|The Hampton Inn Emporia Virginia|
Okey dokey folks, here I am in a Hampton Inn hotel room in Emporia Virginia, calling the end to Day One of our Annual Road Trip South.
For the last several years Bill and I have been making this trek south to visit my father's birthplace in the mountains (Pigeon Roost - hillbilly county) of western North Carolina, my brother and his wife in Greenville, South Carolina and Bill's birthplace and where he grew up in Toccoa Georgia. Yep, we make that big loop.
We make the trip down the Delmarva Peninsula, through the Chesapeake Bay Bridge Tunnel (which both of us hate), then through that mess of roads that is Norfolk, Virginia then to open country. The hardest part about the trip is always getting through Norfolk. We messed up again today. I always drive through Norfolk and have used my GPS and made it through. Hairy and scary but I did make it through. This time Bill "drew a map." He says his maps are always better. Uh huh. Well, we "took the tour" today. Nuff said. Now at least he won't holler and scream at me when I make a wrong turn here and there whilst traffic is coming at me from all directions.
But let me back up a bit here. We always rent a van from Enterprise. This morning we show up at the door at 8:30 am. They open at 9:00. Well, it seems this morning there was a little problem. The manager if the Enterprise store in Millsboro lost his/her keys and needed the manager of the Rehoboth Enterprise to open up for him/her. Thus we stood out in the 50 degree temps with the wind whipping around us until about 9:20. Once the manager go there apologies spewed forth and promises of a discount (which we got).
|"Waiting for Godot" at Enterprise Rental in Rehoboth Beach this morning|
We lucked out this time. Our van rental was a white Chrysler Towne and Country. Only one "slight problem".......West Virginia license plate. I don't think I've ever seen a West Virginia license plate in
|This year's chariot|
Just a note, if my narrative seems a little stilted on this post it's because I'm typing too high in my Hampton Inn hotel room. My typing fingers aren't quite flying like they usually do. I feel like a little kid reaching up on a high table for a cookie.
Back to the trip - we complete the paper work on our van and go back home to pack up. Oh do we ever (me actually) take a lot of crap along. I have my Macbook Pro, iPad, iPhone, chargers galore, underwear, toiletries, cameras including my SLR, Flip video, Find a Grave digital camera and those chargers, pads, and shirts and pants and socks and sneakers and loafers....oh well, you get the idea.
One big mistake I made so far this trip is I ate too much. I had lunch (chicken parmesan hoagie with greasy fries) then dinner at Cracker Barrel and you know how they stuff you. Of course our dining was accompanied by a screaming kid during more of our culinary repast. This kid should have received an award, I think she cracked a couple of windows during two ear piercing screams. Screaming kids and Cracker Barrel, sort of goes together like Republicans and government obstruction. Just saying.
What next? We arrived in Emporia, Virginia; our halfway point to Marion, North Carolina which we plan to spend a few days in the "fatherland." At the Hampton Inn in Marion I'm meeting up with my cousin Bob Tipton and his wife. His father and my father were brothers. Bob's never seen "the homeland." I'm going to show him around (Pigeon Roost) and introduce him to one of our many cousins who still live up in them thar mountains. Wanda is her name. She is the granddaughter of the older sister of our grandfather. Got that? I've dug far enough and pretty well linked most of the folk up in those mountains to my family line one way or another. Wanda and her husband live in our great-grandfather's house on Upper Pigeon Roost Road. His name was Ike Lewis and my father was named after him. It's always a special treat to "soak up the mountains" when we visit. Would love to live there but man oh man, nothing but nothing is going on up there except some spectacular scenery. You won't see any Sea Witch Festivals or Polar Bear Plunges up there in those hollers. Nice folk though and some fabulous family cemeteries which I hope to record with my camera and post to Find a Grave.com
Well, I have a terrific case of indigestion right now (those greasy fries and too much food). Time to take a shower (I'm starting to stink) and make my journal entry and then to bed. By the way, Bill and I get separate rooms. Not that we don't love one another, we just can't sleep together. He goes to bed about 7 and I go much later, sometimes around 11 or 12. Plus, I like to watch TV (won't be doing that here, this is Fox News all the time territory) or read.
So there you go folks, the end of Day One of Ron and Bill's Fabulous Road Trip to the Homeland. This will probably be our last annual trip. We're losing it folks. Not the confident youngsters we used to be. Two slightly nervous and increasingly forgetful old men making the trek. We're not making an appointment at the Brandywine Senior Living Center in Rehoboth yet (like our friends Bob and Jim) but I can see that in another ten years if we're here, just could be. In the meantime, we're making the most of every day. Now if I just would have remembered to bring that acid reflex medicine with me.
|Me at Cracker Barrel enduring the screaming little darlings|