Traffic was hell but we made it to Delaware and back without major incident. One nice thing came from the horrible traffic: on the way up we detoured through rural Maryland and had a lovely drive past old farmhouses and a very cool hydro electric plant. We didn't know it was coming until we were right on top of it, so I didn't have time to get out my camera. But Georg found and linked to a photo. If it weren't for our drive lasting 2.5 hours longer than it should have, I would have been downright happy about the detour.
On Saturday Georg and my sister and I had lunch at the Charcoal Pit. That was the favorite hangout of high school students when I was one, and apparently still is today. I remembered going there with my friends back in the day, but I didn't remember how utterly amazing the food was. Hamburgers and french fries and milkshakes, oh my. The burger and fries were both outstanding, but I think my favorite thing was the milkshake. It came in a huge metal container, with glasses and spoons so we could scoop it out a little bit at a time. That way most of the shake stays nice and cold in the metal thing.
The place hadn't changed a bit since the early 80s, and from the photos it appears to have hardly changed since the mid 50s. I highly recommend it to diner aficionados. It's not far from I-95. My mom told a funny story from years ago, before my sister or I was born: one night mom cooked pork chops and mashed potatoes for my dad and herself. After dinner she announced that she was still hungry and wanted to go to the Charcoal Pit for an ice cream sundae. When she got there she decided to have a cheese steak instead. Then she went ahead and had the ice cream too. Now I know where I get my appetite from.
Saturday night we checked out a house near my folks with a spectacular Christmas light display. Why is it that people in Durham always seem to go for the all-white lights? Georg and I agreed that multicolored lights are way more fun. Especially if you have way too many of them. This house had the benefit of a big yard, so they could set up paths for people to walk among the lights. On one side of the yard they had even laid blue lights on the ground to look like a pond, and then put life-sized ice skaters on it!
Now we are home and I'm in my jammies and ready for bed. The display on my laptop has finally given up the ghost, but I have a loaner computer and a shipping box ready to send the laptop to Applecare. All I need to do is find my danged firewire cable so I can transfer all my critical files to the loaner.
The pet sitter took such good care of the dogs that they didn't even seem that excited to see us. I thought they would be frantic but no, they acted about the same as when we come home from work any normal day. It's a big relief to have them stay at home while we're away. I like our new pet sitter a lot. She seems to really care about the dogs. Someone had an accident while we were away (I'm guessing Thirteen) so the pet sitter split the evening visit into 2 short stops, which brought her here 3 times a day. And she wouldn't even take any extra money!