Every time I looked at the TripTik this morning, it made me want a spiralbound, narrow ruled notebook and a fine point medium lead automatic pencil. To the point where I wandered into the mall across the street. Well, it had a large and lavish scrapbooking store, but no stationery, paper, or book store. Oh well. So I got some scrapbooking supplies. Julie was impressed. "You should be a suburban housewife, you goofball," she said. Hah! I've already pasted in our first gas receipt. Awwww.
She managed to make her already spotless apartment even cleaner, if you can imagine that. Whew. Her brother said it was cleaner than some apartments he'd moved into. (Same here.)
We met her parents and brothers at Kabul, on State Street, one of her favorite restaurants (you've likely eaten there if you've gone to a Wiscon). It was, as ever, yummy. Her older brother said, "Wait a minute. You live with your ex-wife and your having your girlfriend move in with you both?" and then gasped like he'd chomped on a habanero. I admitted that if Julie had ever written to Dear Abby, her advice would have been clear. Run screaming.
But really, it was a very pleasant dinner. There were pleasant rivers of conversation. No great topics, but in our case, that was for the best. I'm really happy they were all able to join us.
When we left, there was a long round of tearful hugs and goodbyes all around. I reassured her brothers and fathers that I'd take care of her, and her father that he'd done a good job.
After that, it was road trip grocery shopping, top off the gas tank, and one last swelter in the hot tub, drowned cricket and struggling spider notwithstanding (she removed the cricket, I the spider).
Now she's doing some packing while I clatter away here. And after I post, she'll clatter away while I do MY packing. Hah!
Tomorrow, we hope to make it to Fargo, ND, which is five hundred miles. That's quite a push, but we're young and foolish. Well, not young. But still foolish!