In reviewing 2017, I realized I had never blogged about the several days my husband and I spent with our adult son, traveling in separate cars (but together) from upstate New York to Columbia, South Carolina. It was the first vacation together we had in 11 years.
Our son helped us when the entire state of Virginia turned into a parking lot, with seemingly the entire East Coast of the United States having the idea of traveling to South Carolina to see the eclipse. His young nimble thinking ran rings around what suddenly seemed like our senior thoughts stuck in concrete.
It's kind of funny - I had chosen the word determination as my word for both 2016 and 2017.
And now it was my son showing the determination, as one hour of avoiding stuck traffic stretched into hours. My son led the way, as we kept in touch by cell phone. He found secondary roads to escape Interstate 81, which had turned into a parking lot. At one point we even thought of turning back. That thought never entered his mind.
When had we become quitters, more interested in comfort than adventure? Yikes.
|Fancy Gap, Virginia|
Finally, past the traffic jams, we entered the mountains on the Virginia/North Carolina border and my son asked me to take a picture of the runaway truck ramps.
We got to our first stop, Mt. Airy, North Carolina, a couple of hours after my son arrived. We had called the motel to tell them he would be getting there before us. And the desk clerk complimented us on our "nice polite son".
The man who made fun of our garden as a teen admired the gardens of the South Carolina state capital after we arrived the day before the eclipse, and took this panoramic picture for me of the African American mural. Yes, my son had to show me how to take a panoramic picture with an iPhone.
It doesn't look it in this picture, but it was a brutal, humid 95 degrees F (35C) Sunday with a heat index of 100. The central South Carolina sun beat down upon our Northern heads (although I had protected mine with a hat). After a few minutes of gazing at what the grounds of the state capitol offered (it was our second visit, and I highly recommend it, incidentally), we fled, trying to escape terminal roasting, to find some good air conditioning. (I must add here that I've lived in Florida, Texas and Arkansas, and summer heat is not unknown to me. But I am no longer used to it.)
We made our way to a local restaurant called Rush's After ordering some broasted chicken, a young server came to our table and offered us some sweet tea.
Here, for my foreign readers, I have to pause to explain. In the northern United States, iced tea is drunk without sweetener. However, in the South, it is assumed you will be drinking sweet tea unless you specify "unsweetened". My son had never had sweet tea. I must admit, I do not like it, but then again, I am not a true Southerner.
If you want to try it out, here's a recipe.
But son said "yes" to the tea, as we all gulped mass quantities to quench our thirst. He loved his broasted chicken dinner, too - so much so that we ate at Rush's again the next day, after the eclipse.
|not our family|
That afternoon, we used our tickets to view the total eclipse of the sun with hundreds of other people on their front lawn.
And the eclipse itself - our third, his first, we felt wonder together.
|The horizon during totality, Columbia, South Carolina|
At totality, I yelled with other participants while son exclaimed over and over "This is crazy!"
This video was taken by the local newspaper - I was one of the people screaming in that crowd.
I found out we had some similar things on our bucket lists besides viewing a total eclipse of the sun- visiting Iceland one day, for one thing (I'll pass on his skydiving goal, though).
I don't know if we ever will taken another vacation together, but I do know I will remember this trip for the rest of my life.
It made 2017 for me, realizing that I enjoy the friendship (my non-word for 2018) of my son.
And there was that sweet tea....something to bond over.
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Day 2 of the Ultimate Blog Challenge #blogboost