There are many patron saints of travellers, but somehow I doubt that they would be too sympathetic to my heartfelt pleas that I make it through the Lincoln Tunnel in less than half an hour. When the old saints had to go to State College, Pennsylvania, they had to walk. Still, before I left, I sent out a Facebook shout-out to St. Gertrude of Nivelles to do what she could.
I had plenty of time to wonder if I had made the right choice as I was crawling through the random streets of Hoboken and Weehauken after it turned out that the expressway leading out of the tunnel was mysteriously closed. Traffic didn't ease up much through New Jersey, but we did eventually make it to State College that evening (directions: drive to the middle of nowhere and hang a left), only to find that our room at the Ramada lacked the crib that we had been assured they had for us when I called eight hours earlier.
Fortunately, we had a AAA guide and a laptop, and soon we were calling every other hotel in town, all of which were at least $50 a night more expensive than our room. $100 is more than one wants to spend to make an angry point. But then the last hotel we called (and the last we were going to call) was Penn Stater, run by the Penn State School of Hospitality Management. They had a room - and a crib - for the same price! Sold. It turned out that the lack of the crib at the Ramada was totally a blessing in disguise, as the room at the Penn Stater was just so much bigger and cleaner and newer and nicer. We settled in (at 12:30 in the morning - I left Queens at 3:30), much happier than we were just an hour or so ago.
It seems that St. Gertrude was also the right saint to appeal to earlier that day; among her many duties is helping to obtain lodging while travelling. So hooray for St. Gertrude!
(Why were we in State College? For a wedding of course (photos here). It was fun, as most weddings tend to be. Unlike most weddings, there's a second party to look forward to - a Chinese banquet a few weeks from now here in the city. I should not eat until then so that I have enough room in my stomach...)