Sailing Past Vegas
On a beautiful, breezy afternoon we took two couples sailing on the York River. Bethany and Daniel Prazuch of Wisconsin were on their honeymoon, while Eric and Trina Smith of Oklahoma were on their second marriage. Eric and Trina have done a lot of domestic traveling. On this trip they went to Nashville and Washington before Williamsburg.
Eric said, “The tour guide in Washington said that the Smithsonian is so big that if you spent only a minute each on all the items in the collection it would take 250 years to see it all. “I asked if they ever encountered a bad trip.
“Well, there was Vegas and the Mercedes,” Eric said cautiously and Trina picked up the story. “I had a wreck there. I was turning off the highway and accidentally hit a Mercedes. It was banged up, and it took the fender off my front wheel. No one was hurt and we exchanged insurance information. The fellow’s name looked familiar and he was drop dead gorgeous. He couldn’t have been nicer about the whole thing. ‘It happens all the time at this section,’ he said.
Who was he?
“But I couldn’t place his face. Later Eric and I went shopping at the mall and I had him take a picture of me in front of Prada, with a giant poster of the man I had just hit. It was Jason Craig of ‘NCIS Los Angeles.’” Now I was embarrassed that I didn’t know that at the time.”
I cheered her up by saying, “I once had someone in the supermarket stop me and say, ‘Didn’t you used to be somebody?”
Back to Vegas, “My poor little Jeep was only two weeks old.” Eric said, “I went to Home Depot for white duct tape and plastic ties to do what I could to put the fender back on. It wound up with one headlight drooping like an eye out of its socket.”
Eric encouraged the Prazuchs to tour the historic plantations along Route 5, between Williamsburg and Richmond. I explained that the James River and York River were the routes of war during the American Revolution, so the front door faced the river instead of the road.
“Thomas Jefferson came to Berkeley Plantation by road on a carriage. They told us he came for the weekend but wound up staying for two weeks because of bad weather. He had them redecorate the parlor and another room for him. Can you believe that?”
“They told us that General Benedict Arnold burned all the houses up and down the James River on his raids to Richmond. But he spared Berkeley because he had his eye on staying there after the war. He burned all the furniture in the house except one bed, presumably for him some day.”
We got to talking about hunting, and it turned out Trina is an accomplished archer. “She won third in the state,” Eric bragged.
Under questioning, she said, “I’m good with the long bow to 25 yards and 20 with a traditional bow. I grew up hunting. I’ve been in tournaments covering four states. One time the completion got down to me and three guys, and they couldn’t have that. So a women’s division was formed. Today it’s like a family with wives and children joining in on the road trip. I was sitting with my girlfriend after a shoot when my son saw a mole pop up out of the ground and said ‘I bet you can’t hit that.” It popped up again and I got him.
It was fascinating to listen to them, but also their deep drawl in contrast to the broad accent of the newlyweds. “Yeah,” Eric said, “Sometimes people come up to me and ask, ‘You from Texas?’ ‘Why?’ I say. ‘Do I look like an asshole?” You could hear the laughter ripple across the water.
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