Saturday, July 07, 2007

Deadbeat Blogger

Not so much with the updating here. I plead work overload, holiday, then travel. I'm currently blogging from a hotel room in West Virginia. It's unreasonably early, but I'm generally plagued with non-sleep when I'm not in my own bed. And having changed time zones hasn't helped at all.

We left Memphis, the kids and I, at 10:00 a.m. on July 5. Our intent was simply to get more than halfway to our destination of Shepherdstown, WV. The kids were, all in all, agreeable travel companions. Our rental car, a Mitsubishi Lancer, is small but not tiny, and sips gasoline so much less than our van that I estimate our cost savings in gasoline consumed almost covers the cost of the rental. All told, I think renting the car, this time, had an actual cost of $20 once I factor the gas savings. Wear and tear probably makes up at least another $20, so it's a cost-neutral prospect. File that fact away for future travel.

We spent the first night in Bristol. It had rained a bit shortly before we checked in to the hotel, but we would not be daunted in the kids' desire to swim. In the outdoor pool. Which was cold. The swimming adventure was cut short when the kids realized that they don't like to swim without goggles, and the goggles were safely at home in the hall closed. I also learned that it's best to avoid asking the children to choose between breadsticks and cheese bread from Domino's. Because each child has a strong preference for one or the other. And they don't agree. I decided on cheese bread because it has much more fat and calories. Guess what: they both ate it.

Yesterday's leg of the drive was shorter, though a bit more difficult. The majority of my long road trip driving experience is Memphis to Detroit. I can do that drive blindfolded with one arm tied behind my back. It's mostly straight, and almost entirely flat. Interesting? Not really. But very, very easy.

This drive, however, was through the hilly country of Virginia. Traffic was a bit tighter (probably because of the holiday we just had), and the wee car I was driving definitely only has four cylinders. I insisted upon a break around 11 a.m. (Denny's!) (clean plates all around!) (bacon!), and we arrived at the hotel within a few minutes of my parents, around 2 p.m.

Another round in a cold, outdoor pool (very cold!), then a quick trip to the nearby Dairy Queen and drugstore (hey! goggles on sale! with snorkles!), then on to the rehearsal dinner. Because my cousin's daughter is getting married.

I'm not from a close-knit family with frequent visits to see cousins. Outside my parents, brother, and grandmother, I almost never see people I'm related to. The last time I saw my cousins was at my brother's first wedding. That was eight years ago. Honestly, I wasn't sure I'd recognize the bride, since she'd been a young teenager back then.

No worries - I picked her out of the group immediately. And recognized everyone else as well.

At the dinner, we (Mom, Dad, the kids, and I) wound up sitting with some of the groomsmen. The one sitting next to Susie was a live wire. The rest of this entry will be a recap of his antics, with one comment. I can't wait to see what he'll do today.

When the waiter came around to pour wine, he offered each of us red (merlot) or white (chardonnay). Dude chose "both" and the waiter, being a good sport, poured half a pour of white, then half a pour of red into his glass. Dude drank it (slowly). I think he's a beer drinker. Probably from a funnel.

My son was the recipient of a plate of chicken tenders (pretty obviously the Sysco brand that are served at most places, including where I work) and fries. Dude saw his plate and told the waitress that he really wanted that, not the "fancy" food everyone else was being served. Once the waitress stopped laughing, she realized he was serious and it was done.

Dropped multiple "F" bombs. With a ten year old sitting next to him. (In all fairness, he apologized profusely.)

After giving us his life story (my mom simply had asked where he lived), shared with our table, and the tri-state region, that his IQ is 128. (My dad high-fived me when I mentioned that my daughter and he had something in common.)

There's one at every party, right? When I called Craig last night I told him the tale, and the wine mixing was his favorite bit. He's pretty sure that he could be best friends with Dude.

So, wedding this afternoon. Tomorrow I abandon my children in West Virginia, confident that my parents will do as good a job raising them for the next three weeks as they did with me.

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