Our trip north started on Thursday, when we dropped off the dogs to be boarded. We drove to Chapel Hill, North Carolina and checked into a hotel. My dad was still in the hospital in Durham, but was being discharged the next day to be sent by ambulance to his home in Virginia. My mom and sister didn't seem to want to see us, so we decided to enjoy a nice Indian meal at a brand new restaurant.
Before we left Chapel Hill, we stopped by A Southern Season, which is a very nice gourmet store. We purchased several bottles of nice wine. Then we gassed up at BP and were treated to this little sign...
The next day, we headed up to Hampton, where we met my mom and saw where she and my dad are now living. They have a beautiful apartment that overlooks the water. Unfortunately, my dad is not well enough to be home. Mom, husband, and I had dinner at a local Italian place, then went back to our hotel for a rest.
The next day, we went to my parents' house in the town where I grew up. That was pretty interesting... it was looking even more rundown than usual. We stopped at Hardees for breakfast and got a load of the local populace. I had forgotten how redneck the town is... but maybe it was just the fact that we were at Hardees.
After breakfast, we picked up a U-haul trailer and got to work loading my mom's piano into it. That was a real challenge, since the damn thing weighs half a ton. Logistically, it really was very tricky. The whole process took several hours and involved a lot of cussing, sweating, and muscle. It was weird seeing the house I grew up in so empty. There were some things about it that I'd actually forgotten.
My parents rent business space to a woman who used to work for them. While we were working on getting the piano loaded, she gave me her cell phone so I could hear a vicious voicemail one of my sisters left, basically accusing her of stealing an heirloom. I've never been prouder... NOT.
That evening, we visited my dad in the nursing home. He's very demented and confused and didn't seem to know who I was. Luckily, he likes my husband and was willing to listen to him. As sorry as I feel for my parents, I really felt sorry for the nurses taking care of my dad. He's quite a handful... very agitated and upset about his situation... and very confused.
After our visit, Mom, husband, and I went to a "pub", where the staff were dressed like Scots. The guys were wearing kilts, the girls were wearing short plaid skirts, and one chick in particular had on a skirt that barely covered her privates. After dinner, we were headed to the car when a nurse called and asked my mom to go back and sit with my dad because he was so agitated. Mom bitched her out, then took us back to the hotel again.
The next day, we drove to Charlotte, NC. We checked into a hotel and sat at the bar for awhile... There was a young woman there who was quite drunk and hitting on just about anyone with a penis. When it became very obvious that the woman was intoxicated, the bartender sort of cut her off, which caused her to get really upset and start swearing. Two guys who were hanging around with her managed to get her out of the hotel.
Yesterday, we finished our drive home and had a hell of a time getting the piano unloaded from the trailer. I impressed my husband with my brutal strength.
I picked up the dogs this morning and, aside from being quite a bit poorer than we were, all is now alright with the world. Glad to have that little chore done.