June 7th, 2004

bundled up, walkabout, snow

Graduation Day

Friday was a long, busy day. Flar and Gaucha and I prepared for it by not getting enough sleep Thursday night.

Critter had to be at school by 9am, but we planned to get there as early as possible so that we could find enough seats for 9 of us: Flar, me, Gaucha, Tigger, Mom, Dad, Bébé, his GF, and Brody. We nearly filled one entire row of seating in the school theater.

Graduation was very nice. Critter did not earn special academic recognition as part of the ceremony, but his current best friend T, and his oldest friend C (best friends until Critter got weird about being around girls), did. The program for the ceremony included the words for the Alma Mater - the first time I remember seeing them in print. The faculty sang a song to the graduating class, and there was a speaker from the class of 1995. Technically, Critter's class has been the class of 2005 until this year, when they cancelled 9th grade. We didn't stay long after the ceremony was over. It was my last command performance, socializing with a place where I feel like I've been kicked out.

Tigger really wanted waffles for breakfast, so we had them for lunch, instead. I invited Bébé, his girlfriend, and Brody to join us, but Brody was going to lunch at Rotary in Winchester, instead. When we got home, Gaucha went back to sleep, and FIar had to go up to his office to work. I mixed up a bunch of waffles and somehow managed to make enough batter for exactly 8 waffles, which was cool. Mom cut up strawberries and kiwis for smoothies, and make three blenders-ful. Sausages provided protein to go with the waffles, and lunch was yummy.

We had enough time after lunch to drop by the hospital on our way to the 3:50 showing of HP:PoA. Ro didn't get back from recovery before we had to leave, but we left her the dish garden that Mom and Dad bought, and chatted with Knight.

The movie was fun, although there seemed to be lots of differences from the book. I think I'm glad I didn't re-read it right before seeing the movie. One of the scenes really made me cry -- because I knew what was coming in the 5th book.

After the movie, we stopped at the hospital and got to see Ro, this time.

Then we met Bébé, his girlfriend, Flar and Gaucha for dinner at Golden Corral. Right before we left, we got them to announce Critter's graduation (they were announcing graduations and birthdays throughout our meal). I think Critter liked the attention, but I don't think he appreciated my pointing out that he got cheered by a cute babe at the next table. ;)

After dinner, we got to talking about various things, and somehow a trip to Wal-Mart seemed vital. So Mom and Flar and Gaucha and I piled into the car for a shopping expedition. Mom bought polar fleece for four blankets, Gaucha bought a CD player and cassette player and various little things in the stationery dept, and I found some fun 2.5 and 6 oz. coke glasses. I made two of the pieces of polar fleece into blankets for Mom and for Granny, who is turning 108 tomorrow. I took the other two pieces with me on the trip to make a blanket for Gaucha, and one for myself.

We got to bed kind of late, considering that we were going to be driving the next day. But it was a good, long day.
bundled up, walkabout, snow

Atlanta with Gaucha

Flar rented a Lincoln Towncar for our trip to Atlanta. This car does not have a future in our lives. Nothing like 800 miles round-trip with 5 occupants to test out a car's creature comforts. It had a comfortable ride and was fairly spacious, with a really big trunk, but there were little niggly things I didn't like about it. I think the worst was that the seatbelt receptacles for the front seats are embedded in the seat cushions in such a way to be all pointy-hardness against my soft fleshy bottom. Sigh. Aren't there any fat rich people left?

It was nice not to be worrying about putting extra miles on my car, though.

We took forever to get out town Saturday morning. Flar wanted to stop by Best Buy before leaving town, so the plan was for Mom and Dad to drop him at the airport to pick up the rental car, then he'd go by Best Buy before coming home. Meanwhile, I was to deposit/cash a check at the bank. Since Best Buy doesn't open until 10, he ended up coming back here first. We packed up the car and headed out.

Our first stop was at Knight's house, to search for their inverter (no luck).

Then, there was a neighborhood-wide yard sale going on in South Point, so we had to stop for that. They don't have yard sales in Brazil. Gaucha picked up various sundries, including a talking Power Puff Girl that drove Flar nuts.

