My dad had heart surgery last week. Actually more like artery surgery. I decided to take a week off and go up to North Carolina to help my parents out since he can't really do much of anything right now. Oh yeah, he's fine, thanks for asking.
I also planned to spend the night at my grandma's house, since it's on the way and I really need to get up there more. As I was loading all my crap up Sunday morning, I found out she passed out in church and broke her arm, but still wanted me to come up. I tried to get her not to cook or do anything, but she ended up using her one good arm to make me a feast of chicken and dumplings.
The picture doesn't really do it justice, trust me.
I love my grandma's cooking but felt bad that she had done all this and wouldn't let me do anything at all for her. Actually I got to set a clock back and open a jar, but that was it. Oh, and all that news the next day about Obama's grandma dying after she had done everything for him and made sure he got an education? I really didn't need to hear that all damn day.
I always thought I sort of hated driving, but what I forgot was how awesome it was driving alone at nightfall, watching the sun set behind me as I headed down to my grandma's, with the cotton on the ground looking like snow.
I also figured I had a license to speed since I was
A) visiting my sick grandmother who
B) passed out in church
I mean, what could the cops say?
I headed off to the parents the next morning. I suppose I should mention that I have a terrible sense of direction. Hell, I'm surprised I make it back home every day. To add to this, a good 90 percent of this trip was off the interstate, driving on little highways, usually stuck behind a tractor going 20 MPH.
Yep, I'm lost.
I was behind this tanker for like a million miles.
This is the front of the University of Georgia. I should not have been here. Oh yeah, WHOOOO! GO GATORS! WHOOOOO!
One of the advantages of driving alone was that I could do stuff like take pictures out the window while steering with my knee. Look, mountains!
Once I got into north Georgia the roads started going crazy. Remember in "Pee Wee's Big Adventure" when Pee Wee was driving at night and the signs get more and more ridiculous? Well, add a couple falling rocks signs and that's what I was dealing with. Oh yeah, add this every half hour or so:
"Holy shit! Is Jethro really trying to pass me on a blind curve? Doesn't he see that it's like a thousand foot drop with no guard rail? Why the hell did they have to make all these curves? Why didn't they make the Irish drill some tunnels or something?"
But it was really pretty when I wasn't almost getting killed.
I had a pretty good stay with the parents, even if I didn't get to do all the work I had planned to help them with. A lot of that had to do with the fact that the sun sets at like 5 PM.
Check it out, this is what it looked like while I was raking leaves.
The last day we lit our Pagan bonfire to ensure a bountiful harvest for the next year. Oh wait, that's one of those family-only things I'm not supposed to talk about.
Oh yeah, election day was that week. It was sort of like the Super Bowl and Christmas to my parents, as George Bush has turned them into hippies.
My parents have pretty much adopted Barack Obama as their Kenyan son. A couple times I wanted to point out that their real son was the one raking and cutting up trees, and maybe they should call their boyfriend Barack to help them out, but that would have been rude. Watching the republicans get their asses handed to them, the family came together as never before, although not before a few conversations like this:
Mom: "McCain 56 %? I thought you said this was going to be a landslide."
Dad: "It's 15 after 8. That's like 1 percent of one state. Just wait."
Both the speeches were good - if McCain had spoken like that throughout the campaign instead of all that "Joe the Plumber says the terrorists are going to spread your taxes" crap, maybe he wouldn't have gotten his ass beaten so bad. Oh, but what was that weird sad Darth Vader music they played when he walked off the stage?
And Obama paraphrasing Sam Cooke's "A Change is Gonna Come," which coincidentally was the song I was listening to as I pulled into my parent's driveway (Otis Redding version)? Awesome. My mom cried during it, and I gotta admit, I was getting that "It's a Wonderful Life" I'm-not-really-tearing-up-I'm-just-adjusting-over-here feeling as well, especially when he was talking about the old lady voting. Hey, grandmas and old ladies are a weakness of mine, alright?
Then it was on to Lawrenceville to stay with Todd and Leila and Baby Eloise, who actually isn't a baby anymore. You know how Lou Dobbs and all those other cable guys are always going on and on about immigration? Well, what they don't mention is that all those immigrants are bringing their treats to Georgia and turning it into Shangri-La. Holy crap, Lawrenceville is like an EPCOT full of food and treats and I vowed to eat my way through most of it.
Hey, you know what Jacksonville needs? A place that makes bubble tea. I was told this was a jackfruit, which I'm pretty sure is a made up fruit to fool white people. Anyway, it sort tastes like 40 percent pineapple, 40 percent coconut, 40 percent vanilla and 80 percent awesome. This is what angels drink in heaven when they run out of egg nog. And those little tapioca balls are chewey bits of heaven.
I took like 2 pictures of my dad, but ended up taking a gazillion in this Asian market, mostly because of signs like this.
Coming home I ended up in a traffic jam outside of Atlanta that lasted like an hour, but other than that I had no problems. Now I have a million work emails to catch up on and 3,000 miles to do on my bike to make up for the eating tour of Lawrenceville I undertook.