Sunday, October 10, 2010

To Virginia We Go!

Howdy, friends!

Hope you have had a pretty good day so far.  I've just been putzin' around on the computer, doing a little of this n' that, stuff that I've neglected for a long while.  But I'm all caught up and ready to blog!

Remember me telling you I had a speech impediment and there was a course in Norfolk, Virginia that dealt with the cure of stuttering?  Well, today, if you don't mind, I'll tell you a little bit about that adventure.  And it sure was an adventure!!  We were there for a month, so I'll just pick out the funny highlights of the trip.  The course itself was wonderful and I got a scholarship for $1500, which is great because if I hadn't gotten that, I couldn't have gone. The total course was $3,000.  Cures don't come cheap, do they?

Anyway, we took this trip in September of 1999. We rode into Virginia on the tail of Tropical Storm Dennis.  Man, I never saw it rain as hard as it did then!  It was so cool!  Thank God Grandma's car didn't leak, or we would have been soaked!  We had reservations to stay at Motel 6 for the month, which wasn't too far from Eastern Virginia Medical School, where the course was being held.  Here is a picture of the downpour at the motel:
We had to move our stuff in this rain! And here Mom had bought her desktop computer with monitor along, too.  We covered that up with our jackets and ran everything in.  Mom had just had her first hip replacement in March of that year, so it was funny to see her run!  That God she didn't fall!  The room we had gotten was interesting indeed.  The bathroom lights were on a 15 minute timer, the door knob kept falling off, we didn't get a good range on the TV and there actually was a roach crawling along on the floor!  Grandma immediately called the front desk and told them about the roach.  I was so looking forward to going swimming during our stay, but when I got a look at the pool....let's say it didn't take me too long to put my bathing suit back into the suit case!  Here's a pic of the pool with the lovely green slime:
Isn't that gross?  I took this picture so that we could send it to Motel 6's corporate office when we got back home to Arizona.  Moving right along...because of the downpour when we arrived, and the dampness in the air, our shoes hadn't quite dried yet the following day when we went shopping to get food and liquids for the next week.  Now, Mom and I were practical and had a spare pair of sneakers.  My fancy Grandma, on the other hand, must have thought she was going to a ball or something because the shoes she had to wear were these fancy black shoes with a silver buckle (if I remember correctly...I was laughing so hard at the sight of her in those shoes and her red shorts and t-shirt!)  Here's the photo:
 Sorry, Grandma, it was just too good to resist!!  I think we laughed all through WalMart.

I had the classes every day from 8am to about 5pm.  I had the weekends off, so that is when we would go and venture out and sight see.  We went on the Chesapeake Bay Bridge which I absolutely loved!  That sucker goes right INTO the ocean!  It was hard to believe that when we were in the tunnel part we actually were in the ocean!  Mom was really nervous, of course she never liked bridges.  So I thank you, Mom for driving me through it, fear and all!!  We stopped at one of the little parking areas and just relaxed and looked at the ocean on one side and the bay on the other. Here's a few photos:
Here I be, wearing my favorite Nashville shirt.  I wish I could say I saw Nashville first hand, but one doesn't count a blurred zoooooom from Parnelli Grandma as she zipped by at 80 miles an hour!  I got this shirt at a gas station way down the road from Nashville.
Here is a photo of a white, sandy beach somewhere along the Chesapeake Bay Bridge.  I'd forgotten exactly where, so please forgive me. Blame it on Fibro Fog!

We also traveled through Norfolk, too, and saw the Naval Dock Museum, I think it's called.  Here are some photos:
Boy, you certainly can't miss me in this photo!!!  What on Earth would possess me to buy an ORANGE shirt?  Blame it on the fibro again......
We actually went through this little tug boat and it was very fascinating.
Here's a beautiful shot of downtown Norfolk as seen off the dock of the Naval Museum.
My mom and Grandma in this pretty little park, waiting on me to take my
standard 10 rolls of film on essentially the same thing.  But it's not!  No two pictures are TOTALLY alike!!  :0)   Anyway, we go back to the car and that is when we discover one of the tires is totally flat.  Well, none of us really knew how to change a flat and Grandma was starting to panic because her "baby" had a flat and should she buy just ONE tire or all four?  The funny thing is, she had the tires checked right before the trip and Honda said they were good to go.  Luck was on our side and this very nice man who looked so much like Montel Williams came over to us and offered to change our of charge! He wouldn't take even a tip.  I took a picture of him because he resembled Montel so much, but I wasn't thinking straight and here's the photo I got of him:
LOL!!!!  So unless he resembles Montel's rear end, you won't be able to see how much his front side resembled him!  I was so mad at myself!!  How could I be so stupid?  Anyway, we pile into the car and head off to Discount Tire.  In the end, Grandma changed all four tires because of the long way home and if one tire could go bad, then they all could go bad.  Can't argue that logic!

When we returned to the motel to collapse, we found someone in there who wanted to hang a photo on the wall.  We had no clue who he was, he was wearing plain clothes and just said he was to hang this picture up.  Grandma shooed him away.  Unfortunately, he didn't stay gone because when we were out the following day, he came into our room and installed the picture.  Here's a photo of the picture:
It's a beautiful picture, but strange how that guy was so insistent on hanging it in our room.

While we were in Virginia, we ran into Hurricane Floyd and our course was canceled the day of land fall.  Again, I had never seen rain pour like it did..not even in Michigan!  We were anticipating loss of electricity, so Grandma cooked up our super at 10am and we'd have to eat it cold at supper time.  Then we figured, that's stupid.  It's fixed and we were hungry, so we ate it.  We figured we could go out later if it ever stopped raining.  It did for awhile and Mom and I went on a burger run.  The following day, we went to Virginia Beach to inspect the damage and surprisingly, it didn't look too bad. We could even do the "tourist" thing and take our pictures by the beach balls:
Mom and I on the big beach balls.  The surf was a little choppier than usual, but after a hurricane, I guess it should be!  But overall the beach looked really good.

