Sunday, May 22, 2016

So. We went on a road trip and....

..had a great time.

As previously mentioned, Terry and I drove to South Carolina, Florida and North Carolina to visit relatives. We also stopped at various locals to do some sight-seeing. After finally looking at and editing some of th epictures I took--and procrastinating my butt off--I'm going to take a few days to post the tale of what we did along with some photos so be patient.

We left on a Sunday morning in the rain and headed south on Route 15 and then I-81. Being Sunday, the traffic was light and we made great time. Just to be on the cautious side, however, we stopped for the night in southern Virginia.

Monday we hopped on I-77 and swung through North Carolina and eventually on to Columbia, South Carolina and stopped at the home of our first set of kin--on Terry's side. Jim (Terry's cousin) and his wife, Pat, were waiting for us and greeted us warmly.

While unpacking the Tundra I noticed some severe, uneven wear on the front tires of the Tundra and knew immediately that the vibrations I had been feeling in the steering wheel meant I had an alignment problem. Well, Jim and Pat both happen to drive Toyotas so after we drove over to Fort Jackson cemetery to visit the grave of Terry's cousin Lorraine, we drove over to the Toyota dealership to make an appointment. (Lorraine died from recurring cancer a couple of years ago. She fought bravely but after an all too brief period where it seemed to go into remission, the Big C returned and took her from us.) The dealership said they could take me Tuesday morning at 7:45. Jim also made an appointment for an oil change at the same time so we were good to go!

Tuesday it was confirmed that I needed an alignment by the personal concierge assigned to my case. (Did I mention that this was a HUGE dealership? They had a drive-in check in garage with six or seven people to greet customers, take the vital information and do a look-see of what your problem was.) I ordered a complete set of Cooper tires for the Tundra as they had a buy-three-get-one-free deal going on. I wold also get the fluids in the transmission and transfer case changed. As it would take a couple of hours I agreed to wait in their luxurious waiting area.

Jim's oil change took about an hour and he went home while I waited. And waited. And waited some more. Noon came and I was told the tires were on their way from across town. One o'clock came and my assigned concierge was full of apologies. Like me he was beginning to think they had to tap the trees for the rubber. He went to talk with the service manager and came back saying they would give me a 20% discount on my bill because things were taking so long. I was properly appreciative but told him it sounded better than being put on the time clock. Anyway, I finally got my tires and left the dealership around 2:30 in the afternoon. We all went out to dinner in celebration of Terry's birthday  and then we sat around watching NCIS that evening.

Wednesday, May 3rd, we did a little touring around town and visited a farmers market. Pat cooked a wonderful meal had then we had a visit from Terry's god daughter, Michelle, and her family. (Michelle is Lorraine's daughter making her a second cousin(?).) Michelle's oldest is graduating high school this year. My how time flies!

Thursday, Terry and I drove over to Sumter to visit with Michelle's sister-in-law, Sarah, and her son, Jacob. (Husband Richard was away at work in Charleston. He builds sets for the entertainment industry--movies, TV and the like.) We got there a tad early and had to wait for Sarah and Jacob to get back from an errand. Well, Sarah made a big mistake when she got home as she handed Jacob the car keys and got out of the car. The two-and-a-half year-old Jacob pushed the wrong button and locked himself in the car and wouldn't/couldn't unlock the doors for his Mom. Sarah searched for the extra keys, but Richard must have had them. Next thing we know Sarah has two cop patrol cars in her drive, each having an officer with the right tools but not the expertise to jimmy the door open. A third, unmarked car arrived with someone who had the proper knowledge and the door finally got opened and Jacob was free!

The rest of the visit was somewhat anticlimactic but very enjoyable. Jacob is a hoot! And a whiz with a tablet. He and I played a couple of apps on his and he was pretty good at fitting words into their proper slot as I read sentences to him. When I tried to change to a different screen he immediately knew which icon to touch to get back to the one he wanted. Bright little bugger! So how come he wouldn't/couldn't unlock the door? Later in the afternoon, we had a visit from Terry's cousin-in-law/Lorraine's widower, Joe. He's battling cancer now, too and looks a bit wore out but says he's doing okay.
Me and Jacob

Friday morning Pat and Jim teamed up to make some wonderful omelettes for breakfast and then Terry and I hit the road for St. Augustine, Florida.

Thus ended Stage One of our travels. More to come!

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