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May 26th, 2006

Off to Wilmington for the weekend...

I got up just after 8:00, hopped in the shower, woke up Irene, and put on a pot of coffee.

I checked Lizzie's (Irene's niece's) flight, which was scheduled to arrive at 9:17, but had an estimated arrival time of 8:06. We checked in my cell to see where Susan (Irene's sister, Lizzie's mother) were on the trip from the Richmond area. She wasn't close enough to be at the airport in time to get Lizzie, so I gave her directions to my place.

Irene and I fetched Lizzie, and back at the house, they had girl-talk upstairs, while I fiddled online and with iTunes, setting The Da Vinci Code audiobook files to "Remember playback position" and "Skip when shuffling." My question is, "Why wouldn't this be the default for genre "Book or Spoken Word?"

Susan arrived at about 10:00 and had the son who wasn't graduating with her, Richard, and the four of them set off to a graduation celebration for the other son, Michael, in Danville, VA. Susan brought me two pints, or quarts, of strawberries. I think they were quarts.



I packed as soon as they left, Joe arrived shortly before noon, and we set out for Wilmington at about 12:30.

We stopped at around the Jacksonville/Burgaw to use the restroom, but once exiting saw that the nearest food places and gas stations were at least a mile away. I hate that.

We got back on I-40, and exited two exits further, where we encountered the same type of situation. Leaving, we saw a sign that said "To I-40" in a direction different than the one we'd come from. We took it.

After about two miles, there were no additional signs, and we never came to an I-40 direction. Pissed off, I turned around, and headed back the way we had come. About a half-mile back, we came to the slowest moving train ever blocking the road. Car off. Wait. Thumb twiddles.

We got past that, got back to our original stop, turned right at a light to head back to the i-40 junction from which we'd exited, and that damn train was now crossing this road. Grrrrr!



We're in the lobby of the Quality Inn, and the person registering us says straight-faced to us, "Do you prefer top or bottom?"

Joe and I are both stunned at this question, and I was the first to realize she meant the first or second floor of the hotel.

"I'm versatile," I replied, "What do you prefer, Joe?"

Actually, I didn't say this, but wish I'd thought of it at the time. What I really said was, "I really don't care. The first floor would be fine," to try and let Joe know what she was asking.

We laughed and laughed about this when we got outside.



We got in the room, I unpacked, Joe set up the bar, and we had drinks. After about a half-hour, we moved out poolside right after Joe posited, "I wonder if we can get Internet service out by the pool. I'm here to tell you the answer is yes.



After a while, we came in, and took our butts to Elizabeth Pizza, where we enjoyed delicous strombolis -- Joe had a burger and pepperoni one, and I had the pepperoni only one.

We both had the "Italian Salad" beforehand, and Joe evidently got my share of the radishes. He must have had 25-30 radishes (no lie) on his plate. I had one on mine.



We managed, or I did at least, an hour or so nap before showering and heading downtown to Costello's.

Donna Merrit was playing piano, I'm thinking a Wilmington "icon," and several people took turns singing as she played. A couple of guys from the audience had some fantastic voices.

Missy (Daniel), who I think works there, had a very breathy voice, and just hung around the piano singing even when the others were singing. Joe and I were pretty sure he curled his eye lashes.

After a while, who should walk in but little Josh from Raleigh. He had been chatting with someone on the Internet, drove down here to hookup with him, and found him not at all what he expected. Go figure.

Kurt, the bartender, who we know from his occasionally singing Karaoke in Raleigh, invited us out to his place, which is one row back from the beach, tomorrow, and gave us his phone number.

We left at about 2:30, and drove safely back to the hotel.

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