My course had come to its end and it was time to pack up and head home. Yay!  Although we had fun and a lot of laughs, we missed our own beds, our husbands and just plain ole' home!  On the last day of my class, I had a group photo taken.  I'm the hefty chick in the back row:
Ross Barrett, who runs the program, is the gentleman standing third in the back row.  I'm on the other end of the back row, on the right, wearing the blue shirt and white shorts.  We were a close-knit group and I will miss them all.  I wonder how they are doing today?  I know that class saved my life AND my career.  I hope the others are doing as well.

Our trip home was riddled with misadventures at practically every stop.  The first night we made it all the way to Atlanta, Georgia and Mom was forced to get off on the wrong stop by the heavy flow of traffic - it practically pushed her off onto the ramp.  We stayed at a Howard Johnsons.  We were getting ready to have supper and went out and started walking, because we were tired of the car and we saw a restaurant right by the motel.  Of course, that restaurant was on the OTHER side of the freeway - just the sign was visible from the freeway, making it seem like the restaurant was there, too.  Well, we couldn't see Mom as scaling the fence and racing across four lanes of freeway traffic on one artificial hip!  So, we went into our room and thought we'd order a pizza.  Mom thought it would be good practice if I did that.  So, with menu in hand (one was hanging on our door knob) I got the phone and called the pizza place.  His accent was so hard to understand and I was getting all jumbled up again, so I hung up.  I instantly started balling and ran into the bathroom. I had failed!!  And only one day out of Ross's class!!

My mom picked up the phone and called the pizza place.  Everything went smoothly until he needed the address.  Mom is looking all over the phone, the desk, everywhere but no address was visible.  Mom said, "We're in the Howard Johnson's off of exit...." (I forget which exit.)  Grandma runs over to the front desk for the address and the desk clerk doesn't know!!  Back in the motel room, Mom is getting upset. She said into the phone, "Thank you for your *bleep bleep* concern!" and she slams the phone down and says, "Mother, call and order us a pizza!"  So it's Grandma's turn and she actually did find the address off of some letterhead stationary in the drawer.  She calls the pizza place and we place our order.  Finally!!  Here's a photo of the drama.  I label it "Pizza Panic!"
Notice how Mother has her arms folded in the background and is giving Grandma the look of death.  Grandma has her little menu right in front of her and is just ordering away.  Unfortunately, when the pizza finally came, it was late and so damn spicy we couldn't eat much of it.  We called it a day and went to bed.

The next night, Grandma decides to treat us to a fancy hotel.  We stop at the Holiday Inn Express in Shreveport, LA.  Hey, the Holiday Inn is the Ritz to us Yuma folks!!!  Anyway, we had a nice meal, I had pot roast, corn, mashed potatoes and it was so good.  Until the stomach cramps and diarrhea started in.  I pooped all night and clogged up our toilet!  So I practiced my new found speech by asking for a plunger as our toilet is backed up!!  Aye, Carrumba!

We stopped at the Welcome center and I got a cute shot of Mom by the state sign:
I wish we would have started that custom on the way TO Virginia, but I was so nervous about the class, I wasn't thinking straight.  The next photo is the Texas state sign:
Aren't they cute? I think Grandma was thinking she was Vanna White!  :0)  Grandma always was a little on the dramatic side...of course, she always could see herself on film or stage.....anyway, I don't remember much of Texas, except I saw a lot of bathrooms.  My diarrhea continued on and we must have stopped a zillion times at a zillion places...some of them not so terrific looking!  The following day I felt better.  But the Grandma came down with diarrhea!!  I shared my diarrhea pills with her.  My mom never got it, thank goodness.
Our final stop off before home was in New Mexico.  We were so glad to be out West again, we could have kissed the dusty ground.  But, of course, we didn't.  That would be gross!  LOL....   We made it back to Arizona the following day and boy, was it ever good to be home!!!  As Dorothy on "Wizard of Oz" says, "There's no place like home!" And I believe her.

Over all the little mishaps we had, that was a trip I will never forget.  Just the three of us, traveling the high and low roads across the country and all the stories we shared.  I don't any of us will forget that trip.  It bonded us for a life time.

I hope this post wasn't too long or too boring.  If it was, you can tell me on my new contact form I installed this morning.  It's right underneath each post.  So if you need to contact me and don't want to leave a comment, please use the contact form.  I also have my linky back.  Thank you, Patti, for signing up for it!  I really appreciate it.  Please, other bloggers, sign up. It's free, fun and NO spam.  It's just a blog hop where you hop around to blogs on the linky list.  What is so cool is we share the same code, so everyone should have the same list.

Okay, I've kept you long enough. Thank you for listening to my stories. It's much appreciated.  I hope each and every one of you are doing well.

God bless!
Until next post,

PS....Mom sent those green slime pool pictures to the corporate head of Motel 6 and they sent us back a note of apology and gave us two free nights at any location.


  1. Great pictures! Thanks for stopping by the Cornucopia of Blog Hop! I am now following you back.


  2. You are right...Cures don't come cheap.

    It looks like you had a great time of it while you were there.

    Maybe you can help me with a problem. Here is the post on my blog. It has to do with a cruise and special diet.

    I would love any feedback you can give on it.
    By the way, I tweeted your post. @CandidaJourney


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