Saturday, October 28, 2006

RC's Caravan - Part I

Caravan of Love - The Isley Brothers


Are you ready for the time of your life
It's time to stand up and fight
(It's alright) It's alright (It's alright, it's alright)
Hand in hand we'll take a caravan
To the motherland

One by one we're gonna stand with the pride
One that can't be denied
(Stand up, stand up, stand up, stand up)
From the highest mountain and valley low
We'll join together with hearts of gold

Now the children of the world can see
There's a better way for us to be
The place where mankind was born
Is so neglected and torn, torn apart

Every woman, every man
Join the caravan of love (Stand up, stand up, stand up)
Everybody take a stand
Join the caravan of love

I'm your brother
I'm your brother, don't you know
I'm your brother
I'm your brother, don't you know

We'll be living in a world of peace
In a day when everyone is free
We'll bring the young and the old
Won't you let your love flow from your heart

Every woman, every man
Join the caravan of love (Stand up, stand up, stand up)
Everybody take a stand

Join the caravan of love

Are you ready for the time of your life
(Are you ready, are you ready)
Are you ready for the time of your life
(Are you ready, are you ready)

Come go with me
(Are you ready, are you ready)
Come go with me
(Are you ready, are you ready)

I arrived in Raleigh after 11:10PM on the 13th. The flight arrived ten minutes early and Southwest (which seems to have more than their share of flight attendant wanna-be comedians) couldn't be prouder.

Days before I was in contact with RC giving him my hotel details. I wound up taking a chance with Hotwire since they claimed to have a 3-star hotel for $60 a night. ( frugal days will always be with me.) Hemingway Hotwire hooked me up with a room at the Wyndham, which from what I heard is a decent hotel. RC confirmed that the one I'm staying at is indeed a nice one.

Originally RC was planning to take time off his job at Target (his hours includes weekends) to hang out with me and be my tour guide. Unfortunately he found out that the person covering for him lost their Mom so RC couldn't get the time off.

RC talked to his friends Doog (the man's man I alluded to when I visited Charlotte) and J-Cool, but he felt I should get a rental just in case both had plans. I went ahead and got the rental.

So as soon as I landed in Raleigh and collected my suitcase, I called RC to let him know I arrived. RC was his usual jovial self and let me know that "they'll" come and pick me up. I had no idea who was coming with him but I made the assumption that it was Doog and J-Cool.

I was half right. According to RC, Doog needed his beauty sleep and was more of a morning person. RC later tried to fit my oversize luggage in his trunk but it wouldn't fit so J-Cool and him wound up putting it in the back seat.

Once that was settled, we started to drive off. I eyed a hottie still waiting for his ride by curbside. We were both on the same flight and exchanged looks. I joked that I wished we could take him with us. J-Cool joked back that we could toss my luggage out to make room for him.

After a brief pit stop to the gas station, we arrived at the Wyndham where I would staying until Monday. The guys stuck around for a bit and we all basically continued chatting about our lives. RC and J-Cool both happen to work in competing retail corporations -- Target and Wal-Mart respectively. Their hours vary from week to week as it tends to in retail.

Before leaving for the night, they drove me to a nearby Wendy's so I could get a meal. I had one of their Frescheta sandwiches with fries. Actually this was my first meal outside of soup since coming off my 10 day Master Cleanse. And it was sinfully good!!! My sins worsen as time goes on.

The next morning after working off my sins, I attempted to call both J-Cool and Doog. J-Cool didn't answer and when I got Doog, he already had an itinerary of things to do that didn't include being a tour guide. Thank goodness for Plan B!

I had the foresight when choosing my hotel to pick one with shuttle service to the airport. I arrived at the airport and waited for a Thrifty shuttle to take me to their offices. I sat for about ten minutes watching every other rental car shuttle show up. In a surprising twist, the dude riding the Enterprise shuttle was soliciting me. I told him I'm a one shuttle at a time kind of guy. Just kidding.

Seriously he was trying to steal me from Thrifty with such phrases as Thrifty has a slow ass shuttle & Enterprise would try to match or beat the rate Thrifty offered. He succeeded. Nobody else waiting took the bait.

