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March 4th, 2003

Home sweet home...

I got up at about 7:30, and joined Donna for a complimentary breakfast buffet in the Doubletree Cafe. It was yummy, and we had a nice chat.

Back at the room, Donna gathered her things, said goodbye to everyone, and headed to lower Manhattan, where after work today, she checked into her "usual" hotel, near to her client site, down at that end of the city.

Shortly after she left, I ran to the 810 Deli and brought back breakfast for mom and dad. By now, all three of us have our "standard," so I knew just what to get them. It was bitter cold again, and I was glad they didn't have to walk the three blocks and back to have breakfast. They seemed pretty glad, too.

We flipped the channels at 10:00 to see if the Caroline Rhea show was going to come on. It didn't come on NBC, and didn't come on at 10:30 or 11:00 either. They'll have to figure it out at home as that's where they'll be watching tomorrow's show anyway.

We checked out of the hotel at 11:00, hailed a cab to La Guardia, and arrived at about 11:45. We had plenty of time to check in, and did so without incident.

We had a last minute gate change, and had to walk down on the tarmac to board the plane, but other than that all went smoothly. I had bought a bag of cashews while we were waiting at the gate, and surprised mom and dad when the drinks came and we were only given a small bag of pretzels. I knew they wanted peanuts.

Our arrival in Raleigh was smooth, and we had a jet bridge. Our bags were the last three on the conveyor belt when we finally got to baggage claim. Mom and dad were willing, and able, to get on the "purple bus" to Lot 3, so we did that together. I had used their handicap parking permit and had a spot directly across from the first bus stop in Lot 3.

We arrived back at my place at a little after 4, they got out Donna's Macy's stuff (from their suitcase), used the bathroom, grabbed a water and a diet coke, and were off to Jacksonville. As they walked away, dad said, "Thank you for your patience with us this weekend." That was so touching to me.

I ran to the post office (with them following me) to mail postcards that I had bought and written in NYC, but didn't have stamps for. (I had put stamps on them while they were going to the bathroom.) I turned into the shopping center with the post office and waved them forward toward I-40.

I had tomato soup and the end of the bread Robert had gotten from the hospital. At about 9:30, I went to Flex for Karaoke night. The juxtaposition of Broadway theater and local singing (non)talent was almost too much to bear. I cringed a lot during the hour or so I was there.

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