Thursday, October 25, 2007


Today we did chores, laundry, errands, and other fascinating things. It was great to spend time with Reed and Sue, catching up and watching a Sox game. I’m not looking forward to getting back in that car again tomorrow. I’m ready to be there already.

water, water everywhere

We watched the dawn emerge over the marsh from the dock Wednesday morning, and took the canoe out with Amanda as soon as it was light enough. An osprey, five great blue herons, and a snowy egret or two were all startled by our passage.

A few hours later found us blasting Midnight Vultures on our way to the beach, with warm warm water and 80 degree breezes and occasional cascades of warm rain. We were the only ones on the beach, and shared the waves with a pod of dolphins, whom we could hear chattering and whistling when we ducked our heads under the water. Some came quite close.

A platter of delicious fried things and a gigantic statue of Neptune fortified us enough to get back on the road for the trek into the real south. Unfortunately the skies got some mischievous ideas from the ocean, and squalls of torrential rain followed us most of the way west through fields of peanuts and cotton. The most perfect sweet potato pie ever made, discovered at the Valvoline station in Lawrenceville, Virginia, kept up our spirits through the rest of the storms down to my brother’s house in central North Carolina.

national values

We started out our day in DC by going to Australia. Australia is rather dimly lit, and has an amazing 8’x10’ photo of blokes in Speedos in its entranceway. We were venturing onto Australian soil (carpet) to lodge my application for a visa. My favorite part was when they made me sign a statement of Australian values saying that as an immigrant I will be expected to treat everyone with respect, allow for the practice of free religion, say please and thank you, and respond politely to dinner invitations. If everyone in Australia proper is as delightful as the employees of the Australian embassy, I’m really going to like it there.

After inevitably getting lost in downtown DC, we braved some rather terrifying traffic on the way south to Virginia Beach—Petra, driving, was very brave. Passing an Air Force base, we were surprised by strange mini jets with giant satellite dishes pointed to the sky on top of them flying low over the highway. Does anyone have any idea what these planes might have been?

We made it to our friends the Stevens’ house in time for fried catfish, good conversation, and fresh pie on their dock in midnight’s bright moonlight.