Weekend In Virginia

Gather round, everyone. I’m going to regal you with tall tales of my time in Virginia.

It was a long visit compared to what we normally get. I left after work on Tuesday, arrived on Wednesday afternoon and didn’t have to leave until Sunday. Three full days plus two half days.

I last left off with the mobster, T, and I getting ready to go to the Kane Brown concert. We had a great time. We were in line at the exit for close to 40 minutes. We probably bought stolen concert shirts. And once we finally got off the exit ramp and were close to the Berglund Center we found out that the only people allowed to park in the parking lot were those who had bought a parking pass online. Instead we were directed to go up seven lights, turn right and park “there” for free; there was a shuttle that would drop us off at the arena, we were told.

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Oh, the mobster was not happy. I do believe an “F” bomb was dropped. That’s one of the things I love about him. Not that he drops the “F” bomb, but that he takes a stand; he speaks up. I’m the type to bristle silently and try to smooth things over. “Oh, don’t worry about it. It’s not a big deal. It’s inconvenient but that’s okay. I’ll suffer in silence.” Not him. He is willing to talk about it to everyone. And I do mean everyone. Not only was he asking the parking attendants what the hell kind of plan that was, he later talked to a police officer inside the arena about it. The cop agreed with him that they could clearly do a better job because they have events there frequently.

We did not drive seven lights up. We pulled into some other parking lot and walked to the arena. It was only slightly scary. I do recall muttering at one point, “What the hell is it with me and walking a mile to a concert every time?” You may remember the Garth Brooks concert debacle. It was freezing rain. We parked close to a mile away because close up parking was something like $65. My boots were not waterproof. It was not a fun experience.

We made it, though. The first opening act was Danielle Bradbery. We missed almost all of her act. I had to go to the bathroom when we first got there. Then we stood in line for me to get a hard cider. I felt a drink was in order after the parking incident.

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Granger Smith was up after Danielle. He was entertaining. I hadn’t heard of him. Apparently he has been performing for some time. His very last song he did as his country alter ego, Earl Dibbles, Jr. All I remember is at the very end he tore his shirt off and threw it into the crowd. Not that I notice this sort of thing because I’m madly in love with the mobster, but he had a nice set of abs. I took a picture and sent it to my daughter. Because I’m a stellar mom.

Finally Kane Brown took the stage. The mobster and I sang along to “What If”. That’s one of our songs. One of our first songs, actually.

There was a group of young girls somewhere behind us that kept yelling out, “We love you, Kane Brown!” after every song he performed. I’m sure he was touched.

As we were leaving we noticed two men. It looked like one was possibly helping the other with his coat. I thought maybe they had brought a disabled person to the concert and the one guy was his helper perhaps. Then we realize the “helper” is pulling shirts out of the “disabled” guy’s coat. One shirt. Two shirts. Three shirts. They just kept coming. There was something about, “I told you to get out of here!” At that point the mobster and I looked at each other. “Holy shit! Maybe that’s how we got those shirts for $20! They were probably stealing them off the merchandise tables and then pawning them along the highway.”

T seemed to have a great time despite the fact that we are now probably accomplices to grand larcency. We wanted to go to The Waffle House afterwards but she insisted she had to get home and get to bed because she had school in the morning. So back home we went with no other stops.

The next morning Picasso and I took off to Whoreville so I could pick up my file. File is a bit of a misnomer. It’s actually two bank boxes filled to the brim with papers. I have only briefly perused through the contents.

My lawyer talked to me and went over the numbers again. She offered to send it off to CF but I told her I was going to let the state of Indiana take over. I did ask if he would have to modify the order through Virginia and she said he would. She also said if she was me she wouldn’t move it to Indiana. Every time we have to go to court we will see the judge who oversaw our divorce. She thinks that’s a good thing because he has CF’s number. I have a feeling we’re going to be back soon.

I did get to see my cousin but because I was at the lawyer’s office a lot longer than I expected I only had time to meet her in the parking lot and talk to her for about 20 minutes before she had to head in.

Picasso and I then headed off to our favorite restaurant. I didn’t order my favorite sushi roll because it wasn’t part of the lunch time buffet. I would have had to pay roughly the same amount for one sushi roll as I did for the entire buffet. Plus, I was absolutely stuffed. I wasn’t sure I was going to be able to eat the entire second sushi roll I had. I spent the first hour of our drive home trying to lean back and not throw up!

