Monday, June 03, 2013

Back to Reality

Lisa and I at dinner, May 30, 2013.  Photo taken by Sofia Jackson.
Greetings from Ridgefield, CT.  I'm writing to you from my desk in the Wilton Bulletin newsroom.

I planned to write more during my recently complete vacation but, well, sometimes the best laid plans don't come to be.

There are pictures to publish - 500 or so.  There are stories to tell.  I, apparently, will be working alone on tonight's "Press Box" if I decide to tell any.

To be concise, Lisa and I roared from New York to Virginia Beach on the Saturday before Memorial Day.  We spent the bulk of our trip on the beach outside of Ocean Beach Club, where we stayed.  We ate, we laughed, we indulged.  We enjoyed the pleasure of the company of Jo and Roger*, Lisa's fantastic parents.  Of Gina (Lisa's sister), Scott (Gina's husband and the only other SPORTS FAN in the group) and Sofia (their daughter, who enjoyed pitching softballs to me and hearing wacky New York accents, as well as singing the theme to "Hawaii Five-O" as we dodged waves in the Atlantic).  We hung with Missy (Roger's daughter) and her boyfriend Jeremy, straight off the fields of Kentucky.

Thanks to Sofia, I earned the nickname "Pickle," because I told her that, in Noo Yawk, you get a Pickle with your "samwich."  You're probably having cawned beef or pastrawmi.  But you have to POP the "P" in "Pickle."


* Thanks a thousand times to Lisa, who informed Roger that I had developed an impression of him.  Nothing like driving the ol' Greyhound over me.  Thanks also to Roger for being a good sport about it.  Yup, yup.

I spent more time on the beach than I ever have.  I loved watching Lisa spend such important time with these people.  Time, of course, is so precious.

I lamented that Sean wasn't there to enjoy it.

We celebrated Jo and Roger's 25th wedding anniversary and Scott and Gina's 10th, and Lisa's birthday, and Gina's birthday, and Roger's birthday and various and sundry other events.  For reasons known to them, the honor of giving the toast was given to one of the new people around the table: me.  I was touched and terrified.

It was difficult to say goodbye to all of them.

I got to eat Krispy Kreme and Waffle House and Wawa.  And I loved it.  Then I walked it all off.

We paid $95 for pizza and a few beverages.  Yes, you read that correctly.

We got a surprise visit from Cousin Kris and wife Lori (even though she likes Lisa better than she likes me).

We drove through Richmond, and you probably know how I feel about that place.  We couldn't quite time out a chance to say hello to Jon and the family, but promised we would figure out a return trip.  Just doing a drive through made me smile and wistful.

We rocked Washington for two days, and my feet hurt enough that I'm happy to be sitting at a desk today.

We walked the US Holocaust Museum.  It's stunning, really. Amazing how powerful it is.

We hit the monuments - Lincoln, Jefferson, FDR, MLK, Iwo Jima, Vietnam, Korea.  And Arlington Cemetery makes you feel proud of this great country, and humbled by the many people who gave so much to protect and defend it.

We grumbled at how people often lack respect, such as in the Holocaust Museum or at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier.

We walked hot streets and stayed in the Westin in Arlington, at a very reasonable price.

We bought a few souvenirs, and packed up to go home.

We drove through the rain, sat in traffic on the Beltway (don't ask which Beltway), ate dinner in Maryland, buzzed through Baltimore, popped into Philadelphia, hydroplaned on the New Jersey Turnpike, just missed an accident near the Meadowlands, and got Lisa home.

She took her stuff out of the rental car, and sent me on my way (sadly).

I pulled into my humble abode around 2:45.


And went to bed at four.

And now I'm sitting here, trying to stay awake, as I type.

I need a coffee.  Too bad the nearest Wawa is too far away.

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