Sunday, April 7, 2013

Just a Travelin' Fam

The better half of TravelinFarmFam and Ms. B. at old Tobacco Barn, just off the
American Tobacco Trail in Durham, NC
A couple of years back, my next-door neighbors and good friends, Paul and Jamie Workman (a.k.a. TravelinFarmFam) moved to Durham to be closer to their respective jobs. To be sure, without all that commuting and a new house in the bargain, their quality of life has taken a step up — damn it all, since, from my purely selfish viewpoint, life on the home front has been all the more drab for it. They're not all that far away — about an hour — but with hectic work schedules and seemingly endless social and business commitments for all of us, finding time to get together has proven painfully elusive. Finally, though, the TravelinFarmFam, Ms. B., and I found time to get together at their place over in Durham. Yay friggin' damn, it's about time.

Paul and Jamie were my first honest-to-god geocaching partners, and we had more than a few screaming great times together that first couple of years of it. Back then, all any of us had to do was holler next door, "Hey, you wanna go caching?" And the people in the other house would holler back, "Like, yeah." So, off we'd go on some wild adventure. More often than not, we'd head out in the evening and be gone till until way past our bedtimes. We'd usually find some place to have dinner and drinks, or we'd cook at one of our respective houses. Sometimes on nice evenings, we'd wander over to each other's back decks and sit out under the stars drinking wine and yelling for the sake of it. We watched out for each other, and if I'd go out of town for a weekend, they'd take care of the cats and make sure my house didn't burn down. In return, I'd go over to feed Lucky, their dog, and keep their bunny on the straight and narrow. Ms. B. and I took a couple of the most memorable trips of our lives together with them — one to Jamie's family's citrus ranch down in Florida (see Florida's Outback, March 16, 2010), and another to Williamsburg, VA (see A Williamsburg Kind of Weekend, October 23, 2011). When Peg and I were going through the worst of our marital breakup, Paul and Jamie were there for the both of us, and I really don't know how either of us could have managed without them.

Yesterday, Kimberly and I hit the road after work, headed to Durham, and soon enough were darkening the Workmans' doorstep. (They even let us in, the blind fools!) After a spot of wine, we made our way to one of my favorite establishments in that area, Ted's Montana Grill, where they turn great big bison into these breathtakingly awesome burgers that — after a bit of work — fit cleanly in your mouth. There was more wine, game playing, and general shenanigans until sometime very late. This morning, Jamie made a delicious egg/ham/cheese scramble, with some killer Iguana Joe's hot sauce that they picked up in Aruba. Then it was out to the American Tobacco Trail for some hiking and caching, where we discovered an old tobacco barn that is evidently haunted by a giant spider (see photo for a shot of the interior). About halfway through, the ladies left us to go shopping, while we men put in about four miles and snagged a dozen or so caches. After all this, lunch was late, but quite decent at Los Portales Mexican Restaurant. I had a right tasty cevichile, with shrimp and octopus, and a cielo rojo, which was Corona beer with tomato juice, lime, hot sauce, topped with a shrimp. It was pretty good, but it doesn't beat a good old Red Eye made with Corona, lime, and Zing Zang bloody mary mix.

Finally, we had to head out, so Kimberly and I hit Chapel Hill for a bit more caching (for me, at least), a stop for some groceries at Trader Joe's, and a drink at the Weathervane restaurant in A Southern Season. It was an all-too-brief but more than welcome gathering with some of the best friends I've ever known. It can't be so long before our next get-together. It just can't.

So says I.
Inside the old tobacco barn... We never saw any giant spider, but I'm sure it was lurking nearby...
watching and waiting. We managed to escape with our lives.
Ms. B. and ol' Rodan, unaware that a giant, bloodthirsty arachnid might be watching.

No comments: