He'd stayed behind in Maine because Grandpa had a fall on Christmas morning, which landed him in a surgical unit that night. He emerged with hardware in his hip and a stint in a rehab hospital. The doc says Gary should be ready for our beach vacation come late March, so there's hope on the horizon.
Some stuff we learned while on vacation:
- Reindeer games can be fun but you need fully inflated antlers and the "deer" has to bow his/her head to give the ring tossers a viable shot.
- Triple A services follow the driver, not the car. So if your adult son is stranded solo in your car, even a 29-year member is not entitled to service if said member is not in the car.
- If a 29-year member is outraged enough, he will get service extended as a courtesy.
- Mainers are really nice. While Jeff was stranded, every person who passed by him offered help, and one not only offered to follow him home to ensure he got there, he actually did when they discovered that he lived a couple streets over.
- Alison, a huge fan of Auntie Jen, learned they do not share musical taste. A ride in Jen's car is a flash back to the 80s. Billy Idol's "Flesh as Fantasy" was the tipping point. "Auntie Jen has weird music. It's not as bad as your country music, but man."
- It pays to use small airports. If you leave your driver's license in the dish at Security, the TSA folks will call you on the P.A. system to drag you back to retrieve it.
At our annual Christmas Eve at the Chinese buffet, Alison ate so many crab legs even she was embarrassed. The next evening as we left the hospital and were talking about where to have dinner, Jeff suggested we go back there. "I can't go back there, they'll recognize me," she said.
I don't have many pictures from NYE, which was much more fun than I'd expected as a solo participant. Ali had a friend over. Cory is the only one we know who can challenge - and even beat her - at Mario Cart so they gave the Wii a workout.
Eric and Tracy drove up even though Jeff wasn't going to make it back before the ball drop. I though the four-hour drive was an indication of real friendship until I realized she left behind an enormous tin of chocolate.
We'd planned to get back to the days when we rotated hosting a gourmet food fest and high-end champagne extravaganza. Jeff's absence was noted - we called him a couple times and he informed us he was having Chunky soup and craft beer. We managed better fare. We dropped by Susan and Jeff's party as well, which kept us out well past my bedtime.
Jeff came back New Year's Day, so we've had a couple days before having to go back to work. We scored with a Jenna sleepover tonight so that's livened up things around here.