As prophesized, I've begun some limited travel this year after being on a self imposed (and quite necessary) travel moratorium since my return from Montreal early last October. In the last half of January I took two trips, spending 4 nights in Virginia with my boyfriend Mitchell and 2 nights at the coast with my BFF Lisa and her girlfriend Teri.
My first trip since my surgery began with a rather long (3.5 hour) drive to the foothills of Virginia to spend a few days and nights with Mitchell. First stop was Total Hair Salon in Raleigh, where it was time to get a color recharge on my roots. From Raleigh to Lynchburg is usually about a 2.5 hour drive but I ran into traffic almost all the way and it seemed like I would never get there.
|Driving to Lynchburg|
|Mitch and I with a lovely, fruit filled margarita. Waiting for a seat somewhere, anywhere.|
The truth is at that time (and even now to a slightly lesser degree) I was having some healing issues and the long car ride seems to have exacerbated them. I was in some pain and had some bleeding when dilating, so we decided to take it easy for the most part. No drive up to the Blue Ridge Mountains this time. Oh well....
|Distant views of the Blue Ridge were all I saw of the mountains on this trip to Virginia.|
Mitchell also had Monday off for Martin Luther King Day. We thought about going to see "Mockingjay", The new Hunger Games movie, but when we got to the theater it had been superseded by an extra showing of American Sniper. No interest there, so we went to Best Buy and bought a new movie, American Hustle. We stopped and picked up a fried chicken and went home to watch what turned out to be a very good movie.
I woke up with Mitchell Tuesday morning and after he left for work I did my dilation routine then hit the road for home. I picked the dogs up from the kennel then got ready to go with my mom to her historical society meeting. The speaker that night was involved with an old mill restoration project that I am writing about, so I took this chance to interview her. Once again, I was pleasantly surprised by how well I was able to fit in among mom's friends, many who knew me "way back when."
Never be surprised by how well people accept and embrace change.
Towards the end of the month I headed east for another trip, this time to visit Lisa and Teri in beautiful Jarvisburg, North Carolina. I've been promising Lisa I'd visit for sometime but having been laid up after surgery, this was my first good opportunity in months.
My first stop was Currituck Sports where I happened to bump into Lisa. She was looking for a winter jacket and I was just looking, but this place is right up the road from her house so this gave us a chance to get an head start on some "world class shopping" in this rural area.
I took a (double) selfie of us outside the shop and posted it on Facebook. Many friends thought we were going fishing in the January cold (we weren't), and one even made a special effects shot out of our original picture. I like that we'd made a marquee in Times Square!
That night Lisa, Teri and I headed over to the beach (Kitty Hawk) to have dinner and drinks with Lisa's old boss and friend Darlene. Darlene's mom lives in Rocky Mount and I have spoken with her about going walking or biking here sometimes when she is in town. We had not had a chance to meet yet, so it was nice to meet her while having this awesome meal with friends. Lisa and Darlene hadn't seen each other lately and had so much to catch up on, as Lisa has recently come out and gone full time at work. I have to give her a hand for transitioning in this small community, but it is a beach community so it's sort of laid back. So far so good for Lisa (and Congratulations)!
|Lisa and I Wednesday night before going to dinner at the beach.|
We made do that night. I skipped that night's dilation, drank a couple of (homemade) margaritas and danced around while Lisa and Teri scurried about worrying about and looking at the well. Maybe my laid back attitude rubbed off on them because at some point the decision was made to live with the well pump being out and get the neighbor (a fix it guy) over in the morning to take a look at it.
The next day, Thursday, was our planned "Big Day." Lisa and I had hair appointments at noon, then we were to head up to the big city of Norfolk, Virginia to see what kind of trouble we could get into there. Teri was already going to be in Norfolk for her electrolysis and was going to meet us for a nice dinner.
Our plans got kind of sidetracked by the well situation. The fix it guy showed up in the morning but had to go do another job and was to return later that afternoon. Lisa and I ran around to various hardware stores buying pipes, fittings and a pump for the well. I also missed my morning dilation and shower. We cleaned up best we could using bottled water, got dressed and headed out.
|Helping with the well repair, carrying some pipe around Home Depot.|
It was an awesome scenario. I went first and made small talk with Susan while she washed my hair. She found out I was visiting and lived a couple hours away. After she rinsed my hair out I sat at her station while she washed Lisa's hair. I am glad Susan couldn't see me because I was grinning the entire time.
Lisa strung her along for a little while and then asked the big question. She revealed that they'd been in school together and she asked Susan if she remembered her. Susan asked a few more questions and said that she did know a Crane in high school. She asked Lisa if that was her brother.
Oh well, this is when Lisa dropped the bomb on her. That person Was her, but Now she is Lisa. That bomb went over on Susan like a flower bomb. We'd passed with flying colors. She was surprised, very happy and quite supportive from that moment on. She asked Lisa many questions and me a few, as we spent another hour or more in the salon getting our hair styled. Of course, Susan said she didn't have a clue (then or now) but she did remember Lisa's old self seemed mired in sadness. This is something I could certainly relate to.
|Lisa, Susan and I having fun at the salon.|
|Lisa getting her hair "did" while I check out the back of my head. Fabulous!|
|The back of Lisa's head was also fabulous!|
|Reacquainting myself with this strange liquid..|
Oh well, I cleaned up best I could and the three of us went back to the beach, to another highly rated local favorite restaurant, Tortuga's Lie. Here I enjoyed more tuna, fancily done for such a homey little place, and enjoyed another amber colored beverage.
|Lisa, Teri and I at Tortuga's Lie.|
As a matter of fact, it was raining the next morning, Friday, and the guy was late showing up. When he was over an hour late I went ahead and rinsed off with baby wipes and bottled water, got dressed and packed my bags. Lisa was going to follow me to the beach for a little shopping, a walk on the ocean pier and one last seafood meal before I headed home.
I forgot to mention that Lisa always cooks a great breakfast every morning I am there. I can't say I always return the favor when she visits here, as I usually have cereal and fruit, but I cannot turn down sausage and eggs when they appear, steaming, on the table.
About 11 AM, just when I got all my things packed into my car, the well began to pump again! Water flowed but had to heat up before anyone could take a shower. I was already ready so we decided to head on out but at least Teri could get a shower before going to work and Lisa had a warm bath to look forward to when she got home.
|Lisa and I braving windy, freezing conditions to walk over the Atlantic Ocean at Jennette's Pier in Nags Head.|
|My last seafood meal of the trip, a classic fried seafood platter from Darryl's in Manteo. When at the beach, I usually only eat seafood when dining in restaurants.|
It had been an awesome trip and a lesson that things don't have to be perfect in order to work out well. All we can ever do is make the most of the situation wherever we are and whatever we are doing. We can take a greater lesson from this experience as well. We want things to be perfect, just right, but that is seldom if ever the case. Oh well, things can (and usually do) work out really great in the end!