We made our way to Charlotte this weekend, where on Friday we ate a meal, took Dec to Urgent care because he had the painful Nursemaid’s elbow (he’s never had this happen before so it was very frightening), ate another meal, slept, ate a meal, went to a wedding, noshed on some food at the reception and then ate another meal. Knowing how much food was on the agenda for the weekend, it was sweet relief to find three elliptical trainers in the gym of our hotel, but just because they were there didn’t mean I actually used them.
My cousin was the one getting hitched – the oldest son of my mom’s youngest sibling (and her only brother). When he (my cousin) was a baby, I was too young for real babysitting but old enough to be charged with his care upstairs while his mother got a chance to visit with other adults for an hour or two. I spent most of the time snuggling him, tickling him and holding him up to my mom’s closet mirror to make him smile, then granted a dollar bill or three for my efforts.
In the years since, I’ve only known the details of his life here and there – seeing him on holidays, and at funerals, learning bits of information passed through moms and grandparents and cousins. It was fun to learn more about who he is, and also be given the chance to spend a little time with a lot of extended family that I haven’t seen much of since my Zollinger grandparents passed away. Declan got to meet some of them for the first time.
Although he spent a lot of time running in circles and underneath tables with a hot five-year-old girl (he even basically told me to get lost when he was playing with her and giving me a taste of what’s to come), he did smooch the bride and show the groom his secret handshake. He even generously handed out hugs to aunts, uncles and cousins when I asked him if he liked making people happy, he told me yes, and I assured him that his hugs would do the trick. Indeed they did.
Here are some things I have learned on the road:
• West Virginia is as beautiful as it is utterly insane. They insist on making the speed limit 70 miles per hour on twisty mountain roads that require a lot of gum chewing if you want to keep your eardrums in tact.
• If you’ve never seen it – the capitol building of West Virginia has an elaborate gold dome. Because I also took a tour of this place a few years ago, I think I might dream about gold Appalachian mountains.
More to come… but we’re not home yet!