I just found out one of my favorite bloggers lives in Virginia Beach. That place may not be of any interest to you, but whenever I hear those two words, my mind, heart and perhaps other parts of my anatomy go all twinkly and gaga. I have a story about VA beach.
One early Spring night in the late 80's, Jen was having a party at her house while her parents were out of town. You know how that goes. I was a year or so out of high school, just back from a year at Auburn and didn't have a whole lot going on. Part-time job, taking a couple of classes at the local community college, living back at home and drinking a lot of beer. If you ever find yourself with this opportunity, I highly recommend it.
My high school crush Pat whom I've spoke about here on occasion, was a year or so into the Marines. He'd recently been home visiting and we "visited" with each other a few times while he was there. Sometimes we "visited" more than once a day even! There was a lot of "visiting" going on, is what I'm trying to say. Again, highly recommendable. Anyho (not a typo), Pat eventually had to go do Marine stuff and went back up to Virginia where he was stationed at the time.
Back to the night of Jen's party. Everything was normal for a Citrus County party; people were sitting around the dining room table playing quarters, people were fighting and/or puking in the front yard, people were having sex in bedrooms, someone tried to feed her pet rabbit an aspirin (back off PETA; I saved the rabbit) and someone else dragged an alligator carcass inside that had been fumigating in the bed of his pickup all day and threw it on the living room floor - you know, normal party stuff.
All of a sudden the phone rang, which as you know at any high school party means the entire place goes silent, immediately. Jen answered and with a weird look on her face, told me it was for me.
Of course, it was Pat.
At that point in my life, that phone call was like in the top five best things to ever happen to me. Not really! No, really it was.
He asked what was going on and I filled him in. I asked what he was doing and he said he was at VA Beach on leave for the weekend. I said Cool (Not really. I probably said something retarded because I was so excited to be talking to him). Then he said, "You should come up." I laughed. He said, "No really. Bring someone with you; I know it's a long drive but I really want to see you." I stopped laughing.
I should tell you that Virginia Beach, Virginia is 771 miles away from Inverness, Florida. I know this because I just checked on Mapquest. A twelve hour drive. It was already late Friday night and his leave ended at noon on Sunday, so even if I'd left right then, we'd only have about 24 hours together, at the most.
I didn't leave right then, but I did leave the next morning. With my sister as my trusty co-pilot and companion and our father having heart failure but letting us go anyway (I'll never, ever understand that as long as I live. If you knew my dad you'd know he certainly wasn't the type of dad who encouraged twelve hour road trips to see boys. In fact, we still had a curfews at that age and if we were an hour late, he was out looking for us.), we set off happily in my little light blue Suzuki Samurai. Such a comfortable vehicle for very long trips.
With a couple gas/pee/food stops and a lot of singing and hyper anticipation, we arrived around seven that night. Somehow we found each other without cell phones because they weren't invented yet. Pat was considerate enough to have another Marine with him, which was good because I didn't want my sister to be bored. And I don't know if she was or not, because I spent the next fifteen hours or so in a hotel room. It had a balcony and it was right on the beach, but we didn't go outside. Food was brought in.
Of course looking back, I do wish we would've at least taken a walk on the beach or something. Not really. Driving in it looked pretty much like Daytona to me, but classier. And I don't even like the beach that much. And, and this is the most important thing, IT WAS PAT. We spent the whole time doing what I drove up there to do. Ahh, the follies of youth. I remember it well.
We said good-bye to the Marines the next morning and started the long journey home. Luckily my sister and I never tire of reliving stories to each other and singing. Besides driving the whole way not knowing my jeep was set on 4-wheel drive, thus having to replace my transmission a few days later, it was a smooth trip back.
That is why I will always have a fondness for Virginia Beach. Though sometimes I still can't believe I drove almost 800 miles for dick. Did I say that? I meant for Pat.