The plan was to leave Baltimore at 9AM and get a good start on our way down to Tampa. Still, not entirely having my head wrapped around this new chapter in my life, I refused to pack last night. That in and of itself was enough to set us back a few hours, but this morning the Admiral’s wife invited me to a luncheon next week and I couldn’t remember if I had appropriate attire in my air freight due to arrive on Tuesday. Even if I had a nice outfit — were the shoes, handbags & accessories in Baltimore or in one of our other 2 shipments? Clothing logistics — while that should be my worse problem in life, it was making us late!!

My husband the Diplomat in the midst of my packing debacle decided THEN would be a good time to DNA test Diplo-dog with the kit that I bought him as an Anniversary gift in July. Don’t judge me — It is what he wanted. So after spending 1/2 hour online registering Lexi for this test, he turns to me and says, “I just did the hard part — you stick the swabs in Lexi’s cheek and rotate them around for 15 seconds”. I am lucky my dog loves me and my husband is luckier that I still got in the car with him 5 hours later!!

Finally on the road

Lexi, of course wanted to drive, and the battle of wits began. Within 1/2 hour I was covered in cookie crumbs, dog hair and back seat driving for real. While I was still reeling over Steve’s first brilliant idea of the day — he redeemed himself with the suggestion to stop at University of Richmond (the half-way point to today’s destination of Durham, NC) to visit my son’s best friend, Marin, who has just started her freshman year.

It was so great seeing Marin. She is like a 2nd daughter to me, a twin spirit and very special. She and my son, Bradley, spent a week in Tijuana with us this summer doing their senior high school project building houses for low income citizens who live there. They volunteered for a wonderful organization named Fundación Esperanza and worked hard pouring concrete, bending rebar and the like. So after leaving Marin on our way towards Durham, I started to get a little wistful of TJ and thought I would share some images of the wonderful work that they did……