My grandfather (who I affectionately refer to as Granddaddy) is turning 95 next week, and every time I talk to him on the phone, he asks when he’s going to see me again. Considering I haven’t seen him in over five years and Dan has never met him, we decided to make a pit stop in North Carolina for a couple of days before making our annual trip to New Orleans to visit my parents.
On Thursday, May 3rd, Dan and I woke up at the crack of dawn in order to get to the rental car office by 8 am. When we arrived, we were greeted with a beautiful, brand new, 2012 Toyota Camry with only 1200 miles on it. (The above photo was taken after a few hours of driving.)
The trip from New York to North Carolina only took us 11 hours, including the three pit stops we made to eat, pee, and gas up. Our goal was to make it to our hotel before 10 pm, so that we would have time to drop off our stuff before going to the midnight premiere of The Avengers.
We were way ahead of schedule when we rolled into town around 8. We checked into the hotel, went to Outback Steakhouse for dinner, and still made it to the movie with plenty of time to spare.
My review of the Avengers: Five stars. If you haven’t seen it, stop reading and go. Right now.
After the movie, we didn’t get back to the hotel until almost 3, and then we had to be up the next morning around 10, which resulted in us not getting a lot of sleep. I think the excitement of being on vacation pulled us through, though, because we were right on time when we got to Granddaddy’s house at noon on Friday.
My grandfather is, by far, one of the most fascinating people I’ve ever met. He was a professional baseball scout for years, as well as a coach and an athlete. He was inducted into the North Carolina Sports Hall of Fame, and even has his own Wikipedia page. His own Wikipedia page!
We spent a few hours with my Granddaddy and step-grandma, talking and reminiscing, catching up and exchanging photos. Even though my grandfather’s health is starting to decline, he’s still sharp as a tack. He can remember every detail of everything that’s happened over the last 50+ years – every event, every person he’s met, where he met them, what he ate for breakfast on a Friday in 1943, even the baseball stats of some of the first players he scouted. Are you impressed yet? You should be. My grandfather is amazing.
Because of his age and the fact that we live so far away, it was incredibly sad having to say goodbye. It’s hard to accept the fact that I may never see him again, but I’m so glad we took the opportunity to visit when we did.
After we left his house, we trekked across town to have dinner with my sister, whom I also haven’t seen in a very, very long time. We keep in touch on Facebook, but it was still exciting to see her and her kids again. Can you see the resemblance?
By the time we left my sister’s house and got back to our hotel, it was late and we had to be up early the next morning to catch our flight to New Orleans.
To be continued…