Thursday, May 30, 2013

74 Hour Trip From High Point, NC to Baltimore, MD In Pictures

I know this is going to be an extremely long post. If Abi was posting about our trip it would be spread out over several posts. But, this is my post and I am going to do it my way. If you want to read a portion of it and come back I won't complain because you are helping our page view stats!

For a couple of months I have been nagging Abi about making plans to visit Baltimore over Memorial Day weekend like she was nagging me about making an appointment to get my hip looked at by a Doctor. On Wednesday she finally made the decision to go in typical random Abi fashion. We knew this would be a quick trip but this might be the only time to see folks in quite sometime due to my pending surgery. After having a ton of fun with the post Boring Life in Pictures Thanks to an IPhone I thought I would do the same and share it from my perspective good and bad. All of these pictures are from my IPhone and are not the same professional quality that Abi is so great at posting.

Maggie had to come because my family had other obligations and couldn't keep her. We also didn't have a chance to find a dog sitter due to being new to High Point, NC. Luckily Maggie has stayed with us at my Mother in Law's (MIL) and Father in Law's (FIL) house and has been well mannered despite them not being dog folks. They actually seemed to be entertained by her antics in the past. This saved her a weekend in a cage at a kennel and I reminded Maggie of this several times prior to the trip. We said a prayer that Maggie wouldn't get us in trouble with my in laws. I loaded up on Charlie Bear dog treats to bribe Maggie into good behavior which worked...


Thursday morning we had a routine appointment with my Orthopedic Surgeon to talk Hip Replacement and the status of my Posterior Tibial Tendonitis. This Dr did give me a prescription to take the edge off of the tendon and hip pain. I probably should have been on something stronger than Advil or Tylenol for a  while but this was the first time that I have taken something so strong since January 2010. It helped take the edge off of things. Taking the drugs also meant that I couldn't drive which was a non issue because of my boot and cast.


Maggie decided that packing on Thursday evening was boring. Instead chasing frogs on windows would be more entertaining. She must have spent an hour pawing at the door trying to kill her first frog.
Abi got home an hour early on Friday night and we were on the road in less than 15 minutes. By 6:45 we were on the road bound for Baltimore.
I rode in the back since I am not a very good co pilot and we thought I could have more room to stretch my bad leg. Unfortunately my hip wasn't very manueverable and the Ford Focus was too small for me fully stretch. At least I didn't have to have the crap scared out of me on my two favorite roads I-85 & I-95.

Maggie shooting Abi the look for having to share her back seat with someone. At this point I am starting to realize that I could be in trouble.

Maggie a half hour into the trip terrorizing me for not putting her in my lap. She felt that she needed to be in the middle seat or my lap because she needed the attention. I eventually gave in and put her in the middle seat and she was calm. For the rest of the ride I listened to my beloved Atlanta Braves on SirisXM praying that I wouldn't be freaked out by the crazy drivers. Abi made great time but had to be very cautious about speeding because every couple of miles The Virginia State Police were pulling people over. Either the drivers are that bad or the police are that zealous about speeders. It was crazy!

We figured that we were going to be about 20 miles short on gas to Baltimore. So we stopped south of Washington, DC at the promised land formerly known as Wawa. Abi had tried to do the trip nonstop which Maggie and I weren't too happy about. Between my crutches and Maggie it took over 20 minutes for a quick stop. There was no such thing as a quick stop for us.

Abi then kicked me out of the back seat and made me sit up front for the drive through Washington, DC and Baltimore. Luckily it was 11pm by this point and there was no traffic or crazy drivers. It was about as sane of drive through those two towns as I can remember...

Going through the Baltimore Tunnels with no traffic was awesome! We finally made it to the in laws house at 12:45am which was exactly six hours. I am happy to report that there were no hurt feelings over my back seat & front seat driving nor criticism of Abi's driving.

When we got there one of the first comments from Larry my Father in Law (FIL) was  "Your hip sure is messed up by the way your leg is at at that angle" Once again other folks are pointing out how messed up my leg is and why I am needing to replace my hip. Yet for all of these years I have not seen these issues.

Andrew Abi's baby brother graduates from Parkville High School next week. We wish we could make another trip to celebrate this but can't. It was great to celebrate his final weekend of high school with him over the weekend. He also celebrated receiving a $150,000 full ride Marine Corps ROTC Scholarship to The Citadel where he will be attending this fall. After graduating from The Citadel he will become a Marine Officer. I am already working on my Marine Corps jokes because making fun of Marine's is way too easy.

After Abi and Vicki my Mother In Law (MIL) went thrift shopping. Abi, FIL and I went to visit Abi's sister Katie's family. We had a great visit with Katie, Dan and Sumara. In honor of Memorial Day we had a BBQ where I was reminded that BBQ in Maryland ain't the same as BBQ in NC. I am not complaining other the title. Because real BBQ involves pig not hamburgers & hot dogs. Other than the title. The food was awesome and I eat so much I forgot to take a picture of it. We had a great time. Thank's again!

Thursday I was written a prescription pain killer for the first time since January 2010 to combat the pain for the hip and ankle. Saturday I overdid it and had to take one. It certainly made me loopy but if it helped me keep the title of "Crazy In Law" it was worth it. 

