I drove us out of New York City after a quick bite from a tiny place in Chinatown. The almost three hour drive to South Hadley went by in a snap - I was so excited to get home for a day and time was on my side. We pulled in around 10 p.m. and my dad came up the walk silhouetted against the kitchen light where my mom was standing with her nose up to the screen door.
We hung out for a short time and then hit the hay excited for a chance to regain our bearings the next morning by repacking our car, catching up on some posts, planning for a few more days in the future and celebrating my dad’s birthday a few days early.
The day was broken down into three major parts for me. Part One: Breakfast at the Lovelace’s, Part Two: America in 100 Days and the Case of the Overstuffed Car, and Part Three: King Kamehameha.

I. Breakfast at the Lovelace’s

My dad’s scrambled eggs are pretty much the stuff of legends among my and my brother’s high school friends. The morning at my parents' house, I woke up without an alarm around 8:00 and hurried downstairs to the smells of fresh brewed coffee, frying bacon and scrambling eggs. Delicious! I sat in the kitchen while my parents cooked all this food, and my mom toasted bread and washed native strawberries too. Once the food was done we took our plates to the dining room to continue our leisurely Monday morning.

It reminded me of Sundays before church when I was growing up where the newspaper would be spread across the table and the whole family was smiling and crunching bacon between their teeth. My mom was taking me on a quick errand I had to run just as the boys were waking up so my dad sat and kept them company while they enjoyed his incredible eggs.
II. America in 100 Days and the Case of the Overstuffed Car

I’ve told you about the car situation. It’s a real bummer. Joey and I had a lot more stuff in our apartment than we expected to, as I’ve mentioned, and a quick rearranging session at Lela’s in D.C. wasn’t enough to remedy the space issues we were running into. Well today was the day we had been waiting for. Today we got to unpack the whole car onto my parent’s driveway and do it over. We were all super pumped.

Joey set up the video camera across the driveway and we let it capture the whole scene as we took every piece in the car, from the largest duffle bag to the smallest battery and put it on the driveway in different piles (camping, clothes, books, things we don’t need, things we need ready access to, etc.). My mom and her “Mah Jong Monday” pal, Nancy, were having a great time chatting on the lawn with their coffee as they watched us.

Nancy is big into the America in 100 Days idea and has done cross country trips of her own a few times before. She was getting a big kick out of all the stuff we had strewn across the driveway. Her son Kenny came by for a little bit as well and enjoyed a peanut butter sandwich on the lawn with the ladies.
We were able to eliminate a bunch of stuff, and Joey and I even repacked a few bags so they contained less and fit better back in the car. Doing this lifted a huge weight off of my shoulders. We can actually see out the windows now, when Bern comes in Pittsburgh and Chicago there will actually be room for her and we didn’t need all that stuff anyway so it’s great to not be hauling around a bunch of random junk! Joey sent the video he took over to Tom who sped it up and put it to music courtesy of his former roommate, Ian. It looks great guys - check it out, America!

III. King Kamehameha

My dad sometimes calls himself King K because his birthday falls on the Hawaiian holiday called King Kamehameha Day. The reason anyone in my family all the way in Massachusetts knows about that is because my mom was born in Hawaii and grew up on the island of Oahu. My mother and I have the same type of skin, so if anyone knows about sunburns it would be my mom. She told my brother and me the story of King Kamehameha who was the Hawaiian leader responsible for conquering and unifying the islands (he backed the last opposing king and his army off a cliff which took care of things nicely). His great success earned him a permanent spot on the Hawaiian calendar and on June 11th every year his statues are covered in flowery leis.
My dad’s birthday, happening to fall on this historic day, earns him the right to refer to himself as King Kamehameha, because why not? 
So it wasn’t actually June 11th, but my mom had a great meal planned from appetizers to cake and the boys gave my dad a bottle of wine which was very nice of them to do. After dinner, dad ripped into his presents and after cake the three Lovelace’s taught the boys our family game called Russian Donkey. This game originated from my mother, and since no one else has ever heard of it I credit her with making the rules.

So even though we didn’t see much of my little neck of the woods we all had a great day relaxing, catching up, spreading out and eating a lot of really great food. Thanks Mom and Dad! It was great seeing you! I miss you both already.

Our next stop would be a 9:30 whale watch three hours away from my home in Cape Cod, so, until next time America.


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