So, needless to say I didn't hit the road as early as I would have liked being up until 4:00 a.m. Craig and I went out for breakfast at the Golden Dawn where I got scrapple because when in Philly you just got to. Then I got soft pretzels at the Philadelphia Soft Pretzel Factory for the ride because, well, same reason. The ride was uneventful until I hit VA. I didn't take in account the traffic leaving Washington, DC for the weekend. The next hour and a half were a crawl of no more then 40 mph. It was frustrating as the 4 and a half hour drive took nearly 6 hours. I eventually made my way to Chucks place.
Chuck has become a very close friend over a short period of time. I've known him off and on for a decade but over the last few years travelling to Ireland and NYC we've become very good friends. I won't go in detail about Chucks recent health issues but he lost about a month of his life to being in an induced coma after suffering a heart attack. This was going to be my first time seeing him since.
Chuck and Melissa live in a row house built in the 1800's on East Broad St near downtown Richmond. It's a beautiful old house. Did I mention they have NINE cats? I worried a bit about this as, as I mentioned before, I'm allergic. We caught up a bit and I settled in and got ready to go to a friends house in the same block for a wine and cheese gathering. Yes, me at a wine and cheese gathering. As I described it I am the turd in the punch bowl of the wine and cheese crowd. Chuck is really into his wine and there must have been 100 bottles stored in the spare bedroom alone. We walked down to the neighbors house and Chuck kept freaking me out by walking around with an open bottle and glass of wine outside. I'm not used to that. We hung out with some of his neighbors who would best be described as almost middle aged professionals. Not so much yuppies but close. They were all really nice and I never felt out of place. We only stayed a bit then went back to his place for grilling out and to watch the Sox game. We eventually hung out on his front porch and caught up with everything in life. The cats were starting to kill me at this point and my eyes were nearly swollen shut so we called it a night.
It was sublime and low key night but perfect for what it was. Chuck is one of the funniest people I know in his very dry (and filthy rotten) way. I wish I could have spent more time there but as I'm going to see him in November it was all good
Notes from the Road:
-On route 95 travelling through DE I got stuck in the same cluster fuck of traffic I always did when I used to go down there and ironically was stuck for around 5 minutes in front of the exit that I used to take to go visit a friend
-I was amazed the sheer amount of tire blowout remnants on the side of the road. I know it's mostly from trucks but I'm amazed I've never ever had it happen to me and more so, I've never seen it happen in front of me
Next stop: Leesberg, VA