mad in pursuit travel notebook
DISPATCHED FROM THE CROSSROADS
Roadtrip South, September 2009: Summary, Part 3
[<<<cont'd] Jim's son Eric lives in Safety Harbor, Florida, with his wife Irene and sons Mark and Steve. It was probably 7 years since our last visit -- long overdue. The boys have become the tallest people in the room!
Irene and Eric are busy getting ready to open their new business -- a 24/7 Snap Fitness storefront gym ("Palm Harbor West") in a busy shopping plaza. They'll be open in time for the post-holiday New Year's resolution crowd.
As Thanksgivings go, this one was pretty easygoing. Wednesday night we ate lasagna prepared by Eric and Thursday a traditional turkey dinner with Irene as top chef. It was great getting to know the boys better and great to hear the speak so clearly about their views on the world. Our discussion at Wednesday's dinner waded in controversy about the role of government in our lives, but all of us were at our thoughtful best.
I earned my stripes as "e-granny" by talking Mark through the repair of his internet browser. I wasn't so golden trying to fix Steve's lack of wireless connection. Can't win 'em all.
Why don't I have pictures? I'm so slow on the draw with my camera. I guess at the end I thought we'd have one of those driveway-goodbye family portraits. But expecting adolescents to be awake, much less posing for photos, at 8 AM is like expecting Dick Cheney to endorse anything-Obama.
After Eric gave us great directions to the fast route out of town, the navigator (me) directed Jim the wrong way on the first turn, so we turned around and I directed him another wrong way, then we turned around again and, oh well, got on the slow Rt 19 north. Not so slow though -- till I directed Jim to veer over to I-75 near Gainesville to "pick up some time." Wrong. That's where the Black Friday traffic was. Oh, well, no hurry.
We meandered our way to Savannah, Georgia, for the night. There we picked up our interstates for the two-day rocket ride home, through the Carolinas, the Virginias, Pennsylvania, and western New York.
Oh, not a rocket ride -- more like Huck Finn's raft:
We catched fish and talked, and we took a swim now and then to keep off sleepiness. It was kind of solemn, drifting down the big, still river, laying on our backs, looking up at the stars, and we didn't ever feel like talking loud, and it warn't often we laughed -- only a little kind of low chuckle. We had mighty good weather as a general thing, and nothing ever happened to us at all. [Adventures of huckleberry Finn, Mark Twain, 1884]