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Time Flies: Caroline's Visit Part One

I can hardly believe it has been almost a month since I last posted. Since there weren't any complaints (i.e. nobody seemed to notice), I guess it wasn't that serious a mishap. But, in case your concern was masked, dear readers, I truly was insanely busy.

At the time of my last post I was a week away from finishing my Masters program at AU. I had scrambled through two papers and then proceeded to write another 5 pager, a 15 pager, and a 20 page crisis plan before the week was out. That, and the weekend before I was in New Jersey to celebrate the 100th birthday of my great-grandmother, Nanny.

Nanny used to do synchronized swimming. She sewed for a living, and a very long time ago she read me the entire Velveteen Rabbit in one sitting. It was my favorite children's book for years. Now, she has trouble speaking and remembering. But she isn't on any medication, and when most of the family sang "Rose" inspired songs from the 20's and 30's, she smiled in her chair.

After being chased off the beach by the beach patrol (at night, where we were most probably trespassing), having a water fight with my cousins (it seems I am always drenched after these), and licking my very favorite Kohr Bros. peanut butter and chocolate swirl cone (oh, for the love of custard!), we had to head back.

So began my week of paper writing. On Thursday, we got an extension on the paper that was due until afternoon on Friday. But, I was picking up Caroline at the airport so I really needed to get finished. Her flight was delayed five hours, so between writing the paper and picking her up, I didn't get to sleep until 7a.m. We were up at 8 and off to drop the paper. Then we drove to Cumberland, MD for the day.

Cumberland, Maryland is in the far western part of the state, closely bordering Pennsylvania. Caroline's great-grandmother lives there (as do a number of her other relatives), and luckily we got to be there just before she passed on. (Prayers please.) The visit to Cumberland was really good though. Because there was alot going on in the little apartment, and her great-grandmother was sleeping a bunch, we went shopping in antique stores, had a chili dog for lunch (my first), and drove "across the tracks" to see some truly beautiful houses. After supper, we went out to Caroline's aunt's house in PA. It is a beautiful place on 400 acres at the top of a mountain with a "crick" running through it.

On the way back into town, we crossed on of PA's historic covered bridges. Then we had good, old fashioned custard/ice cream/malts at the creamery when the rest of Caroline's family arrived. It should be noted, because it is quite an excellent feat for an adventure that is not an intentional road trip, that Caroline had been in Iowa, Georgia, Virginia, DC, Maryland, and Pennsylvania in the same day.

We drove back to DC and crashed, completely exhausted. But we were up early (7:45 check-in) to go play in my first grass doubles tournament. We played exceptionally well for two people with shoulder injuries (especially considering I couldn't serve overhand, nor place serve and hitting was completely out of the question). We didn't advance, but by 3 p.m. that didn't seem like such a terrible thing. We got in the car, and started driving north for the actual road-trip part of our adventure.

We were on our way to Connecticut, because Caroline was going to be the godmother at a baptism. Taking 95 to CT requires crossing the George Washington Bridge in New York. While still in NJ, we noticed a sign that said there was a two hour delay on the bridge, which we ignored because all the other signs on the NJ Turnpike had falsely claimed traffic ahead. Apparently, one out of 20 was good enough odds. So we got off an exit early and I navigated backroads in absolutely stunning Bergen County, NJ to make our way to the Palisades Interstate Highway. This fabulous detour brought us to a bunch of lookouts over the Hudson. It was great.

We crossed into NY via the Tappanzee Bridge (near White Plains) and then finagled our way up to Bethel, where Caroline met up with her friends. Then I drove down to New Haven to stay with Paula.

Here I am going to pause, because this post is super long and once I get to uploading my pictures, it is going to take about five scrolls to get through this thing. So, look forward to part Two: Adventures in CT and NYC and Part Three: A Capitol Fourth, aka Running in the Rain.

Then I'll get back to regular posting. Good thing this past week hasn't been overly exciting, so I can catch everyone up!

See you soon, ~Heather