I swear, I don’t usually eat to that type of fullness. Plus, I only had 4 things! I had the Rainbow Roll, which was delicious, and the pan fried shrimp noodle, which was basically noodles tossed with tiny shrimp. It was okay. It was also a fairly small portion. It was served on a plate no bigger than a pie plate. We’re not talking huge servings here! After that I tried the Hibachi steak and shrimp. This one came with fried rice and vegetables. I think this was the one that did me in. I should have stopped there but I ordered the White Dragon roll before this came out. I probably would have done better with a second Rainbow Roll. The White Dragon was a little too spicy for me. If I have a chance to eat there again I think I’m going to stick with the sushi only. I’m also going to make sure I have dinner instead of lunch because all of the sushi rolls are on the dinner menu!

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We got home only to turn around and head right back in the direction we had just came. Picasso, the mobster and I headed back to Roanoke to see Paula Poundstone. On our way we stopped to get something to drink. I want to say the mobster wanted a coffee and Picasso asked for a Dr. Pepper, but I honestly don’t remember getting a coffee. What I do remember is browsing through this quaint little store filled with all sorts of interesting things. We picked up a bottle of cherry wine from the winery we had visited back in May. He offered to buy me a t-shirt with the slogan, “Moonshine Capital of the United States” on it, but I declined. We grabbed the Dr. Pepper for Picasso. Again, I’m not sure what the mobster got but as we got into line he noticed a display of sharp things.

“Do you need an axe?” he asked me, showing off an axe, packaged in plastic.

This was a convenience store!

“No, but I bet Picasso would love that knife!” I joked, pointing to the large Bowie knife. At least I suspect it was a Bowie knife. It might have been a completely different type of knife. All I know is this one was huge! The mobster said it was actually more like a machete than anything. He ends up getting it for my son.

We walk up to the register and put our purchases on the counter. I start to giggle. There’s a Dr. Pepper. A box of chocolate covered peanuts. A bottle of wine. And a big ass knife. I could not stop laughing. It’s like the gun stores that are located right next to the liquor stores. Or the XXX rated theater right beside the regular theater playing Disney movies. Wine and big knives don’t seem like a good combination and yet here we were, on our way to a concert, buying those exact items.

I kept comparing it to an episode of ID TV where they watch the killer (or killers) on CC TV buying trash bags and a table saw.

Yep, I sure did think something was up when I saw those two ne’er do wells coming in and grabbing a bottle of a wine and a big ass knife. I knew it wasn’t going to end well.

Anyway, we made it to the concert.

This was yet another venue where they sold alcohol. This was much classier, though. The building was older and beautiful. Very ornate. The wine was in a plastic sippy cup, which I loved!

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Paula herself was amazing. I was a little nervous because I hadn’t seen her in probably 20 years. I’m not sure I had even seen her on TV in that time. Picasso had said he would be happy with a D performance, meaning he laughed at least 60% of the time. At the end of the show he gave her a solid B-, which is much better than the D he was expecting to give.

We stood in line to meet her and have our things signed by her. We were the very last people in line and she was very gracious. As we were getting our picture taken the mobster and I both somehow must have mentioned how Picasso was always making funny faces in all of the pictures. I told him to be serious and smile correctly this time. After it was over and Paula had seen the pictures she said to him, “Thanks for not fucking up the picture this time.”

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Afterwards we did indeed find a Waffle House and eat. I had a delicious waffle with a side of bacon. I can’t speak for anyone else. I don’t remember what they had. Then we were back on the road. If you’re keeping count that would be drive #6 (there and back for concert #1, there and back to go to Whoreville, there and back for concert #2).

That brings us to Saturday. We were going to try to meet up with one of my readers (hi, Tina!) but it didn’t work out. Truthfully, it felt wonderful to just spend the day at the house doing a whole lot of nothing. We made a quick trip to Walmart to get stuff for breakfast because the mobster’s son and his girlfriend were coming over before they went to her father’s house. I made breakfast casseroles and cinnamon rolls, which seemed to be enjoyed by everyone. It was more of a brunch because they didn’t come over until 1.

We took the dog for a walk. We got pizza for dinner. There were a few rousing games of pingpong. We watched some movies. Or rather, I watched some movies while I continued to poke the mobster in the side to wake him up so he could watch with me. It was a lovely day with no long distance driving.

Sadly, the next day was Sunday and Picasso and I were heading back to Indiana. We had leftover breakfast casserole and said our good-byes. The only thing making it bearable was the fact we knew we would see each other again in only five days when he came up for my employee celebration event. But that’s a story for another day…

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