The Road to Emporia, Virginia
Yesterday my better half and I returned from our foray into Rebel Country, also known as "The South."
Bill and I left our home in Delaware early Sunday morning (6:30 am) and headed south to visit my Mom in Greenville, South Carolina. This would be a 12 hour trip. We were driving straight through. Those who know us know we were taking a great risk. Not that we couldn't drive straight through in one day but that we could stay in the same vehicle without a major blow up. You see, my loving partner is a major back seat (passenger seat) driver.
Long story short, we made the 630 mile trip to Greenville, South Carolina without major incident. The trip took almost twelve hours. We split the driving time between us. I drove to Emporia, Virginia by way of the Chesapeake Bay Bridge and Bill took over from there until we almost reached Greenville. I took over the last 50 or so miles because Bill was exhausted.
The Hyatt Place, Greenville, South Carolina
We arrived at the Hyatt Hotel on Orchard Lane in Greenville, SC at approximately 6:30, almost 12 hours to the minute since we left Delaware. We were exhausted. After all, you have a 68 and an 81 year old man who just drove about 6 hours each between them. We were knocked out.
The checkin desk at the Hyatt Place Hotel in Greenville, South Carolina
Bill was too exhausted to go out that night. I called my brother John who, along with his wife and daughter, is taking care of Mom. John arrived at the hotel about an hour later and took me to his home to visit with our Mom. I haven't seen Mom since fall last year. She moved down to John's on October 17th of last year. We had planned to bring her to her home in Downingtown, Pennsylvania this spring but she is too weak to move.
My "little baby brother" John
Mom came out of her bedroom pushing her wheeled walker ahead of her. Of course she was glad to see Number 1 son. No hugs or anything like that but a lot of gentle teasing. We're not a "huggy" family although I have learned to hug since moving to the heavily populated gay community in the Rehoboth/Lewes/Milton area of southern Delaware.
Mom in her favorite chair in her new home in South Carolina
After a short visit with Mom, John took me to downtown Greenville to show off its charms. I was impressed. Downtown Greenville is a paradise. As John drove us under the canopy of trees lit with small white lights that lined the main drag through Greenville, I marveled at how cosmopolitan this aptly named southern city had become since the last time I visited in the early 90's.
Downtown Greenville, SC at night - a city of lights
John took me to a restaurant called Sticky Fingers. He is fond of their barbecue wings. I got the pulled pork sandwich. We both left with Sticky Fingers. Too sticky to take a picture.
After a long day, and now that my appetite was satiated, I was ready to go back to the hotel and hit the pillows.
Two very welcoming beds for two weary travelers
The next morning, our adventure was about to begin. During the next four days we would travel through the states of South Carolina, North Carolina, Tennessee, and return through the states of Virginia, Maryland and then finally home to Delaware. This would be one of those trips of which memories are made that last a lifetime.
The Road to Asheville, North Carolina - the mountains beckon us
To be continued.