THE LONG WAY HOME

 

Once in a while, I have this strange desire to concoct a travelogue in words. These come upon me very infrequently. They are sometimes remembrances of things like my son barfing on my daughter in Belgium as they descended down a cliff in a chairlike conveyance. Those are the pithy kinds of things that stimulate my itchy fingers on the keys.

This time, it is a twelve day jaunt from our home in Bluffton (read Sun City), South Carolina to the northern part of our eastern seaboard.

Our first stop was Emporia, Virginia. I had never heard of the place, but looking at a map a few weeks before told me that it was a good destination for the first night of our trip. Who knew that it was a big destination for lots of other people? You see, it is attached to route 58 which is a sure way to getting to a bunch of shore points. It is also the way to get to the wonderful Chesapeake Bay Bridge Tunnel.

I know that this will make your day when I tell you that the last time that Carol and I were on this wonderful example of man’s genius was in 1964 on our way down to Virginia Beach. It was not until we were approaching the bridge tunnel that I saw a sign that said that it was opened in 1964. Could it really be that we were some of the first people to be on this on-veer and underwater road? You betcha. We had a ball driving on it for the full 20 or so miles. One is so close to the water and then a dip and you are under the water. There is even a restaurant in the middle of the span. It was like our experience in a place called Han Sur Lesse in Belgium. It was kind of like the Luray Caverns. We had to bend down to go the mile or so to the lower depths of the caverns, only to find an Orange Julius serving food and drink. Too bad they were not serving liquor, I could not believe it.

On we traveled to Fenwick Island, Delaware. Our daughter and son-in-law had purchased a home there last year and were having a ball going there for vacations both on weekends and extended times. They always have visitors, like us, their friends, and their family and so on. The fun begins with trips to the super markets and various other food emporia. Nothing like stocking up on goodies for a long stay at a resort community.

Oh yes, there is also a dog. Newton is a happy combination of hound, Dalmatian and a bunch of other breeds. He is indeed a mush. My daughter and son-in-law rescued the poor thing that had been kept in a box and had a broken back left leg. He is well now, at two years old, and is the sweetest dog I have ever encountered. He also speaks houndtalk when encouraged by his master. Actually, my son-in=law does a wonderful hound impression.

Within a few days of our arrival, my son and his family, minus their daughter, arrive to spice things up. There are water visits, visits to various fun venues, trips to restaurants, hysterical laughter at “OldJewstellingjokes.com” on youtube, and all sorts of games like Tellustrations. If you have not heard of it, be prepared it is wonderful and all you need are pencils, pieces of paper and a sense of humor.

We also acceded to my wishes to go to Rehobeth Beach to play games in the arcades. I am entranced with a machine where you put in quarters by the bushel basketfull and see them fall of a metal edge. You don’t win any money but get lots of tickets that you can convert to prizes that are probably worth one of your quarters.

There were trips to Bethany Beach, a real family place. We did some shopping, ate ice cream at Kohr Brothers and Dickey’s. It was beyond crowded because of the July 4th weekend. We even strolled the streets and saw Scott Van Pelt and his family. He is an announcer or ESPN. I miss his show in the afternoon. He is now on a show that is on at 12 at night.

We did have a chance to hang out with our 17 year old grandson. He is a wonderful guy, as are our other grandchildren. However, he is at a place in his life where he is discovering that grandparents might be interesting people. He is an inveterate Pittsburgh Penguin hockey fan, as I am. We celebrated their Stanley Cup victory. He is also in the middle of deciding what college to go to.

Our 14 year old grandson is now in the midst of becoming a computer whiz. He has built his own at home after attending a community college in Maryland. The interesting thing about that is he had to be interviewed to get into one of the courses because it was really just for adults. There is always something going on in that young man’s brain. You can see it.

My son and his family and our 17 year old grandson left after a few days, and we were once again with our daughter and son-in=law. We were going to play some golf, but the weather did not cooperate. There was rain and also unrelenting heat.

We left Delaware after a few days with our daughter and son-in-law and meandered over to the Cape May-Lewes Ferry to get to New Jersey. I do love the ferry. We even saw some dolphins along the way. We pulled into Caesar’s Palace parking lot, forgetting that two should really have had valet service for the car. I am really lazy that way. The real reason is that I can’t ever seem to find my car in parking lots. Luckily, Carol is just the opposite. She can find a needle in a haystack, while I can’t find the haystack.

We met our good friends, Bill and Kathie. They had recently moved to northern New Jersey to be with their children. Kathy ran Kathie’s Christmas and Collectibles for 35 years. Bill was the Director of Research for PSEA, the teacher’s union in Pennsylvania. We have known them for 36 years.

Bill is a thoughtful gambler. I guess teaching math and physics gives you an edge when you play video poker. We met in Atlantic City. Guess what, this time I won 60 dollars and Bill won a bunch more. We had a wonderful dinner and breakfast the next morning. Kathie and Carol even got a chance to go to the Outlet Stores and jack up the A.C. community economically. I purchased a cover for my cell phone and Bill walked me into a Gucci store and told them that I needed a cover for my cell phone. Their cheapest one was 170 bucks. That will tell you something.

We then went on our way towards Philly and came to Barry and Joyce’s temporary home on the Delaware River. It was a large home divided into apartments. Joyce’s cousin owned the house and let Barry and Joyce have it for the summer. Normally they live in Boca Raton in Florida. They were good friends of ours in Harrisburg, PA. They are a wonderful couple. Joyce is one of the most talented hostesses I have ever seen. When she prepares a meal, it is an experience. To top it all off, we went to a local ice cream parlor and had a ball and gained a few calories. We spend most of the evening catching up on friends and families.

The next morning we were off to Silver Springs, MD. One of our scholarship winners. LaToya, had married to a young Senegalese Muslim gentleman. She had converted to Catholicism. This was quite the combination. Ibrahim made us a feast. He is a great cook and a wonderful guy. This couple will go places. He has his bachelor’s and Master’s Degree from Senegal in communications.

LaToya, on the other hand, just finished her Master’s Degree in Social Work. The day after our visit she passed the licensing examination (quite a bit over the passing grade) and was happy as a lark. She can now apply for some wonderful jobs and begin her life anew. She has had a bunch of hardships in her life and now things are so much better. She has tried so hard and now she is reaping the rewards.

Our next jaunt was to Sterling, Va. Our two grandsons, Mr. Cameron and Marl Logan hosted us and hung out till we collapsed. In the morning, we took them out for breakfast and a palaver. Cameron is in the process of going back to school (taking a course in Bio Ethics) and working two jobs. Logan is trying to figure out what school he wants to go to.

We left Sterling at about 10:00 and got as far as Statesville, N.C. and got back home the following day. It was a whirlwind tour, great happenings and it was good to get home, even if it was over 100 degrees when we got there. The cats were really happy to see us. They would not leave us alone for about 2 hours. There were many shrieks and rubbings. Cats are really weird.

 

 

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