All eight of us in the family went on an extended trip together for Labor Day weekend, starting from Friday morning to Monday night. Luckily, Joe and Diann, my older son and his wife, bought a van shortly after we arrived in April. The van was put to the test this weekend as we traveled to places I thought I would never see again.
The main purpose of the trip was to visit friends who Joe and Diann were stationed with in Florida. Joe and Diann came here to Maryland, while they ended up at Fort Bragg in North Carolina. My wife, Josie, and I knew them while we were staying with Joe and Diann in Florida.
It was a six-hour drive from here to Fort Bragg. We visited with them on Friday and Saturday (which included the “Betsy’s Crepes” restaurant in Southern Pines and Anderson Creek County Park in Lillington). We stayed at a hotel on Fort Bragg for two nights. They live in military housing, but that housing is off-base, about 20 minutes away from the hotel.
We stopped at the Aloha Safari Zoo for an hour or so before heading South.
Joe wanted to see the places where we spent our time in North Carolina from 1988 to 1992. Joe swore up and down that we left in 1991, but he was only 11 at the time and I had orders, so I think my memory is a little better than his.
We lived at a mobile home park called “The Pines” in Hubert. Joe went to school in Swansboro. The schools have changed, of course. After all, it’s been 29 years, and I’m sure the population increase demanded it. We ate at the Texas Roadhouse restaurant in Jacksonville before heading North again.
We stopped and stayed at a hotel overnight in some city in Virginia. All I know is that it was a Holiday Inn. I paid no attention to the name of the city.
Joe and Diann wanted to see the wild horses on Assateague Island. Most of the island is in Maryland, the rest is in Virginia. It had just stopped raining when we got there. We didn’t see many horses until we were on our way out of the state park.
While we were there, our oldest grandson, Joshua, tried his hand at crabbing. He caught three. The first two were small, and he threw them back. The last one escaped because whoever had the net wasn’t near him. It was a big one. Josie and our daughter-in-law, Cathy, did some clamming. They threw the clams back as well.
We stopped at a restaurant called “Brew River” in Salisbury, Maryland on our last leg back to the house. It was the most expensive meal out of all the meals we had over the weekend and I paid for it.
Well, my home away from home while the pandemic keeps me from going to my real home. Josie and I were along for the ride, more or less. We enjoyed the Assateague State Park, but that was about it. We never thought we would end up in North Carolina for anything. None of Josie’s acquaintances from 1988-1992 live there anymore. Joe asked if I wanted to go on the base and I declined.
Josie has cousins living in Virginia, and we’ve gone shopping in Virginia, so that wasn’t new. I spent time on Fort Bragg, North Carolina in 1991, so that wasn’t really new either.