The door swung open and there was our part of the “suite”. The whole thing was two rooms with an adjoining bath. There were two people already occupying the other room so we were roommates. Well, if you wanted to get technical, we were suite-mates. It might have been more attractive before the former occupants cleared out their personal touches but, as it was, it was bare—four walls, two beds, a minimum of furniture otherwise and a large window with smaller sliding windows on each side that would open. I felt so sorry for DD living in these conditions. She’d never complained about her room, er-suite, but I still felt bad.
Leaving us to our own devices, DD went to take care of whatever it was she had to do. We’d picked up linens at the desk so we proceeded to make up the beds. Once again, I got the one closer to the bathroom. My sister had better bladder control than I did.
The weather was stiflingly hot and there was no air conditioning. We opened the windows as much as we could but they’d only open halfway at the same time or all the way if it were one or the other. The fact that the heat was unseasonal wasn’t comforting at all. There wasn’t much humidity but it was still hard to breathe.
Since the campus was compact and everything was within walking distance, we agreed that the car would stay parked unless we were going sightseeing. Because of the drier climate, my sister’s arthritis wasn’t bothering her as much as usual. That was a blessing. The roads were narrow and winding and it would have been difficult to drive wherever we were going. The schedule was jam-packed.
The first activity was a banquet-type meal for the graduates and their families. DD, my sister and I were seated at the table with DD’s current interest. It was the first time I’d seen him except for his picture and the camera hadn’t lied. He was a good-looking clean cut young man with an engaging smile. He made easy conversation and my sister and I were both impressed. His parents were extremely nice as were his brother and sister. Later on, my sister commented that his parents seemed so YOUNG. Then she stopped and said, “because they ARE.” The young man was the eldest of the siblings and he was only a year or so older than DD. My firstborn had more than a dozen years on him.
The food was delicious and it was my first experience with lychee. The fruit was preserved in a syrup and it was very unique and good. It reminded me of eyeballs, though, and that was a little off-putting. I did my usual justice to the meal and we departed for our “suite” to get ready for the next item on the schedule.
That night was class night when the seniors would present a program. DD’s young man was a prominent part of the evening. He told about having his friend from grammar school on through college and two girls in his car. His friend was in the front seat and the girls occupied the back. He’s made some excuse to take the car through the car wash and, as soon as the water started spraying, he rolled the rear windows down. The girls were freaking out while he and his friend enjoyed the joke. I don’t know if those girls ever got in the car with him again or not. I don’t think I would have been encouraged to.
There was a takeoff on “Friends“, then, with DD acting as a coat rack. She was carried on stage by a strapping fellow (though she was so small, about anyone could have managed it). I don’t think I could have held myself as straight as she did. When she was “set down” behind the couch, her arms were bent at the elbows and held upright so she could hold the coats. Later on, she did another character and neither my sister or I recognized her for the longest.
The evening was enjoyable but we were glad to get back to our beds. It had been a long day. Friday wouldn’t be as busy because the only thing planned was the baccalaureate service. We were going to get a good night’s sleep and do that sightseeing we’d been thinking about. Surely the room would be cooled off by now. The afternoon sun had warmed it up considerably but the night air was refreshing.
We climbed the stairs and got inside the door. ARRRRGGGGHHHHH! It was still hot. No breeze stirred anywhere and even with the windows open, it was stuffy. There was no cross current of air. We went on to bed and made the best of it.
Neither one of us slept well. We both took off as much as possible and lay on the beds with nothing over us. There was no way to ignore the heat.
Next day, we charted our course. There was a petrified forest not too far away and we decided to head in that direction. The route took us through a little town that was full of eateries. Lunch was at a Mexican restaurant. The walls were liberally decorated with murals and I was especially taken with a picture of a little dachshund painted on the back wall.
My sister was given the job of photographer again and I was able to locate one of her masterpieces:
It gave a different perspective to our tour.
The petrified forest was, of course, off the beaten path. We were going in what I thought was the general direction but it soon became obvious that I was wrong. The road was narrow and turning around wouldn’t be easy. I was sure I could do it, though. I maneuvered until I thought I had it licked until the rear tires dropped off the road and my sister screamed.