Saturday night the MIL had to work and Abi decided to go have dinner with her friend leaving me on my own. I then decided to make the trip to Baltimore official by having dinner at Noodles and Company Its something I would give anything for Greensboro to have because I eat there every time we visit Baltimore. Luckily my FIL was willing to drive and we had a great dinner and chat. I hope I was able to maintain my status as favorite son in law by not talking politics...


Sunday morning Abi and I went to Panera Bread for brunch with friends. I was not impressed with the menu because there were no biscuits or grits to be found...

The friends sure made up for the food because it is always great to visit with Becki and Erin. Both of whom were bridesmaids in our wedding. When we visit Baltimore Abi loves visiting her family but you can bet that she will also visit her friends as well. Due to the holiday we missed Abi's other friend Emily Joy.

The highlight of the visit was Abi getting to hold Becki's six month old daughter Ellie.

The other place we have to visit in Baltimore is Ikea where we got a couple of things for the house. Abi wouldn't argue if they would build one in Greensboro.

My favorite thing about Ikea was that they have the best wheelchair since being put on crutches. I was able to elevate my leg and shop in complete comfort.

After we got back to the In Law's place my FIL told Abi that "Maggie wanted to go on a longer walk than what Abi was taking her on so she could explore more." So he decided to walk Maggie around several blocks and they had a great time. This is coming from folks who are not dog people. Maggie was spoiled this weekend. Just like his two grandkids!

My only true complaint about the trip was all of the steps. It was murder trying to navigate into my in law's house. It's not their fault but I have a new appreciation for my single story home.

Sunday afternoon we all went to visit Abi's sister Emily and Paul. We had a great cookout. After climbing a full flight of stairs I sat down and was greeted by their dog Buttercup putting her throw toy on my crutches in hopes of a game of fetch. I give her credit for knowing how to get my attention but refused to play. We had a cookout and a great dinner with all of Abi's family except her brother Patrick and Jen who were in Boston. The food was great and as usual I forgot to take a picture. I overdid it by going all over the house!

Paul and Emily's second dog a Pitbull named Basil thought that Abi's brother Andrew and girlfriend were displaying a little too much PDA. Basil did a great job at making sure the two lovebirds behaved!

As usual my Brother in Law Paul, Basil and niece Sumara were quite entertaining while I attempted to chill on the couch!

After a couple of hours I was beat bad and very sore. My FIL was also pretty tired so we went back to their house while Abi stayed with her sisters and got her some quality sister time. The hip and ankle definitely held me back on this trip!

This is about half the stairs to get into Paul and Emily's house. I thought I was going to die going up and down these suckers. They were no match for my condition this weekend! We had a great time and wish we could have spent more time with everyone.

My FIL had such a great time walking Maggie on Sunday that Monday morning the two went exploring again. I think Maggie might turn him into a dog person. Their walk was so great that Maggie had to get a nap. My FIL is set to retire from the USPS in June 2013. I am thinking that a little Terrier would be great for him to stay in shape since he walks a ton of miles on his route.

Abi, MIL,FIL and I had a great time Skyping with Abi's other brother Patrick & Jen Monday morning. We learned he has taken a job in Southern California and will be moving from Boston this summer. We couldn't be more happy for them.

 My MIL & FIL then entertained Patrick's 1 year old son Peter by showing them Maggie. Peter was highly amused but Maggie did not understand Skype. It was quite funny.

We had one last lunch with my FIL & MIL at Qdoba. It was truly a great weekend!

While we were loading the car the FIL let us take his Baltimore Ravens flamingos to show our Baltimore love in our yard. Abi is thrilled!


One happy family! We were definitely sad to leave Baltimore Monday afternoon...

Even Maggie was upset to leave! Although I think she was upset that she couldn't ride in my lap.

Abi made me ride in the front seat. Traffic was not that bad. It was just a long ride home because Abi wanted to go the longer route through Harpers Ferry, WV where the plan was to go for a quick walk to take pictures.

The weather wasn't great but here we are leaving Maryland at Harpers Ferry, WV. There were a ton of folks out exploring.

Maggie was very mouthy after learning that she wouldn't be going for a walk around Harpers Ferry. She made it very clear that Abi promised her a walk and wasn't happy about not getting it. In the end Abi won because she was driving.

As copilot my number one job was making sure that Abi had her Tootsie Rolls.

Due to Abi driving I didn't have anything better todo than learn how to use Abi's IPhone 5. I was bored out of my mind.

Being cooped up in the car prevented me from stretching out. I was in the most pain all weekend thanks to sitting in a car. I was very miserable!

Abi was nice enough to make a second stop on the ride home unlike the ride up. Abi wasn't exhausted from all of the driving but I sure was.

7 hours after leaving Baltimore we made it home at 8:45pm. I don't know who was more excited. Maggie because Abi didn't walk her on the drive home or me because I was so sore.

Maggie got home and immediately found her bed and went back to sleep. Apparently we wore her out traveling all weekend!

I couldn't believe how swollen my ankle was after I got home. This is starting to scare me about it not being healed enough for the hip replacement.

As you can see we clearly had a great trip.  Thank you to everyone who made it such a great trip by hosting us.

For everyone not in Maryland we did not eat any famous crabs. Abi and I aren't big into seafood and didn't make a huge effort to seek any out.

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