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Tuesday, December 28, 2004


It went very well. I took the Acela to DC, then my Baby and I drove through the night, leaving DC around 2 AM, to Charleston, SC., arriving around 10:30 AM. It was a tough ride for me because I hadn’t the chance to prepare for an all-nighter, so my Baby did most of the driving. I gave her a break from mid-North Carolina into South Carolina, but I had to put her back in the driver’s seat, as I was starting to suffer from blurred vision. Neither of us got any real sleep on the drive, and as we arrived in Charleston, we stopped in on a friend who had the keys to the beach house I was to stay at during our visit. We attempted some small talk, but weary as we were it was apparent that some rest was in order. We made our way to Folley Beach, just off James Island where My Baby’s folks live. Our Friend Jim owns the beach house, and it was the perfect spot for me to spend a few days while getting to know My Baby’s family and friends. My Baby dropped me off, and then headed to her parent’s house, where she would be staying for the duration. In the meantime, I acquainted myself with the couch on the ‘sun porch’ where I would spend the more peaceful hours of my visit to Charleston. The view of the ocean was spectacular, and fit in well with the subject matter of the book I was reading, Blue Latitudes, which is about the travels of Captain Cook. Over all, I did more napping than reading, but that was most enjoyable as well. A few hours later found me meeting Mom and Dad. Mom was as welcoming and endearing as one could want, but it was Dad, after all, that I was most concerned with; Moms always take to me, Dads do not. I was thrilled, however, when Dad came in, introduced himself, and sat with me for a brief, but as I’m told, not very common chat. Over the next three days I gained a sense of ease, which was given to me by them, and for that I am eternally grateful. My conversations with Dad did not get any longer, but it was quality that I was after, and by Christmas morning I felt accepted, if not a bit tentatively, but it was beyond tolerance, and for me that spells a win. After the initial meet and greet, we went back to the beach house, ordered pizza, and hung out and partied with some friends. All of my Baby’s friends were very nice, and supportive of my cause. We played a lot of the ‘80’s Game’, which is a Trivial Pursuit knockoff dedicated to that particular decade, and I made a lot of whiskey sours. Day 2 consisted of doing the gift thing with the family, which was lovely, and not nearly as uncomfortable as I had prepared myself for, a nice lengthy nap on the porch by the sea, and dinner at Jim’s house in Charleston proper. Jim is a wonderful man and a gracious host, so I’m not going to embarrass him with detail, but I will say that Jim lives very well, and his home reflects his passions. Robert cooked dinner, and it was splendid, as was the atmosphere, and the company. Day 3 I got to lounge around quite a bit during the morning and early afternoon while My Baby went to the mall to do returns and other holiday ritual whatnot, thanks Baby! Then we went back to Mom’s and ate again. A serious amount of food was put before me this weekend, and I did my best. After the Sunday supper, we went to a sports bar to meet some friends and watch the Jets lose, actually some were watching Washington lose as well. Day 3 ends with another evening at the beach house playing the 80’s Game with even more friends, even more drinks, and even more of a wonderful time. We left early the next morning, 7 AM, and this time I drove the whole way back to DC. From Charleston to I-95 was a bit slick still, it having snowed the night before. Being a ‘notherner’ I was well prepared for the drive, the citizens of South Carolina were not. We saw countless accidents. Heading north on I-95 was surreal. The pine trees lining the roads were coated with ice, and as the sun came up it created this sparkling wonderland, a vision that won’t soon escape me. The further north we went the more snow had fallen, (I would like to point out at this juncture that North Carolina is now my LEAST favorite state – HEY, SNOW IS FROZEN WATER, NOT ACID!) until we got into Virginia, and by then any sign of snow had disappeared. We made it back to DC in twelve hours, four more than the night trip down, due to bad traffic in northern NC, and again from about 50 miles out of DC. We also stopped at a Waffle House in NC (anybody who really knows me, knows this is a must on any trip south) for a lengthy and somewhat humorous lunch, and I made a quick stop for fireworks at South Of The Border – they’re not for me, okay! – which is another must.

Glad it all went well Jackson!!! Finishing up year end inventory right now, but will give you a shout this afternoon.
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