Monday, December 24, 2007

there and back again...

Once again, I write this from far, far away. This time, I'm in Swansboro, North Carolina... just off the crystal coast and north of Camp Lejeune. Last time I wrote, I had returned from a great trip to the Pacific coast of Oregon. I spent one day doing laundry, then drove out to Baton Rouge to visit my sister Colleen and her family. Before we got together, I drove thru downtown and had a Frostop rootbeer in a frozen mug. Frostop was my first real job... a fifties style diner where the rootbeer was the only reason to come back. Was still sickeningly sweet... but good.

I met up with Colleen and her family for a top notch Cajun seafood dinner, and hung out with the kids for a few hours. With the exception of a massive nosebleed and an upset stomach... we had a good time.

The next morning, I took off on the longest drive I've ever attempted to give my truck to my last sister, Sandi. Baton Rouge, Louisiana to Swansboro, North Carolina. Unfortunately, it didn't start off too well. My stomach was tearing me up the whole way... which made the hourly stops very necessary. Thankfully, I made it to Augusta, Georgia in pretty good time... no major slowdowns or incidents... thank god.

I left Augusta around four in the morning (couldn't sleep... spend most of the night in the bathroom) in the pouring rain. Didn't help that I left my window down the previous night and had to sit on a cold and soaking wet seat...

I drove for a few hours and got to Florence, South Carolina. I pulled off to use the bathroom, and noticed that my truck was making a grinding noise. I drove into a McDonalds, and saw some smoke coming from my engine. I filled the engine coolant reservoir, and let the truck cool off for a little while. I took off again, and made it about five miles north when my temp gauge pegged out... while I was on the long and narrow bridge crossing the Great Pee Dee River. Billowing smoke started to pour out of my engine and I pulled off as soon as possible.

So there I was... about three hours away from my destination in a broken-down vehicle, in the middle of nowhere South Carolina, in the cold and pouring rain. Almost started to freak out... but then the general silliness made me bust out laughing. I took some good pics while waiting two hours for the tow truck.

Sandi and the kids drove down for lunch while the truck was being repaired. Turns out my water pump burned out... could have been worse...

Spent the past few days touring the coastal towns and beaches of North Carolina. Beautiful little seasides and saltwater marshes... and toured the old Fort Macon. We shucked oysters one night with the neighbors and played cornhole in the yard... good times.

We just had Christmas and opened some presents. I'll be arriving back in Houston on Christmas day wearing my new Swansboro football t-shirt...

I wish everyone a very merry christmas... peace on earth... goodwill towards men...

ben

1 comment:

Boro Girl said...

Dude, we had a great time with you in NC. Mom called and is relieved you made it to the land of sand and men holding hands. I am waiting for a blog update so I can read about your plane trip and first days in
Qatar. Love Sandi.