This past weekend, we got in the car 45 minutes late and rather than taking our planned slower route on State Road 20, we got on the interstate, accelerated to 70 mph and stayed there for the next hour and a half.
I love taking trips with my boy. We talk about all kinds of things from school to Christmas to what he wants to do when he grows up (which changes almost everytime we have this chat). He brought along his "Dangerous Book for Boys" and read to me from it sporadically - including the entire chapter on girls! It was good - and funny in the same way that those health films in middle school teaching you about your period and how to put on a maxi-pad with a belt (do they still make those?) are funny. Lots of rather old-fashioned sounding advice, but still worth hearing.
We were to take the exit that would put us on 77, but we were so busy talking that when we passed the Marianna exit with its little sign way down the exit saying "Panama City 50 miles" with little arrow that pointed south, we realized we hadn't been paying attention to where we actually were. At 231, we got off and pulled into a convenience store to ask if we'd missed our turn. Luckily, we had not - the next exit was the one we were looking for. Sometimes I miss the old map that was always in the car when taking a little trip! Everyone has GPS these days - except me. I usually wind up in the right place though, even if there are a couple of detours along the way.
At this point, we were running a bit late. And since I really didn't know how far we had to go, the anxiety mounted. We finally got to the theatre, but the play had already started. In many places, if you arrive after it starts, you have to wait for the intermission before you can go in. That would mean missing Aymara's part of the Ghost of Christmas Past but thankfully, they let us go in anyway.
The play was most excellent and I was sorry to see it end. Afterwards, there was the usual milling about and congratulations passed around. There was a cast picture and then the set to strike (this being the last performance). When you have a small group of people who are used to working together to accomplish something, they are a well-oiled machine. Z and I offered to help, but I felt like a bit of grit in their machine. I didn't know where anything went, so I mostly tried to stay out of the way.
Some of my "out of the way" time was spent in one of the prop rooms. This caught my eye:
which prompted me to look around and see what else was there. I started taking pictures because the groupings were so odd - I could take pictures and make my own I SPY book!
Cake and big chunky candles, with assorted glassware and wrapped packages...
Various staffs and canes and swords with cheese and bread.
Coffee cups and bunnies, pirates and telephones with a candelabra.
There were also set pieces to be explored. ZBoy really liked Scrooge's bed - a four-poster made of fence posts and curtains. And standing over in the corner was the stage manager's position with the Ghost of Christmas Present's scythe leaning against the wall.
After all the bits and pieces were put away, the cast headed over to CiCi's Pizza for a final meal together. I sat with Aymara and Dottie and Dottie's husband Malcolm came to join us for dinner. It was a nice little visit and repast that had to end all too quickly as we had a drive in front of us and the next day was a school day.
Malcolm used to commute between PC and Tallahassee and told me how he used to go. I don't know if it was quicker as I had to drive slower and watch for deer, but it was a much pleasanter drive than jumping on the interstate on a very windy night with lots of big trucks howling past.
We had a lovely drive home, arriving just after 10pm. A quick goodnight and we all headed to bed.
Z and I really enjoyed it. I hear To Kill a Mockingbird may be my cousin's next theatrical effort - and I think we may just have to drive over to check it out!