I write today from the Red Roof Inn on Two-Notch Road in Columbia, South Carolina. Shirl and I have been to Orlando to see son Jamie and daughter-in-law Amy, to Ft. Myers to see the Boston Red Sox, and to Miami to see son Brian and daughter-in-law Nika. We stayed three nights in a luxury condo in the Orlando area, and since that splurge have been more frugal: one night at a Days Inn in Ft Myers, and one at the Red Roof Inn in West Palm Beach, where we also visited Larry Forand and his wife Norma. Larry was Shirl's music teacher in the Westborough, Massachusetts, schools when she was a girl, and has been a lifelong friend of the family. He is 84 now, and still a warm and humorous guy.
Two lost hours spent in stop-and-go traffic south of Washington on the trip south convinced us to take the I-81 ("Mountain") route home from Florida. So Thursday we came to Columbia, where we pick up I-77 to Charlotte, and shortly thereafter join I-81 for the beautiful trip up the Shenandoah Valley toward the Northeast. But we have spent an extra day and night here in Columbia, thus giving me (the driver) a much-needed rest, and a chance to catch up on my course preparations.
Columbia, the capital of South Carolina, is also home to the University of S. C., where two PSU colleagues and I spent a week in the summer of 1997, taking a training course in the teaching of International Business. It is a lovely old southern city, with a beautiful campus.
Perhaps, one day soon, I will be allowed to reveal the real reason for spending two nights here.
Finally, three cheers for my 2005 Hyundai Santa Fe. Over 96,000 miles, using no oil, and cruising comfortably at high cruising speeds with a heavy load. Motorheads of the World, Unite!