Wednesday, October 19, 2011
Autumn with Billy -- posted by John
We just enjoyed another week with Billy. We got to hang out with his parents too, but they stayed in Charleston (which recently came in at number 3 of the world's best cities, by the way). We took them to a real Southern BBQ restaurant called Shealy's, and they took us to one of their favorite restaurants in Charleston called Poogan's Porch. That was one of Ma's favorite restaurants as well. I ordered the shrimp and grits (It's pictured first on the link.). It was extra spicy to me. It had spicy sausage and they added spices, so with every bite that had sausage, I had a sip of my water. Nevertheless, it was excellent... and I know shrimp and grits.
We all had dessert as well because the Lanes are generous that way, and I think Mr. Lane likes "pudding lists" which is what they call dessert menus in England. They let us little kids have coffee with our dessert because we wanted to do an all-nighter to stay up and play with Billy, but we fell asleep despite the caffeine. Oh well, the coffee tasted so good anyway.
Mr. and Mrs. Lane are so generous to take all of us out to such a nice restaurant and let us have dessert too! It was such a great outing for us since we couldn't go to restaurants while Dad was unemployed for so long. Even so, we don't usually go to such nice restaurants unless it is for the lunch menu.
I know Mr. and Mrs. Lane are givers because I hear of how often they take people out to dinner in England, and they love bringing us gifts! They brought a huge suitcase full of gifts this time too with interesting candies and cookies and cheese biscuits and personalized key chains and various items. It was so exciting as they were passing out all the gift bags and packages.
We didn't busy ourselves too much this visit because we noticed it makes the visit go by too fast. The big event (besides Poogan's Porch) was a trip to the mountains to go hiking to different waterfalls. Unfortunately, Will, George, and Richard slipped on the rocks and fell into the water at the first stop. Fortunately for Will, the only dry place on his pants was the pocket containing his phone. Surprisingly, it didn't spoil the trip. If it had been cold, we would have had to find a laundry or a clothing store. They weren't miserable because after we saw the waterfalls, I gave Richard a pair of my camouflage pants in the van, and George just slipped off his pants and wrapped up in a blanket. No one complained.
After it happened, Billy and Sarah were walking toward the waterfall when a man said, "Be careful, those kids over there almost got themselves killed!" He was talking about us!
Dad was a little disappointed because he thought there would be narrow hiking trails to each waterfall but there were dirt roads that went all the way up to the trails that lead to the waterfalls. Mom joked that she was glad the roads were wide enough for an ambulance when she got winded climbing a steep incline. Mom's a real trooper, though. She loves to go camping and she was planning a camping trip while we were hiking in that area because the trails are accessible to horses. That would be so much fun! As long as Mom has a coffee maker and an inflatable bed, she'll go anywhere.
Also, they were filming a movie at the waterfalls called The Healer. It's a creepy movie, I think, but we enjoyed watching them film.
Before the day was over, we went to Sliding Rock
and the Blue Ridge Parkway to see the views. We saw some awesome views but soon a cloud covered the mountain and we could only see a foot in front of the van. It was 98% exciting and 2% scary... or maybe it was 98% scary and 2% exciting. To add to the adrenaline rush, before we got all the way down the mountain, our brakes went out. Dad was riding the brakes while we were navigating those hairpin turns when we were in the cloud, and the repairman said we wore the brakes all the way down to the blue part beyond the brake pad!
We were disappointed we didn't see a bear in the wild since Billy has never seen one, but I guess we have to save something for later.
He did see Last of the Mohicans with us before the trip so he could get in the mood, and we played the soundtrack as we wound our way through the mountains with the fall foliage. It was another awesome, unforgettable time with Billy, and of course we're looking forward to when we're all together again.