Thursday, June 19, 2008

Dog Day Twelve

Our trip moved on from Maryland to Pennsylvania on Thursday. With only about 100 miles to travel, we slept late and had lunch with Fern in a nice restaurant in Columbia. Our crab cakes were pretty good, though a little bland for Louisiana taste. Kallie ordered a bison burger medium well. It came out medium rare and on the second try crunchy. Soup and french fries almost filled her up. At least they took it off our bill.

We said our goodbyes to Vanessa, Fern and Richard at three different times. The set-up where Kay and I stayed with Fern and Kallie and Erin stayed with Vanessa and Richard worked surprisingly well. It helped that the two houses are less than three miles apart.

I asked Sac for a route that avoided toll roads. She sent us around Baltimore on I-695 and north on US 1 through suburban Maryland. By doing so, we also missed the Baltimore Harbor Tunnel and the Delaware Memorial Bridge, but we did drive over the Conowingo Dam where my family ran our boat back in the '70s. Sac's next move was puzzling. After 60 miles on US 1, she sent us down Longwood Drive toward Longwood Gardens. I knew the area well enough to be suspicious, but I played along. Immediately Sac called for a "sharp left", the right move to leave Longwood Gardens and get back on US 1. What was that all about? I hollered. Kay laughed and laughed. I got back on US 1 and ignored Sac the rest of the way until I needed exact directions to Judy's house.

We arrived in West Chester a little early so I took the family on a tour--first to Henderson High School which had been completely rebuilt and then to our house on Oneida Lane, which was essentially unchanged.

Kallie got a big surprise at her Aunt Judy's house. About 90 minutes after we showed up, they went to a neighbor's house to pick up Judy's new puppy, an adorable six-week old cockapoo--jet black except for a tiny white patch under the chin. The naming process is still underway--we've gone through Luna and Chloe so far--this morning we're back to "puppy." Puppy managed to coax Kallie out of bed at 9:30. Judy's other dog, an American Eskimo named Buddy, has the biggest adjustment to make. Right now, he's moping on the couch in the living room.

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