I feel guilty when I let Twitter do most of my LiveJournal updating for several days. It doesn't help that my DSL, which was working fine for a while, died again over the weekend. They'll come by on Friday to look at it. Cox Cable, folks, I'm telling you now.
So, what exactly was I up to with all that driving? It's an epic tale...
We left Chesapeake early on Friday morning, heading to NoVa to see Owen
. On the way one of my tires sprang a leak; we pulled into a White Tire to have it fixed. It turned out that the tire was fine; something I'd hit on Xmas eve had bent the rim a bit, and that was letting air out. They hammered the rim back into shape, re-balanced the tire, and refused to charge me. Happy Holidays indeed!
To say that Owen was charged up to see us might have been an understatement. He wore us out just talking to us! He received a glow-in-the-dark NASA Langley shirt from us, which he wore all night; his parents gave us an elegant hanging candelabra and an Elfin Tree Door
(which is already installed on a suitable tree in our yard).
When we left for the hotel, Owen's folks sent us to a French cafe for dinner. I've never eaten French food before, and was surprised at how tasty a charred, bloody cut of meat could be. (Look at dish, and mentally sigh. Put forkful of dish in mouth, and mentally jump at the flavor!)
The HoJo's we stayed at that night was clean and cheap, and the bed mattress might as well have been a solid slab of wood. I kid you not, Starr found the floor more comfortable.
We went back to Owen's place for breakfast, and he and I bonded over some Lego. Eventually, we had to leave; Starr's mom took her by a neighborhood yarn store, though, and we ended up losing another hour to their 25%-40% Off Sale. No problem for me, I had Solitaire and MahJongg on the cell phone. The drive from there to Christiansburg turned out to be the least fun of the trip, though; crossing the Appalachians on Lee Highway was tense and a bit nauseating, and our reward for reaching the other side was I-81. Yippee-doo.
Finally, though, we reached C-burg and we saw Mom waiting for us outside the facility where she's staying. Mom ordered me to stop a yard and a half away, and walked that distance from he wheelchair to my arms as Starr steadied her. Wonderful! She gave me the best Xmas present she possibly could right there; the Red Lobster dinner that followed only added to the celebration!
We spent Saturday night in the Microtel, which did its intended job of being cheap, comfortable, and a provider of wireless Net access. I know that lots of folks in the New River Valley would have put us up, and I would have loved the chance to socialize, but we'd have been rude guests: coming in late, going straight to bed, and waking up early the next morning for a quick e-mail check and a return to Mom's place.
After a Cracker Barrel breakfast, Mom took Starr to Mosaic, her favorite yarn store, where we met Benny, Cathy, and Jamie Williams; I passed the time proving to Jamie that I am totally old and lame when it comes to anime and Final Fantasy games, and Starr ended up with a couple more bags of crochet yarn. (I had given Starr yarn money for Xmas. Starr asked and received permission to buy herself other gifts with that money, as she's now stocked up on yarn for a few weeks.) We said a sad goodbye to my mom, and began the six-hour drive home. I have to say, that used me up. We finally arrived around 8:30 Sunday night, and I was done. Kaput. Over.
Still, it was a lovely weekend, and time and gas well spent. I only wish that I could fly to Technicon Last instead of driving. Or perhaps portal there, if all that 'cake' stuff's been worked out by now.