They also say marriage is all about compromise.


And so our journey begins...literally.