Home to NC for Christmas December 2006

A fine christmas, but WORST TRAVEL EXPERIENCE EVER.  Got stuck in the Las Vegas airport
for way too long both coming and going because we missed our connecting flights.  At least there
was an awesome old Thunderbird to look at, that killed about 5 minutes of the 4000 hours we were
stuck there.

When we finally got there, it was time for my mom's annual christmas party.  Art was baby #1 on
this trip full of l'il scrogglins.  He came down for the first bit of the party to entertain us and look cute.

Chelsea spent quite a while oohing and aahing over the little tyke.

Sarah was also in the "house".  Haha, given that her last name is House  and I've know her forever
I've probably only made that joke a thousand times.  She's also a bitchin' potter, here's her website.

Here is a picture of my mom's ornate tree, just to prove it was christmas.  See, a tree.

Greg and Tina were also there all the way from glamorous Granite Falls, NC.  Despite our very
different tastes in what good college basketball is, we bonded in 7th grade over a love of hair metal,
baseball cards and an encyclopedic knowledge of G.I. Joe figuring names.  

Here you have the American Starship Eagle himself, muse of the wrestling chatter, modeling his new
jacket I got him for Federation of Fly Fishers.  

The many moods of the Rash.  This man lives to drive me crazy, and the only way I could get him back
was to keep putting the camera in his face.

I'm pretty sure Chelsea's expression here translates to "why have you put me among all of these insane
southern crazies?".

This is Avari, the kid of my childhood friend Ravi.  Another very cute kid but a little too old for
baby status that was all the rage this trip.  And she kept turing on this musical butt-shaking
santa, it was easily the most irritating thing ever created by man.

My good pal and local rock star Nate (and father of Art, pictured above) showing everyone what it
is like to handle an enormous pair of moose testicles.  "They fit in my hands like this!" he said.

Hey!  It's everyone's favorite dog, and muse to this site, Max.  Fact: he is an awesome dog.

We drove up into the "holler" the next day to see the Rash homestead all fixed up - last time I was home
they had just closed and there was still an armadillo or a chinchilla or some such nonsense living in the

Here you'll find Mr. Eagle deep in thought, most likely about trout.  

This is their neighbor dog, whose name I forget - but I called him "Wiggle Butt" because he was trying
to wag his tail but there was no tail to wag, so his whole rear section wiggled instead.

And for the record, that dog is far superior to this asshole dog that actually belongs to them.  Devil dog.

These two photos brought to you by the letters "macro" and "faux artistic merit".

Art came down for another visit with his dad Nate.  That's one damn cute kid, it is a wonder Nate
had anything to do with it.

Christmas morning - the aftermath.  If you look closely you can see all the gifts I bought for Chelsea
before they got returned and she picked out something she'd rather have.

And of course, no Christmas day trip to Mamaw's house is complete without a traditional duck-on-a-
fencepost sighting.  

Photographic evidence that even in my formative years, I was distrustful of fat men with fake beards
and rapist gloves.

Here we have Chelsea modeling her fancy ring I bought her for christmas.

Mom in the kitchen (getting in Mamaw's way probably).

Brian in the kitchen (staying out of Mamaw's way probably).


And subsequently, the christmas gift Mamaw got me - an unopened vintage pack of furniture legs.  
She manages to always keep things interesting.  

Blurry christmas portrait amid present unfurling.

Baby #2 on the visit - Emily!  My second cousin, and cute as a button.  Very smily baby.

Here Harriett shows off her prize christmas present - some manner of decorated toilet bowl scrub
brush, with a close up so you can see the detail.  Because you aren't serious about toilet cleanliness
until you've got a fake bird glued to the brush.

A couple of days later we took a ride up into the mountains to the hippy haven of Boone, NC.  Max
decided to ride along and intermittently look out the window between naps.

Photographic evidence that we were riding in the car.  Cause I know you don't believe anyone would
drive to Boone intentionally.

The main reason for going ot Boone - a visit to Mellow Mushroom, home of my favorite pizza in the
entire world outside of a couple of joints in New York City.  

The other reason for going up there was a trip to the "oldest general store in the united states",
Mas General Store in Valle Crucis, NC.  Who knows if it is actually the oldest, but it's definitely
damned old.

There is still a working post office in there, and an old school cooler full of soda in glass bottles...
I enjoyed a cheerwine.  I wish you could get that stuff out here.

They also had an entire room dedicated ot bulk candies.  If you know me I don't think I have to tell
you that I bought a sack of treats.  

Chelsea trying out her new look.  In all honesty, I really want one of these hats but this one was
damned expensive.

On the ride back, you may be shocked to learn that Max  looked out the window some more.

The following day we took a rod trip to Raleigh - Chelsea has never been down to the RTP area,
and since we might be moving there soon it only makes sense she might want to see what the joint
looks like.  As these pictures indicate, we enjoyed the glory of the Cracker Barrel on our way down I-40.

Another big reason for the trip to RTP was to see baby #3 - Ben Weeks!  Here you got Brian
the proud papa feeding him his 96th bottle of the day.  Kid is going to be a hoss.


Family portrait - Katherine, Brian and Ben.

Todd even took a break from the family on Winston-Salem to make an appearance.

Seriously, aww.

While in Raleigh we drove by my old house during college - I'll probably never live in a place as big
or as cheap ever again...$1200 dollars split amongst five people.  I lived in the dining room and it
was enormous.  We had so many extra rooms, one room was just for bike storage and another was
just for ping-pong.

We may not have found our new house just yet, but I now know what my next mailbox is going to look

The following day we trekked up in them thar hills to see my dad.  This is where I spent most of
my childhood.

Cute overload indeed - there were kittens!  Five of them!

The old man and his wooly beard.  

Feeding time for the pack of orange cats.  I wanted to take them all home but I'm not sure our cat
Mouse would be very happy to have a bunch of company, she's pretty queen-of-the-castle.

We stopped by Bryan's salvage store and dug around in the back...Elvis was in the building.

As was ChelsElvis....

...and BryElvis.

A fitting family portrait...Max has crazy eyes and I look like I'm high on PCP.

And then the ride home, which included sleeping overnight in the Las Vegas Airport.  And they don't
even have a way to check your bags so we could go entertain ourselves on the strip, we just had to
sit there for hours and hours and hours...

Yeah, looks fun doesn't it?  We finally got home a few hours later, and another christmas was in the books.