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beach, outside

the outer banks

after the ceremony

Last week I got on an airplane and flew across the country in the middle of the night. When I woke up, I was in the South and a giant picture of Pat Robertson welcomed me to the airport. I convinced the people at Starbucks to give me a short latte with soy milk by agreeing to may them five dollars. My friends came to pick me up and we drove past a lot of funny things like a farmers' market with dozens of signs (first words, then cartoons, then pictures), a chimney in the middle of a field, fireworks stores that sell mexican pottery, and that giant bridge that is really tall in the middle for no known reason.

We stayed at a house near the beach and across the street from the fire station and ate lunch at the place that we always go. Outside, a dog in the back of a pickup truck barked loudly at passersby until a downpour forced it to jump through the tiny back window for shelter. One day, we made it to the beach and swam in the ocean where the big waves knocked us around a bit and claimed a third pair of white sunglasses. At night, we either delivered packages, played Mille Bournes and Settlers of Catan, or hosted a party by the pool.

On Saturday, we were enlisted to help mix buckets of pink sand and arrange flowers in square vases. A red flag meant that the waters were too rough for swimming, but not too windy for a wedding. I put on a suit, took off my shoes, walked onto the beach, let a crazy-looking man put a microphone on my tie, avoided being hit by a wind-whipped sheet, said some magic words, and then my friends were married.

When the crowd had been dismissed for cocktails, the rest of us waited around in the shadow of the big hotel to have photographs taken. Later, we filled out surveys and danced to a bunch of old songs that all sounded alike. At the end of the night, we tried to keep sparklers burning long enough for the bride and groom to make a dramatic exit. On the way out, we took the leftover wedding cake for a midnight snack.

The next morning, we cleaned out the house and made the funny drive back to the airport again. I paid twenty-five dollars and a thorough security for a better flight with better seats. Now I'm home without sunburn, walking around in a bit of a daze to fend off the little cold that I always seem to get from traveling.


It's awesome that you do so many things.


Don't forget you signed a magic paper, too.

Also, those fireplace things in the middle of fields - they are everywhere down here, but I really don't get them. Once I found one in the middle of Smokey Mountain Nt'l Park while hiking. What are they?

Re: fireplace

I assume that the fireplaces must be leftovers from houses that used to be in the fields. Maybe the house burned down or was destroyed by a hurricane and no one ever took the time to get rid of all of the brick?

Or maybe there are underground houses.


Did you ever get the magical papers back? It wasn't until after we gave them to Marlo that I realized that maybe she'd had more to drink that I'd realized.

Re: fireplace

I vote underground houses. Which can also be accessed via dog house in the middle of a field or random British phone booth by the side of a driveway (two other things we saw during our travels to Norfolk).
You should know that while Jason and I were very happy for you that you got an earlier flight, we were also cursing you all the way home. And it wasn't just that you'd be home so much earlier than us, but also that you were able to make such a quick exit from the state of Virginia. We hated Virginia so much that it has moved to the #1 position on my nemesis list. A list that I decided should be a written list that I carry with me at all times so I never forget the order of my nemeses. It was a very long drive, but at least I was able to compile more information for my Bridge-Tunnel-Bridge travel guide.
even with my earlier flight, I didn't get back to my house until 10 PDT. But you're right, I got out of Virginia pretty fast and just had to hang out in Philadelphia for a few hours instead.

I assume that Barbara told you about the amazingly slow and disorganized Pizzeria UNO at ORF where they seemed to have incredible difficulties managing orders even though there are only three items on the menu? That was enough of Virginia for me! I can't imagine the pain of driving through it all day.
and by "Philadelphia", I meant "Charlotte".
Ok, well then I apologize for half of the cursing, since you only got home like 40 minutes before we did. The Virginia part of the cursing remains though. And yes, my mom told me a bit about your lunch experience and it sounds as ridiculous as I would expect of a Virginia lunch. Honestly, at this point I can't even remember all the reasons we hated it there so much, but I'm thinking I just blocked out the worst parts for my own peace of mind.