Sunday, November 26, 2006


"And if one more car passes on the highway, I am going to jump out and start running."

-J, obviously tiring of quality grandparent time.

Thankfully, we head back to Philadelphia tomorrow, and not a moment too soon. My grandfather is not such a good listener, and seemingly only enjoys giving information. ("You see, that used to be a bustling shopping center, but now all the stores have closed. There used to be a Best Buy. And a Michael's. But they've all closed now.")

J, grits teeth in backseat of car.

They also duped us into believing that they wanted to see our pictures from Greece; in reality, it was a ploy to show us photos from their last Caribbean cruise.

J, cowering in upstairs bedroom.

Oh, and since Grandma was sick with a cold last week, she opted not to cook Thanksgiving dinner. Instead, she made reservations at The Academy Hotel for brunch.

Except, The Academy Hotel was actually the Best Western, Academy Hotel, and it wasn't so much a fancy brunch as it was a table set up in the lobby of the hotel. Next to the swimming pool. Somehow, a tattoed fat man cannon-balling into the water doesn't fill one's heart with warm holiday sentiments.

In Grandma's defense, she hadn't realized what the ambience in the place would be. We chalked it up to an unorthodox Thanksgiving meal, and I took advantage of the complimentary champagne.

Next, we crashed a neighbor's celebration. We'd been invited for dessert but were a bit early.

J, mortified on neighbor's deck.

The house actually belonged to my grandparents' neighbor's father, The Colonel. The Colonel fought in World War II and lost most of his hearing flying fighter jets. The Colonel is a close-talker. Also, The Colonel believes that "those goddamn Muslims won't be happy until they raise their green flag above the White House."

"Oh my God," whispers J, smiling politely as The Colonel drones on. "Our whole life has become listening to old people! It's like, all we do now!"


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