Framing the Dialogue

Vacation 2012 – Stage Four

The last stage was pretty much a travel stage. We decided to make a side trip to Richmond VA to visit family. The suburb of the city where they live is extremely confusing to traverse. We were trying to get to our hotel which we could see from the road, there just didn’t seem to be a way to get there. We did make it and were sneaky in that we had five in our room when only four were permitted. We are regular Bonnie and Clyde’s.

I seem to be focused a lot on vacation food, but we had one of our best meals in Richmond at The Landing.  The mood was only slightly tainted when I got a call from our mechanic advising me that it would cost about $1,500 to fix our car to pass inspection. This, of course should have made a bigger impact, but I expected the estimate to be higher. We needed this third vehicle for our kids who both had jobs and a way to get there. The $1,500 was cheaper than most used cars.

The restaurant was located on a lake and we saw a nice sunset after dinner. We then took a ride to see some sights in Richmond. Not really. We went to Home Depot. Unfortunately for me on Wednesday night my Turaflex “unbreakable” glass snapped in half at the nose bridge while I was cleaning them. The snap was rather loud as was my “are you kidding me.” I may have said something a little more coarse, but this is a family blog. I spent Thursday and most of Friday with a bandage holding my glasses together which was quite attractive if I must say so myself.

Home Depot did the trick and I used some electronic connections to give me a nice, red nose bridge. My travel kit now includes a pair of spare glasses. So Richmond was pretty much hotel, dinner, Home Depot, dessert at our family’s house, and hotel. With family close to all of those Civil War battlefields I know we’ll be back.

We got an early start on the last homeward leg. I was tired of driving and though my family offered to drive I really prefer driving to sitting in the car. At that point too it was a mission to do the whole thing. Nerves were frayed. Tensions were palpable. I one point I fired my navigator due to her inattentiveness. We wanted to avoid the D.C. area even though it was a Saturday and ended up on a more rural/scenic route. We shared the road with lots of motorcycles.

As we arrived home some 1,950 miles from the start I was relieved. I don’t know if I’d ever take another vacation where there was so much driving. We split the trip into segments, but it is still a lot of time to spend in close quarters with family. If I include car time and hotel time we were within 5 feet of each other for 3,000 hours. Okay that’s a gross exaggeration or poetic license, but you get the point.

I hope you enjoyed the journey with me.

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