November 10, 2014.
The circle is officially closed. The Veranda has been gone for 5 months and we closed on our “new to us” house this past week. Once the closing was complete we loaded up the car, left Annapolis and headed up to my Mom's house in Jersey to pick up the rest of our stuff that's been sitting there for 9 years.
I wanted to rent a large truck and pick up all our shit and drive it to Florida ourselves. But finding our way through the realities of shore-side life have left me a little confused. We could actually have a mover pick up all our shit, drive it to Florida and drop it off, cheaper than we could rent a truck and do it ourselves. Alrighty then, man of leisure it is. Although it does bother me.
So we met the movers and watched as 3 dudes we didn't know from Adam took everything we owned and drove away. We drove back down to Naptown on Saturday morning and picked up the last of our belongings and set off southward at 70 knots. The car was so full that Bob the Boat Plant had to be left behind. He's been with us through thick and thin for our entire life afloat so we lopped off a few sprigs to replant later. It's not the same but it'll have to do. Tucker's bed was on top of everything in the back seat so when I looked in the rearview mirror we were eye to eye. He looked relieved that it was Bob that we opted to leave behind.
He settled in for a series of long naps as we barreled south. We decided to stop for the night at at a Days Inn in Manning, South Carolina. It was a little seedy but bargained priced so we made due and did our best to settle in. Early on in our stay it became apparent that several of the other nearby units were rented out to permanent residents. Not the Trumps either. I'm pretty sure I could have scored either crack or a hooker with no trouble at all had I been so inclined. I'm almost positive I’ve seen this place on multiple episodes of COPS.
I'm not digging the scene at all and I start having this weird premonition about someone breaking into the car at 0300. Crap. I need some rest but its Saturday night and the locals are fidgety. I convince Christy to turn in and we're asleep by 8 PM. At around 0100 I’m awakened by a noise outside and I get up to check the car.
There are 2 guys just getting home from the bar. I know because they were still carrying their bottles. The first guy stopped directly in front of our car and said something over his shoulder to his buddy. The second guy stopped and looked for a while and then moved on towards their room. WTF could be so interesting about our car? Crap. Now I'm up at every hint of a noise whether real or imagined.
So I'm bug eyed and awake and by 0200 I have Christy up as well. I go out to pack our crap into the car and there on the ground is a pair of 6 inch heeled hooker shoes. They must have been the object of the boozers conversation. I can't believe that I slept thru the hooker losing her shoes but whatever, I'm awake now. I'm sure that room was last rented by the hour so I know the clerk was impressed with my stamina when we checked out after having the room for 6 hours. Its 0230 and hey look, the Verandas are once again up and underway southward. It was the same morning that our friends on First Edition were planning to pull their hook in North Carolina at 0300 so once again we're not the last one out of an anchorage. The whole 70 knot thing is getting to be awesome and we pulled into our new neighborhood at 1000 hours on Sunday morning.
I spent Monday morning painting a pantry that was evidently the wrong color. And on Monday afternoon I ripped out 7 hibiscus bushes so I could install a raised garden for the Admiral. I'm a little bit jealous as we read about our friends heading for tropical locations but keeping busy at the new hacienda is helping.