Friday night my Mom, Morgan, and Hale went to dinner then to play bingo at Catawba Bingo. They had a lot of fun, but it was really smokey. Mom started coughing a lot, then throwing up, then her eyes and throat swelled shut, and Hale had to take her to the hospital. They spent all of Friday night in the ER. I don’t hear about this until Saturday morning. They put Mom on some drugs and told her she had a severe allergic reaction. My Mom, the trooper could only think that in just a couple of hours she was supposed to be hitting the road for Ikea! Scariest part of the night for her: when the nurse was talking to Hale and he said “The first thing I thought of when I realized she couldn’t breathe was the new knife set in the kitchen was sharp enough if I needed to do a tracheotomy.” The nurse couldn’t believe it. “That’s the first thing you thought of? Home surgery? As opposed to, I don’t know, calling 911??”. Mom’s ok now though. And we’ve learned when we go back to play bingo we’ll just need smoke masks and oxygen tanks apparently!
Saturday we met up with Mom’s friend Jackie and piled into her Sequoia for the ride up to DC. We got a little lost trying to make a bathroom stop somewhere in lower Virginia. Jackie had the light in the car on trying to find the map. I’m driving. The area we’re in is a little sketchy. That’s when Jackie decides to show us her “fake” gun. She’s waving it around all over “it’s just a bb gun, but the thugs don’t know that! Don’t worry they can’t see in, the windows are tinted.” Yeah, except you’ve got the light on lady! We stopped at a Cracker Barrel for dinner where we apparently just missed a marriage proposal. In the Cracker Barrel. Ah, romance.
Sunday we get up bright and early and hit IKEA right when they open. My friend Holly meets us there and we all shop, have lunch, and 6 hours and a ton of $$ later we packed up the suv and drove back to the hotel….where we found Lisa and Rachel waiting for us. We changed for dinner and exchanged goodies. Holly, her daughter, and her fiance came back to the hotel and we followed them to dinner.
Knowing my disdain for chain restaurants while traveling, Holly picked out a great spot she’d heard of, but never tried in this cute historic district. The 8 of us go in and the hostess looks a little confused, disappears, and comes back to tell us they can’t serve us as it’s Valentine’s weekend and they don’t have room for big groups, just couples. But there’s a great family restaurant next door. Ok, so we file out, go down the steps, over to next door, up the steps, and into the Grille. Where the same lady is waiting for us with menus and says “Good evening! Can I help you?”. Twilight Zone!! We’re all confused and she explains the 2 places are joined by the same kitchen. So they push together some tables for us next to the Haunted Bathroom and for the next couple of hours we share stories, laugh loudly and often, get poor service, subpar food, snappy attitude from the waitstaff who clearly hates us, and are forced to use the restroom on “the other side” as our restroom is broken, and haunted. We had an awful lot of fun at dinner, and it was so great to see 2 sets of my friends enjoy each other so much even though it was their first meeting.
After dinner we went back to our hotel and stayed up way too late looking at pictures and chatting. We finally went to sleep and drove the long drive home stopping every 30 seconds it seems since Jackie is a smoker, and finally made it home around 9 last night.
Some photos from the trip:
Me, Rachel, and Lisa:
From Left: Mom, Morgan, Holly, Asia, Phillip, Me: