Day One: A filling breakfast and a reasonably early start. We stop for lunch in a Virginia town which I later find out is called Chester where we chance upon a Mexican joint called Jalapenos. It was a choice between this place and the Chinese place next door. We pick this as it seems to have more foot traffic and we are not disappointed.
Well fed and content we head out. But very soon it becomes apparent that the terms and conditions needed to be negotiated and re-negotiated outside a laundromat in Lawrenceville, Virginia.
"I scream, you stop".
"I bawl, you stop".
"If it looks like I might erupt into a paroxym of howling, you change plans and head to Durham...".
....where we walk through the campus of Duke University, have an early dinner with a nice uncle before resuming our momentous journey once again.
We will finally make it to our hotel in ten hours and find the place overrun by families whose homes have been destroyed by a spate of tornadoes. Our next door neighbor is a celebrity of sorts - his destroyed home made it to the front page of some big newspaper, we forget which one.
Day Two: Breakfast at the hotel is a rambunctious affair with a lot of kids running around. Later, while the Boy lectures and gets lectured, we wander the halls of the Airborne and Special Operations Museum. At this point, we are a little heartbroken. Where did all the men in uniform go? Everyone we meet is nice and balding, except Iron Mike here, who gladly agreed to pose with us.Day Three: A repeat of Day One, more or less. Lunch at Cracker Barrel. Could not ignore those billboards along I-95 touting the goodness of Southern hospitality right along the edge of the highway, any more. The food is decent, my fried fish is perfectly crispy. We even order the pineapple upside down cake. A second break at the Woodbridge Ikea, thanks to the rush hour traffic and we are back at home, sweet home in just about eight hours.
Home, where the baby roams and the fridge stares back at us silently...all empty. Thanks to this fridge cleaning soup we made before we left. Half a sad head of lettuce, a few frozen beans, a wilted carrot and some chopped onions sauteed with ginger, garlic and soy sauce and then simmered. And to add that special Indian Chinese taste - a dab of the green chili sauce (not Sriracha) at the end.