Where I-77 crosses from West Virginia into Virginia is the East River Mountain Tunnel. Last year a rock slide on the Virginia side closed the north bound lane. This year flashing signs warned the south bound tunnel was closed. Cars were already backed up into a parking lot. I could picture some tragic accident involving several cars which would close the tunnel while they checked the structural integrity of the mountain. A process which could take 3 days (it was the holidays after all) and would result in a parking lot reaching north to the Ohio river.
Fortunately we were in the right lane and could duck off at an exit which dumped us off where only God and our GPS knew where. And they were not very expressive about it.
Between the tablet and the GPS (Thank God for technology!) we found ourselves driving up the side of the mountain in a fog and snow storm on route 598. The route put us back on I-77 below the tunnel only to find the entrance closed by the state troopers. Seems the interstate was closed while a construction crew moved a large overhead road sign about. Closing the tunnel was a natural pinch point for this same operation. At least there were no fatalities there.
We finally arrived at my father’s apartment. We knocked on the door and it opened to be greeted by chemical warfare. Great clouds of BenGay and cat urine rolled out the door and damn near knocked us on our collative asses.
It was good to see my Dad.
|One is my dad the other Santa. Take your best quess.|
I finally convinced him to crack a window to let a little fresh air in. No sooner had I done that then Lilly, his cat, rushed out of hiding and launched herself at the window ledge. Prostrating herself with her nose out the screened opening I was afraid her whiskers would irreversibly lock in to the window screen. My father claims Lilly likes to lay on the window ledge. It is my contention that the cat is simply hoping for some stray air leakage around the window.
I cautioned my father not to apply any more liniment to his knees as the diners in the restaurant might not enjoy their food as much as they could in the aroma’s absence. I also called Sharky’s and moved my reservation from inside to outside were the Gulf ocean breeze soon defeated the problem.
Sharky’s is one of the better seafood restaurants in this part of Florida. People travel from great distances to come to Venice and one of their first stops is Sharky’s. I had wonderful coconut shrimp and my wife is still talking about her grouper.
My father had a hamburger.
Next year, God willing, I’m going to take him to McDonalds.
We returned to join the New Year’s party that was scheduled to run from 7:00 to 8:30. Dad couldn’t wait.
The staff brought in at least 40 bottles of sparkling wine and made the mistake of opening them. For retirees, these folks sure know how to pack away the booze. By 8:00 you could only find the non-alcoholic sparking apple juice. Nobody was drinking that!
|The Baby 2014s|
Our collective (if we are lucky) future New Years.
(The rest of the empties are under the table)
We made it to midnight to see Taylor Swift outside in Times Square freezing her butt off. She admitted her choice of a bare midriff outfit was a little too skimpy for New Year’s Eve in freezing weather. Talented but not too bright.
Happy New Year to Everyone!