Saturday, June 30, 2007
Transition part Deux
I left Baton Rouge on Wednesday, May 30th and met Meghan, who had gone into Metairie to visit the doctor, in Hammond. I had both Meghan's and our dogs in the car. Thankfully, it wasn't a long trip as my car is full, full full. I put Bently (Meghan's dog) in Meghan's car and we leave after having lunch at Sonic. Yum! We got into Oxford in the late afternoon and unpacked the cars (as much as possible) and went to dinner. I walked Rusty around a bit and it was obvious she was going to have to make her own transition.
The next morning I left Oxford early and got to Wyethville, VA where I stayed the night at Red Roof Inn. The remainder of the drive was relatively short, but I decided to use the Blue Ridge Parkway for a good bit of the drive from just east of Roanoke until the end near Waynesboro. It was a glorious drive and I really enjoyed it! The remainder of my drive to Edgewater was uneventful, except that I managed to get completely lost in downtown D.C. in Friday afternoon rush hour traffic. Interesting experience. After a couple of hours driving around in circles (literally) I managed to find my way out of town to Paul's house. He fed me some grilled salmon and in the morning took me to BWI airport to catch my flight back to N.O.
Melanie picked me up on Saturday morning, and we spent a couple of days in Baton Rouge with her dad. On Monday morning we headed out on our sojourn across the southeastern U.S. Unfortunately, we got a late start on Monday, so we spent the night in Marianna, GA at the Microtel (big budget!) hotel. On Wednesday we checked into the Carriage Way Bed and Breakfast Inn in St. Augustine, FL. We stayed two nights and got to see most of the city.
St. Augustine seemed smaller than I remember when I was there many years ago! We got passes for the local tourist train which allows you to get on and off as often as you like. We went to the Rippley's Believe It or Not museum, the Castillo de San Marcos National Monument (fort), the Lightner Museum and most of the other highlights in St. Augustine. It's a charming little town.
From St. Augustine, we traveled to Savannah, GA, where we made the mistake of staying at a Country Inns and Suites, way outside of town. Don't ever do that. It just takes to long to drive into town, find parking, etc, etc, etc. Staying in the historic district would have been much better. Savannah wasn't bad, but it was hot as blazes. After significant Paula Dean overexposure, we left on Saturday morning to head to the Isle of Palms outside of Charleston to meet up with my brother-in-law Fred where he and Cowboy Mouth were scheduled to play.
As it turns out, the Isle of Palms was hosting a beach volleyball tournament and everybody in the known free universe with a tattoo was there. And I do mean everybody. It took Jourdan and I nearly 20 minutes to find a spot on the beach big enough to put two chairs down. At that point, I decided that we were going to relocate to downtown Charleston for the remainder of our stay there. We were able to go to the Cowboy Mouth show on Saturday night. They just got a new bassist and she is far and away the best bassist the band has ever had. Nice girl as well. With her and Vance Degeneres on rhythm guitar replacing Paul Sanchez, the band sounds better than ever.
After breakfast on Sunday, we headed into town to stay at the Hampton Inn in downtown Charleston. As it turned out, Charleston was delightful. The city bears no scars from the 25 foot of water that was brought ashore by Hugo some 15+ years ago. Unfortunately, I fear the same will not be able to be said for New Orleans. It was cool and breezy the whole time we were there so it was nice visit.
On Tuesday Morning (the beginning of week two) we left to head to Asheville, NC as my aunt and uncle live there. En-route, we get a call from my aunt (who herself is en-route back from staying a week with my Grandmother in Metairie) that my maternal Grandmother has been checked into a hospital with severe bleeding. We got to Asheville mid-afternoon to meet with my Uncle who indicated that my Aunt was due in a couple of hours. We had dinner with my Uncle and I helped him get ready to drive to New Orleans the next day.
On Wednesday, my Aunt showed us around Asheville and got us a discount to get into the Biltmore Estate where we walked around all day. Man is that a place. On Thursday we went downtown and also took a ride on the Blue Ridge Parkway. Friday morning, my Uncle called to indicate that my Grandmother's condition was critical and that she wanted to see us. So we packed up the car with Me, Melanie, Jourdan, my aunt and cousin and headed back to New Orleans!
We got to East Jefferson around 1:30 a.m. on Saturday (looooooooong drive) to see my Grandmother for a short period of time. We returned later on Saturday where I got to spend a long time with her alone. Sunday was much the same, but on Monday morning she was no longer responsive, so the vigil to the end began.
About this time, the drama between my mother and my family began to build. It was an extremely uncomfortable situation, so Tuesday night Melanie and I decided it was time to leave. Melanie, Jourdan, Meghan and I had had the opportunity to tell my Grandmother goodbye, and our presence was simply going to cause problems with my mother. My Grandmother passed away early Thursday morning and the service was Saturday, but we missed it. Funerals are for the living and I am at peace with having said goodbye to her.
On Wednesday we drove to Ofxord, Al to spend the night and got back to Asheville the next afternoon. Leaving Asheville, we head up the southern part of the Blue Ridge Parkway which I love, but Melanie is a wreck. She keeps thinking we are going to drive off the mountain. After lunch we leave the Parkway and head to Roanoke where we spend the night in a hotel full of teen age girls from a softball tourney. Oh boy.
The next afternoon we arrive in DC and check into an extended stay hotel, which is only $85 a night for a weeks stay. I'm pretty certain we were the only English speaking people in the place. It was nice looking on the outside, but not so on the inside. Oh well, it's temporary, so we suck it up.
On Sunday we go out all day looking at apartments and come back empty handed and rather worried. The rental market is still extremely tight up here. Luckily, we have an appointment the next day with our Realtor who we are certain will have alternatives. As it turns out she doesn't and we spend all of Monday going around in circles. Needless to say at this point we are getting really concerned. We break up around 4:00 p.m. and she promises that she will have something tomorrow.
When we get back to the hotel, I call the POD people to make certain that our PODs have been shipped. Lo and behold they are still in New Orleans and it will take 5-8 days to ship them. Okay, that's workable I suppose.
We meet our Realtor at her office the next morning and she has a couple of choices. The first one is in Ashburn, which is a bit farther out than we want, but it's big, the price okay and they will accept a short term lease. So we drive out there, walk in and all three of us say " we'll take it" simultaneously. It's a townhouse and it's fairly nice, but it's three floors so the furniture will have to be hauled up two flights of stairs, Ugh.
We spend the following day getting utilities and stuff set up and then went downtown to the National Mall on Thursday to walk around the museums. On Saturday we went to Maryland to pick up my car from my Paul's house and spent the afternoon walking around Annapolis, MD with Paul and Mary Kay. It's a nice city, very scenic. Kind of reminds me of a clean New Orleans! We took possession of the Townhouse on Sunday and moved all the stuff from the two cars in.
Wow. It's been a crazy month. The next month promises to be interesting as I start work on the 2nd of July, and we are still waiting for our furniture to be delivered and are sleeping on air mattresses I've been taking a zillion pictures, which I have squirrelled away in a bunch of places as my USB hard drive is full. It's time to get the photo albums up to date!
Until next time.