In the B.C. (Before children) years of my marriage, my wife, Becky and I, impetuously decided on a Friday afternoon after work to go to the coast for a “real” seafood dinner.
It was 5:30 by the time we decided to go. We drove across NC 158 along the top of the state, and hit NC 12 and drove down the coast to Nags Head, where we learned, at about 10:10 that night, that most restaurants closed at 10 p.m.
We drove all the way to the coast to have dinner and we were shut out. We went to Wendys and ordered a couple fish sandwiches and came home, deflated, but happy for the time spent together.
These days I’m not quite so impetuous, though I still enjoy a good road trip now and then.
And, so early last week, my daughter, Pitt, and I decided that, on Saturday, we would travel to Bluefield W. Va. to pick up my favorite brand of beer, which can no longer be purchased in North Carolina.
Unlike my ill-fated trip to the coast, I directed Pitt to call ahead and make sure the distributor where we were going to buy the beer would be open on Saturday. Turns out they weren’t open.
The trip was mothballed. Or so I thought. I called the distributor back to find out where they delivered that brand of beer to retailers. I figured, we could just go to the local convenience store and pick it up. But it seems the distributorship sells very little of that brand and the closest store was a couple hours away through some mountainous terrain.
I knew the town where that store was because it wasn’t far from where my father-in-law grew up, so I determined we would go to that store.
The lady at the distributorship made the comment that she assumed I would come up on Saturday, spend the night and return to North Carolina on Sunday.
“No,” I told her. “We’re turning around and coming right back home.”
The silence on the other end of the phone was pregnant with disbelief.
“You’re coming all the way up here just for that,” she asked incredulously. “That was my plan,” I said.
She asked me to call her back 20 minutes later while she worked to see if she could broker a deal with a local store to keep me from traveling all the way to the other town.
Fortunately, she found a willing partner just off the interstate, so it was a quick stop to pick up our purchase and hotfoot it back to the Tar Heel state.
Pitt and I both had meetings last Saturday morning, so we met about noon to take off. We were back at her apartment by 9 that night.
Several times throughout the afternoon, I caught Pitt shaking her head and laughing quietly. “I cannot believe we are driving all the way to West Virginia just to buy some beer,” she said.
Kind of odd, I admit, but we enjoyed our trip through the Virginia and W. Virginia mountains and, most especially we enjoyed each other’s company on our “sort of” impromptu road trip.