Thursday night also brought Roberta, but Anne was a flake and never showed all weekend. Bummer. Roberta cooked a really great meal Friday night, but I was already bummed we only had one more day left. I slept a lot, and swam in the pool. I took the dogs to the beach again, hoping Ahfu could get Widget interested in digging for smells, while Widget could help get Ahfu less afraid of the surf. No way. Ahfu nearly buried Widget, and I found out that the woolly properties of Widget's fur also has water repelling properties; while his feet and legs got soaked into hairy little sticks, the rest of his coat stayed dry, even when he got washed ashore by a wave. Just as well. When we shampoo him, he looks like an angry Chihuahua covered with wet hairy oatmeal. It takes soap to break down the water repellent in his wool. Widget did get to see a toad, which freaked him out. He couldn't figure out if he wanted to chase it or run away in terror. So he kind of sniffed it for a while, then gave up.
Saturday we went out gift shopping, and while we didn't get all that much (after a while, there's not a whole lot one can buy anymore from Hatteras), I got some nifty toys. One of them was a Wizmo, a toy I used to have years ago when Hot Wheels made one. I also got two cool VW Beetle toys. Christine got some hysterical coasters and "Bitch Body Spray." She also went to a store called "Try My Nuts," which is a theme off Hatteras, it seems, the double entendre. Whether it's "Dirty Dicks Crab House" or just some place that sells "Johnson's Sex Wax for Your Board," you are sure to see something that could be naughty to those with even a barest hint of a dirty mind. One day, I am sure they'll cross over the ribaldry, and go straight for the jugular with titles like "Penis and Vagina with Unrestricted Orgy Sex and Vulgar Nudity Bar and Grill." One I'd like to see: "Insultingly Erotic Laundromat."
Then we had a great pizza dinner from a pizza place that also doubled as a bakery ("You want a cake with that pizza?"), and watched Brad set off (legal) fireworks. I spent most of the evening packing and getting reading for the day I dread most:
The Day of Departure.
What I wouldn't give to avoid this day. I woke up with a migraine because I didn't sleep so well. Then I had to sweep the floors, help clean up the kitchen, clean out our room, wrangle the boys to help carry stuff down to the van, then pack the van, and run up and down four flights of stairs in humid, oppressing heat, until my migraine, lack of sleep, and exhaustion finally culminated in blacking out on the drive back, which was just as well, it made the trip shorter. Part of the problem was the lack of vehicles. On the way up, we had Brad, Sara, and Bandit in Brad's car, April in her car, and the rest of us in the van. April left early, Roberta left early, and Anne never showed, so we had to pack everything in the van and Brad's car.
We lost the directions, got horribly lost in Norfolk/Portsmouth 464/664/64 interchange, but then Sara (the wise) bought a map at a 7-11, which helped tremendously. Go Sara! I have never used a map because of two stupid reasons. One, I usually travel with someone who hates them or doesn't trust them, or two, the map is wrong, which re-enforced the first part. So it was a great relief that the $3.95 map Sara bought was not only correct, but got us un-lost and on the right track. My faith in maps restored, I was hit by enlightenment that revealed most of my past in maps is not from published, well-known maps, like ADC or AAA, but something someone scribbled as directions that was not all correct. I used to have a friend who was so bad at giving directions, that those who knew him never asked, and those that didn't know him would never find any party he gave directions to. "Oh, wait, you can't turn left there, can you?" and "There are FOUR stoplights between here and there?" Feh.
Another problem is around DC (I don't know if it's just us or other major cities), streets, turns, and directions are just plain not logical. Those of in small towns only have a few roads, but around here, where many small towns spread out and merged into one big sprawling complex, street logic is worthless. Some towns have one way roads that literally, if you follow them, you will never escape an eventual circle (I'm looking at you, Old Town Alexandria!) until you disobey one or shortcut through a gas station and/or parking lot.
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