I realized that Enterprise (or specifically this rider) has done this before as he announced repeatedly to the dispatcher that I was a non-reservation customer. So we do a little small talk, I find out he's from Raleigh originally, even though he sounds Nigerian. He promises if they can't beat my rate, that he'll drive me to Thrifty's headquarters himself.

I was greeted by somebody outside of Enterprise when we arrived. Apparently I walked in on a slow day. About five people were behind the counter vying to serve me. I went for the sexier guy and rehashed my situation to him. The lowest he could offer me was $49.99 a day. Unfortunately that was about $26 dollars higher than what Thrifty was offering, so I declined.

As promised I was driven to Thrifty's rental offices. So I give the dude there my information and he said that he couldn't find me on the system. I was thrown for a bit, thinking maybe I accidentally picked another car rental place. But that moment was brief. I quickly dialed Eugene, who luckily happened to be home. I had him log into my hotmail account to retrieve my code. I also asked him to confirm the address. It turned out that I somehow chose a Thrifty outside the airport outskirts for my rental needs.

Fortunately this Thrifty was able to serve my needs with an extra $5 tacked on for their airport fee. No matter though since my total rental came out to $61. There was one caveat. I wanted a compact and as you guessed, there were no compacts available. He offered me a caravan. I accepted even though I couldn't believe I was stuck with a caravan.

First thing on the agenda was food. I drove back to the Wyndham to get a makeshift map from the front desk. One of the ladies working the counter told me of a nearby Cracker Barrel. I, um, barreled it over there. The late breakfast was uneventful.

I entertained myself driving up and down the different interstates and made a trek to Duke University's expansive campus. It was lots of nice scenery and apparently some game was going on that day. It was a cool diversion.

While there RC called in to see how I was doing. He was relieved that I wasn't just staying in my hotel room looking at the ceiling. RC informed me that the gang was going to get together later that evening to go clubbing and that Doog and J-Cool was asking about me. I told him clubbing sounded like a plan as we hung up.

After Duke, I went to some outlet mall that actually was in a state of decline. I scanned a few stores but hardly found anything of much interest. When I stepped into a GNC, the poor girl was so desperate for conversation that I took pity on her. The outlet reminded me of the one in Huntley, IL that's a bit rundown as well. But again, it was a good time killer.

I felt a little tired and headed back to my hotel. RC and I chatted again. He mentioned that he was getting off from his shift. I told him I was a bit tired and we agreed to hang out a bit after we both took naps.

So RC later drove to my hotel and we hightailed it to Wal-Mart (in my caravan) for a new shirt for him and extra toiletries for me. On route to the store, RC was commenting on my walk. Apparently I'm in the running for America's Next Top Model (Hmmm...HoustonNy maybe I should give u a headshot...*LOL*). I sorta laughed it off but then thought about Sally's comments about everybody knowing about my sexuality. It's in the way I walk. It's in the way I talk. It's in the way I breathe. He told me that I reminded him of Tyrese, who I would meet later this evening (and no, not that Tyrese). Tyrese it seems has the most fierce walk among his group and loves to make his presence known.

So we're in Wal-Mart and RC's on the phone with both Doog and J-Cool at different points of the evening. The plan was for us to congregate at another dude's house. J-Cool wanted a ride over there so RC told him to meet us back at the hotel.

At some point, I got hungry so I drove the Caravan to a local BoJangles for fried chicken. We all picked up orders and RC treated, which was nice. We eventually drove deep into some subdivision and pulled up to the house of the guy we were supposed to meet at. E. Lynn (and no not that E-Lynn...heh) answered his door and let us in.

But man this post is getting a lot longer than I thought. More on the rest of RC's caravan and the rest of my Raleigh adventure soon.

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Blogger That Dude Right There said...

I swear that you have the most interesting trips of anyone I know. All of mine are boring as heck!

8:47 PM, October 28, 2006  
Blogger Rose said...

Reading your posts are addictive. This is too interesting...

1:24 PM, October 29, 2006  
Blogger Ladynay said...

Next novel please! LOL

7:53 PM, October 29, 2006  
Blogger .::STELLA*DELLA::. said...


8:40 AM, October 06, 2009  

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