Saturday, June 6, 2009

Road Trip Day 3, 4, 5, 6 Tarboro > Charlotte > Franklin > Sarasota

After our morning walk around downtown Tarboro, we drove 4 hours to Charlotte, NC, where we stopped to visit my cousin, John MacNair, his wife, Nadine Bennett, their 4-year old son, Ian, and their pet corgi, Rosie (The Riveter).

John and I were born two weeks apart in 1968, though we were supposed to have been born on the same day. Turned out I was late and he was early. Alas. After dinner, John took us for a tour of downtown Charlotte.

We hit the road again the next day and drove to Franklin, NC, where my mother now spends her summers.

She lives in a camper on the banks of the Cullasaja River.

In the evening Lori and I went for an amble down a country lane.

Next day I rested a bit while Lori went into town with my mother and her friend, Ginger. When they returned, we drank some afternoon refreshments and played a card game called tick, a variation of O Hell!, which I recently learned is Bill Clinton's favorite card game.

(My mother is the one sitting opposite me. Ginger is to my right and Ann to my left. My mother and Ginger had just returned from three weeks in South Africa. At some point they gave us the full slide show, which was pretty spectacular.) Next morning we roused ourselves for another 12-hour car ride to Sarasota.

On the way, part of my exhaust system came loose. We didn't realize it at the time, but it was a forward-facing pipe, which meant that had we hit a divot in the road (at 70 mph) the pipe would have shot up into the bottom of the car and catapulted us to our deaths. We called AAA, who gave us the address of a muffler shop in Valdosta, GA that could service us right away. Somehow, we drove 15 miles or more without killing ourselves. The muffler shop was run by a guy named Bubba (I swear), who looked a bit like David Wells in the offseason. Bubba was super-friendly guy who rigged up the pipe so we could get on the road and make it to Sarasota safely. He also told us how much all the work we are going to need should cost so we don't get ripped off when we take it in. Thanks, Bubba!

Anyhow, we made it alive to Sarasota, where we sleeped deeply.

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