Alrighty... much to my shock and surprise, it's already time for the last day of the year. Making this, most likely, the last blog post for me, for the solid year that was 2008. Might as well make it an update from the past week, along with a massive Joint Photographic Experts Group dump.
Jessica and I were up by 3.45 AM on Tuesday, and off to the airport. For the exchange of a freshly made, Illy triple-shot Americano, Seth and Dempsey were kind enough to journey along to the airport with us, and then let us leave the car at their house. We were headed to Myrtle Beach in South Carolina, to spend sweet baby Jeebus' birthday with my parents. It was awesome to climb off the plane in South Carolina, welcomed by that humid 70 degree air! Just as important, I was able to start my diet of mostly Dunkin' Donuts and Krispy Kremes, keeping an eye out for the fresh donut sign;
This was the first Christmas Eve that either Jessica and I were able to be spend on the beach... in shorts... and I loved it! I caught Jessica running around in the waves.
And since the weather was so nice, Jessica even donned the stormtrooper helmet, and hit out on the open road with Dad and his hawg;
It did cool off though, and with temps in the low 60's I was at the grocery store in flip flops and shorts, while the locals were bundled up in jeans, jackets, and boots.
On the birthday of your savior (not mine), we had a big ol' breakfast, with more Dunkin' Donuts coffee, and the tree was ready with a good pile of presents underneath.
It was all set to be a doggie christmas, since my brother was headed over to the house, with his three dogs, to add to the 3 dogs that my parents have! Included the cute little Brandy, the newest addition to the family. She is a little something-teen weeks-old Jack Russell that they just got a few days before our arrival. And as you would imagine, is an insane ball of energy.
They also have Abby;
My brother has a lab, and two Boston Terriers, but I only managed a picture of Fergie;
After the holiday celebrations, we had a few days to just hang out, relax, and take in some "Southern Culture". And of course, eat a good amount of seafood! The parents took us to the baby jeebus celebration show at Alabama Theater, and that was pretty cool. Jessica the techie, had as much fun checking out their lighting and computer set-ups for the queues. And being Myrtle Beach, we had to take some time to hit one of the seemingly hundreds of mini-golf courses along the Grand Strand. We had to seek out the Hawaiian Rumble course, the one and only home to the Minigolf Masters National Championships. Not surprisingly, it had a volcano;
The round started out with Jessica and myself closely matched, but when it came to crunch time, I had just that little extra bit of "j'ne sais quoi" that allowed me to emerge victorious!
The final day of our trip, the temps were up to 80 degrees, and of course, that meant we had to hit the beach again. Sunday, with awesome weather, and we still had the beach mostly to ourselves - definitely no summer-crowd!
But there was still plenty of cold water (I made it in up to my waist... should have just gone all the way, and surfed one wave since I was there!)
And the gulls are always there looking for a free meal.
Sadly, the next day, it was time to head home. The cool thing about flying out of Charleston, is that the airport is shared with Charleston AFB, home of the 315th Airlift Wing, flying a bunch of C-17 Globmaster cargo planes.
And as you often get at airforce bases, a little surprise. There was a Russian Anotov 124 Condor on sitting on the tarmac. Not so long ago, the the AN-124 was the largest plane flying. I'd love to get a close-up look at one of those, and see what it's like compared to the C-5 which I've been in plenty of times.
We had one of those flights right at sundown, and since we were heading west, spent most of the evening chasing the sun across the sky
Somehow, both of our flights home were running on time. And our luck really held out when the very drunk, and very obnoxious, guy sitting a row behind us - who was flying to Denver so he could continue following the band Wide-Spread Panic to their next show (no, really) - passed out cold, within 3 minutes of our wheels leaving the runway.
And now we're home, and it's time to watch the now-motorized Dick Clark welcome in the new year!