The Road Well-Traveled
The second day was much the same and very different. We started out from Baltimore around 10:30 AM. We had a lovely morning with Neil and Channa Basia. Their home is spacious and tranquil. It was hard to leave. Hues of blue and lavender through out and the quiet of no electronic noise of TVs and radios made it almost spa-like. Neil and Channa Basia's aura is calm and peaceful. They speak thoughtfully and softly. Channa Basia's placid face is always a refreshing sight for a harried life. No wonder Neil has been married to her for so long. Their diligent spirituality can be sensed in every corner of their life and home. But alas, we had South Carolina on our minds and we had to travel on. We took pictures and said good-bye.
I was a little alarmed to punch in our next destination on my GPS to find that Columbia, SC was a solid 8 plus hours for Baltimore. For some reason I thought it was more like 5. Hoping there was some cosmic or technical error we started off down 95 South. We didn't get off of 95 South for the rest of the trip. If you're thinking that Virginia is not that big, it is if you are driving through it in a straight line for hours on end. I was ready to see "Welcome To...." . Welcome to anything other than Virginia. It seemed like days. I was happy to see stimulus money going to rebuild roads on the highway but did they have to work on my time? Delays due to construction were a plenty. Carli had a hankering for pancakes about noon time and we stopped at IHOP. That was the only pancake house I recognized although there is a Waffle House on every corner, not to mention Cracker Barrel. Pancake time was my excuse to write while silver dollar pancakes were being enjoyed by one smiley little girl across the table. When pancake time was over it was time to head south again. Curious George started on the DVD player for the hundredth time and a happy Carli giggled on down the road while I steered lazily, trying not to become entranced by the lines.
I kept checking the GPS for updates and it kept telling me 9:30 PM was my arrival time to Columbia, SC. As much as I wanted to wish my ETA was sooner, it wasn't. I had to accept it was another long day. Carli did fantastic again. She doesn't mind the drive at all. Occasionally she got bored and whiney but nothing I couldn't deal with. Snacks and movies kept her entertained during our 11 hour drive. I was so happy that at least she was content. I was very bored. I hadn't really had a face-to-face conversation with another adult in a few days aside from very friendly wait staff during meal times. The friendliness of southern folk is a little off-putting to a conservative northern girl. I am naturally skeptical of nice strangers. I was feeling desperate for companionship and adult interaction. There would be none today.
95 South from southern Virginia to South Carolina looks like the same one mile stretch of road replayed for hours on end. The same everything. The same road, the same bill boards, the same gas stations and rest stops. It is a perfect straight line of similarity. I was getting tired of looking at the repetition. Travel on I did. I seemed to miss the Welcome To South Carolina sign as I crossed to border from the North. The thing that did strike me on my drive through the Carolinas was the pine trees. Loads and loads of pine trees. I also noticed a lot of ads for log cabin homes. I envisioned what a log cabin home would be like on the inside and where I would want to have one if I were to make one my own. I concluded that it would probably have to be country-like in decoration and my contemporary flare would not work out well for a log cabin home. Maybe a vacation house on a lake but that is about it. Maybe I can add a log cabin on the lake to my "Bucket List". I was then distracted and annoyed by all the South of Border signs. Who cares?
At exactly the expected time, I arrived at my cousin Damon's house. He was a sight for sore eyes. I hadn't seen him or his family in quiet a while and I hadn't been to SC since his wedding more than 7 years ago. I still felt like I knew where everything was and the surroundings were familiar to me. I really love South Carolina. In fact, I love southern living. I know my mom wouldn't like to hear that but it's true. I don't see myself in Massachusetts for the rest of my life. The southern way of living is much better suited for me. I enjoy how the southerners live and treat others. I also notice that things are cleaner around here and I would love a Saw Palmetto in my yard. You can't have those in Boston.
Next stop is Savannah, GA. I can't wait to see it. For now, we will visit with family and reminisce. The kids are playing and Carli is enjoying the break from the road. So am I. I am still in my PJs and it is noon as of this writing. I love my simpler life so far.
Don't Pray For Me
6 years ago