Friday, June 15, 2007

Busy Weekend

Yawwnnn...I'm still recovering from this past weekend. There was so much going on it seems like a blur.

I got up Saturday to leave for Roanoke and left later than I wanted to...then got stuck in traffic on I40 in Greensboro. You'd think after 10 years of construction to widen the road, they'd leave it alone for awhile..but no...they suddenly have to repave a road that has nothing wrong w/ it. Anyway..

So I got to my parents house where there was quite a spread..burgers hot dogs, potato salad, mac & cheese, slaw, baked beans,etc..and I stuffed my face. My parents, grandparents, Kelly, Tim and a couple of his friends were there. That awesome meal was followed by one of Cold Stone's ice cream cakes and then the opening of Tim's gifts.

After that, Kelly and I had to take Grandma back to her assisted living place while Mom took Grandpa back to his house. I was dreading doing it because I was afraid she wouldn't understand and try to get us to stay or take her with us. She told us she'd do anything if we could stay with her that night and that she'd sleep in the floor if she had to. She was talking about how she needs to get back to her mommy in Clintwood before she worries about where she is. It was horrible. I felt so helpless. She's declined sharply in the past few months and it's just left me feeling kinda..empty. And angry that it happened to begin with. Anyhow, we had to leave to drive to Blacksburg to get some clothes for Kelly, so we were in a hurry to leave, but after many, many hugs and questions about how far Blacksburg was..we left.

The trip to Blacksburg was nice even though I wasn't feeling well. I felt kinda queasy and car sick, but I'm not sure why. We got stopped by the train since it was parked on the idea why. We turned around and back tracked to get to Kelly's house, got clothes and returned to Mom & Dad's where we both went straight to bed. It'd been a long day.

Sunday around 5:30, we got up to get ready for my cousin Lauren's graduation up at UVA. It was a perfect day for a drive and to sit outside. We sat on the Lawn in front of the Rotunda under the shade of a beautiful tree and listened to John Grisham speak. There were about 5900 graduates "walking the lawn" and his speech was shorter than it took for them all to file in.

Since UVA is so rich in history and kinda snobby about their prestige and social standing, I expected a very formal, rigid ceremony..but it wasn't that way at all. The guests weren't even provided chairs. Everyone brought lawn chairs and blankets or towels and sat on the lawn eating snacks while watching the procession of the graduates. Even they weren't in a formal was just a mass of people with balloons whooping and hollering.

For those of you unfamiliar w/ UVA, it was founded by Thomas Jefferson and he designed the Rotunda, which sits at one end of the "lawn". It was inspired by the Pantheon in Rome. On either side of it, forming a rectangle w/ the Rotunda being a short side of it, and the lawn in the middle, is 10 pavilions connected by smaller rooms. In a student's senior year,a few are chosen to live in these rooms based on their GPA and service to the school. It's considered the highest honor to be allowed to live on the lawn but they have to maintain their own heat. The school provides the wood, but they're responsible for keeping the fireplaces going all winter. There's also no bathrooms in the rooms...they have to go outside and down the steps to shower or do whatever.

One of my cousin's friends lived in one of these rooms and it was pretty neat, but having to keep a fire going and tread through cold weather to pee at don't know that it's worth it. The Pavilions I mentioned, are used to house some of the professors and their families because Thomas Jefferson thought it best if they lived among each other to create a better learning atmosphere.

After the big ceremony, the school's split up to their assigned areas to receive diplomas. We grabbed hot dogs before it started and sat under a huge oak tree while we indulged and where we shared our buns with a very brazen little squirrel. We did get lucky though. The Nursing School had their program on the north steps of the Rotunda which is where the Jefferson statue is and is apparently a coveted spot for graduation...therefore, they rotate which school graduates there. It's the prettier side of the Rotunda and this year just happened to be the Nursing School. Congrats Lauren!!!

After the ceremony, we chatted with the family and then left to make our way back to Roanoke. We stopped at Mrs. Rowe's Restaurant in Staunton where they have the yummiest hot turkey sandwiches ever. The pie's are to die for too! They're cheap and you can't beat it. It's also kinda part of the family too. Mrs. Rowe was my grandma's sister Carol's husband's aunt and the restaurant is now owned by one of his cousin's. Hope you followed Anyway, since I never make it that far up into Virginia usually, Rowe's is a treat that I will never deny myself.

Monday, I laid around the house and did pretty much nothing. I talked to Mom & Dad for awhile..then took a quick nap and left for NC. I got home around 5pm, unpacked, greeted Jeff, ate dinner, watched Heroes, filled Jeff in on my weekend and showed him pictures..then I came in to work at midnight. Around 6, when it was time to go home, I'd been up for 21 hours and passed out when I got in the house. I still haven't recovered.

Tomorrow, I have to repack, drop the dogs off, leave for Roanoke to meet Jeff who's already up there visiting with Lou and his mom who are in from Switzerland. I think this is her first trip to the U.S...I'm not sure. Anyhow..then Friday, we're leaving for Williamsburg with Lou, his mom, Ronnie and Misty to go to Busch Gardens. I think Saturday we're going to Jamestown and Colonial Williamsburg..then back to Roanoke Sunday..then back to NC on Monday. I think I may stay a few extra days, I haven't decided yet. If I come home, I'll have a glorious 4 days to do absolutely nothing but catch up on sleep. Ah..that sounds so appealing. was a great weekend over all, even if I am tired. Talking about my mom's potato salad and Rowe's has made me hungry though...I need to go eat! Hope everyone enjoys their Memorial Day weekend!!! The weather is supposed to be phenomenal!! Stay safe!