Then we finally headed to Best Buy.

After that stop, we headed over to the hospital to see Ro.

Our last stop before heading south was a dual stop for lunch (I had expected breakfast on the road, so hadn't eaten and was grouchy-hungry by now): Rally's and Taco Bell.

The trip down to Atlanta was uneventful; Flar most of the driving, but I drove a couple of hours for him to nap. For entertainment in the car, the boys brought DVDs to play in Critter's I-Book, and I brought newspapers that I hadn't finished reading, and the blanket projects. I made Gaucha's blanket before it was my turn to drive. I'd forgotten to grab CDs out of my car, so I listened to my MP3 player when it was my turn to drive. It's currently loaded with Buffy - Once More with Feeling; Brent Spiner - Ole Golden Eyes is Back; some mo-town and some BNL.

We arrived too late for the pen shop: it closes at 6pm on Saturdays and isn't open at all on Sundays. But since we'd eaten a snack on the road, we decided to hit the Container Store before finding our hotel. I got a new flocking shaker, a hanger for bags in the pantry, a nifty combination screwdriver/flashlight, and some other odds and ends. I ended up only spending $13 out of checking, which is really restrained for me at The Container Store. Gaucha browses faster than I do, but she picked out various interesting things to bring home.

Our hotel was nifty. We found the rate at Hotwire, based on looking for hi-speed internet access in the Buckhead area. We stayed at Staybridge Suites. Each room is a suite, with a bedroom, sitting room and full kitchen. The hi-speed internet was even free, bonus! We got a separate room, on the same floor but down the hall, for the boys, and Critter and I got online in separate rooms and talked via AIM instead of phone. :)

For dinner Saturday night, Flar and Gaucha and I went out to Mick's diner. Tigger wanted to stay in the room and eat Chef Boy Ar Dee from the hotel 24/7 shop, and Critter agreed to stay with him if we'd bring him back a cheeseburger and dessert from the restaurant. The restaurant was fancier than I was expecting for a "diner" and we were pleasantly surprised to find out that our waiter spoke Portuguese. He is a student at Georgia State, and has studied the language for two semesters. He was able to converse, slowly, with Gaucha, and he was also a quite personable waiter in English, too. ;)

By the time we were back from dinner, we were all pretty tired. Flar and Gaucha sacked out right away, and I went to bed after figuring out my Stamp Club order for Sydb.

Sunday, we slept past the end of the free breakfast included with the room, but that's okay - Atlanta has I-Hop. :) We packed up just before check-out time and headed out. First we had brunch at I-Hop, then we headed downtown to go to the Coca-Cola museum. After we were done touring the museum, we had about an hour to kill in downtown Atlanta. Then it was time to head for the airport and help Gaucha check-in. We got there three hours before her flight. (Flar is famous for cutting it close on his own flights, so this is sort of amusing.) After her one checked bag was in the trusty hands of the TSA (is Lexington the only airport that keeps TSA screening of checked baggage behind the scenes?), found a spot outside security where we could hang out together.

Finally it was time for Flar to escort Gaucha as far as he could through the security line, then we headed out. We had dinner at Pappasito's, then Flar took the first shift of driving, while I tried to nap. I'm told I didn't snore, which verifies my own memory of not being fully asleep. But I must have gotten enough rest, because I had no trouble staying awake for my shift of driving. We got home a little before 3am, and tumbled into bed.

This morning, we had to get up early enough to return the rental car, and I think we pushed that 60 minute grace period pretty hard. ;) One the way back from the airport, Flar asked about my schedule for the week, and I realized that my first chore at home would be to familiarize myself with Tigger's camp schedules. Whew. First camp is next week. :)

I spent the rest of the day being quite lazy. I finished all the old newspapers I still had piled up, up to and including today's. I chatted online with Sydb. I wrote two updates to LJ (including this one). I made a couple of deposits at the bank. I played cards with Ro. I made dinner. I picked up Details and worked a short shift tonight.

Now for sleep. Tomorrow, maybe I'll get a chance to catch up on reading LJ. I also need to get Critter to his camp physical, and fax paperwork to Space Camp. I really need to sit down and plan out the rest of my week.