Early Friday morning (8:15--any time before 11 is early) we loaded up the car and began our 6 1/2 hour trip. Almost 9 hours later, we finally reached our destination.
Greenville passed with nary an incident, and by the time Charlotte was near, it was rush hour. But we arrived, safe and sound, and my wonderful-loving cousin gave us some of their old games and dishes. When I showed my husband our loot, he said, "Oh good. I was wanting to go to a thrift store while we were here. This just got that out of my system."
Friday evening I visited with a friend. She lives twenty miles around the interstate that surrounds the city. In Charlotte, that interstate is 485. Like most 4-somethings, it does not entirely circle the city. Instead of making one direction be called one thing and the other direction something else, the brilliant minds in Charlotte decided to call one "outer" and the other "inner". But they didn't stop there. They also labeled it north and south, changing directions as the road went around. So "inner" was also "north" from exits 1-25, and then suddenly "south" from 26-50. Mapquest got confused, confusing me. A twenty five minute trip took an hour. I started sensing a pattern with this trip. Not a good one. The trip was worth it though, and Saturday morning we had brunch with them. (As we were leaving the restaurant, my friend's son  said to the waitress, "Thank you for having us over.") Then we drove an hour and a half for a wedding. Then we drove however long to Greenville where we spent the night with friends.
Sunday was a long day. It started with morning church where the pastor read a verse out of his ESV Bible and proceeded to explain that if our version had such-and-such word, it was because it came from this Hebrew word, and if we had this other word, it came from a completely different Hebrew word that is spelled very similar. He said both words are acceptable, blah blah blah. He lost me when he said that translations of two different words for the same thing was okay. Seriously? I am by no means a rocket scientist, but how can you think that one word could be translated from either one of two different words? I did really like their music, though. They sang out of the Majesty hymnal, my favorite.
After lunch, we headed out toward Atlanta. We got about one mile and Tropical Storm Andrea descended on us. We could only go about 20 mph with 6 feet visibility. I think it took us 30 minutes to travel the 6 miles to the interstate. When we got to the outskirts of Atlanta, we hit another storm, similar in intensity. In between the storms, we passed a van on fire. The sliding door was open, so we're hoping that everyone made it out fine. The hood was open and flames were ascending to the clouds. Fire was all over the ground. It was kinda scary. My husband called 911 just to make sure someone had already reported it. They said the fire trucks just hadn't gotten there yet.
We were just a few minutes late to church, and when we came out, there was a gigantic turtle on the sidewalk. My bro-in-law graciously carried it back to the woods, but not before it scared the kids pretty badly. I did not know turtles could move so fast!
I decided that I need to see my NC/SC friends every year. I missed them more than I had realized.