The bus was not very crowded, and since the university is still in the midst of exam week, most of the students were heads-down into books and notebooks the entire ride in. It's times like this that I'm so grateful to being done with my degrees.
Just before leaving work at lunch time, I met a colleague who had gone on an online shopping spree for Love Wins Ministry's Freshpac items, and got the box of goods out of her trunk and brought it up into the office.
I caught the noontime Wolfline bus home, and then zipped off to the airport to pick up Irene, someone I've known and loved since high school. She flew in from Austin and is here to spend the holidays with her mother and family in Jacksonville, NC.
I worked from home the rest of the afternoon, with the most productive of that time spent creating a highlighted announcement, a news blurb, and a calendar event for an upcoming workshop in January 2010.
I drove Irene to Warsaw (NC, not Poland), where we met Irene's mom who had driven there from Jacksonville. It's become somewhat of a tradition to meet at this halfway point, where Irene's most wonderful mother, Maria (pronounced Mariah) treated us to a delicious dinner at The Country Squire.
The ride there flew by as both Irene and I are not ones to ever lack a topic of conversation or an opinion on just about anything. Actually, she talked most of the way about her job situation in Austin, where through a turn of events related to the economy and resulting from a layoff, she has been thrust into a most impressive role in a job in which she is one of the most junior people. I'm immensely proud of her.
We arrived at The Country Squire at a little before 5:00 and although they don't officially open until 5:30, they were gracious enough to receive us, and even put out some hors d'oeuvres in their lobby waiting area for us before seating us. Irene commented about how "peaceful" that place is—the lobby in particular, complete with a roaring fire, homey—as opposed to commercial—decorating, and just has a great "feel" to it.
Overhearing us say this, the greeter said, "We have friendly spirits in here. Literally. There have been enough sightings of paranormal activity documented here that we're listed on the Haunted North Carolina Paranormal Research & Investigations website as Case Summary of the Country Squire Restaurant and Winery."
I had their Chicken Oscar, which came with a salad and a stuffed potato, and was most delicious!
I had a nice drive back to Raleigh, and arrived with about 30 minutes to spare before heading to Flex for line-dancing and two-stepping.
It turned out to be a fairly festive evening, and I got some great exercise dancing.
Life is good.