[The following entries are being written a month after the fact. I have no excuse, other than laziness and a severe case of procrastination; story of my life. So, without further ado … ]
Driving through Atlanta felt like driving through Tokyo in an anime movie—miles of monstrous buildings looming over the endless rain-slicked highways for what seemed like hours on end, crotch rockets warping past us, screaming "Akira" and "Kaneda" either at each other, or at us. I couldn't tell.
And yes, the rain.
It was nothing but rain once we hit northern Georgia. It wasn't that bad until we hit Tennessee, when the wind kicked in, and it made driving through the moutains, at night, with rain, and wind, a real intense experience. Kentucky was just as bad, first with the mountains, and by the time we got though that, we hit Ohio. And bumper to bumper traffic at 6:30 am going through Cincinnati. It took us over an hour to travel some ten miles and past the parking lot of I-75 in Cincinnati.
Then Bunny took over driving, and I fell asleep for a few hours. The next thing I remember, We're pulling over somewhere just south of Detroit as I take over driving duties, since I'm more familiar with the area.
We drove by my dad's parents' house, the one were I spent many a summer, just to see it again. That neighborhood hasn't changed in the twenty years since I last saw it (I last visited in I think 1993 or 1994—a few months before Grandpa died, but no one else in the family seems to recall that visit; my prior visit was the summer of 1987). We then drove to Jan and Ed's house. Jan was at work, but Ed was still there. We chatted briefly about things. Then we drove by Kay and Dale's house, but they weren't there (at first, I got the wrong house as I was a block off, but it ultimately turns out they no longer lived there—boy, things do have a way of changing).
Since we were hungry by this time (it was around 1:00 pm or so) we drove back into Detroit to eat at Buddy's. It's not much to look at on the outside:
but it's cozy on the inside:
and the pizza is incredible (honestly, I don't know if they serve anything else but pizza; I don't think I've ever looked at their menu).
After lunch, we checked into the hotel.
It was quite nice.
A few hours to relax, and we get together with Kay, Dale and Ethan and head to Plymouth Roc for dinner. It seems that their son (my cousin) Jordan is a partner in the restaurant. Sweet. While there, we met up with Jordan, Aaron and family and Caitlin. I somewhat remember Jordan, and I barely remember Caitlin and Ethan. It's also weird to think of Aaron as a family man, seeing how the last time I saw him he was in high school.
This is something I had to grow used to, cousins I knew having families, and meeting several new cousins.
We spent the next few hours eating (execellent food, although as a disclaimer, I do have to mention it's a restaurant that's in the family, so I might be a bit biased) and getting caught up. Then it was back to the hotel for some much needed sleep.