The original plan was to visit granny at her retirement home in Solomons Island, MD before heading to visit Matt's aunt & uncle at their home in Chesapeake Beach, MD. Granny actually had a minor health scare the day before our trip so she was staying with Matt's aunt & uncle when we visited. I had never been to Solomons Island, though, so Matt's parents showed me around the retirement home and the area. Her retirement home is so awesome! She has her own 2 bedroom/2 bathroom apartment (with a living room, kitchen, & dining room). They have a very fancy dining hall and another little restaurant area. They also have a bank, beauty salon, indoor pool, gym, billiards room, store, library, and chapel inside! It's in a gorgeous location right on the water, too.
After touring her place, we got ice cream and explored a little boardwalk area nearby.
Friday night, we had dinner with granny & Matt's aunt and uncle in Chesapeake Beach. I got to experience attempting to have a conversation with granny (who has 2 hearing aids that don't work very well) in a loud restaurant. *Giggle* I asked if one ear was better than the other (so I could focus my shouting into that ear) and she said, "Well....I think this one is a little better but they're both pretty bad if you ask me. Let me know if I start buzzing because it's this high pitched noise and I can't even hear it." Hahaha!
On Saturday, we spent several hours playing a fun card game called Tripoley. Matt's aunt & uncle and granny are all REALLY into card games, and it was really fun (and slightly intimidating) to play with them. Granny knocked my socks off with her card skills. She can barely hear or see, but gosh golly....that lady knows exactly what's happening during a card game! We used pennies to place bets and near the beginning of each round, the dealer could offer to "sell" his extra hand if he didn't want to use it. Whoever offered the most money got to buy it. Well, one of the most hilarious things I've ever witnessed was Matt and his granny fighting over a hand. One person would offer 12 cents; the other would offer 13. It went up and up and up until finally Matt won with an offer of 26 cents. He kept saying, "I feel bad! I can't do this to my grandma!" and she kept saying, "Now Matt, I know you're just doing this for meanness!" Hahahaha! She never forgot it either and kept trying to get him back during later games.
That afternoon, we hung out in his aunt & uncle's backyard pool. It was so nice! We had a "horse race" where everyone rode their "horse" (either a pool noodle or a floating bouncy ball) from one end of the pool to the other without falling off. HILARIOUS! Then we played "trash ball" which was where we got into 2 teams and tried to throw all of the "trash" (pool noodles, balls, floats, whatever) to the other side of the pool. Then the guys had a diving competition while the others judged their performances. I tried to relax on a pool float but of course, Matt wanted to splash me every five seconds so that didn't last very long.
Saturday night, we had a yummy lasagna dinner and granny told lots of stories. Things I learned:
~ One pound of grapes used to cost 2 cents!!
~ She's never had a driver's license and never driven!
~ When she and her husband were dating, they went to a place that had hamburgers for 5 cents. He would tell her: "You can either get 2 burgers or a burger and a coke." Haha! Those were her only options.
~ Back in the day, she spent a lot of time making denim dresses for her daughters. Then she washed them and they shrunk up and didn't even fit anymore! So she made them into curtains for Matt's stepdad's room instead.
~ One time, she and her friend were waiting for a bus and they were accused of being "streetwalkers." Hahaha! She remains outraged to this day.
~ Granny used to be on the synchronized swim team at her retirement home, even though she couldn't hear (no hearing aids in the pool) or see (no glasses in the pool). Hahaha!! I wish I could've seen that.
~ After swimming one day, she was taking a shower in the retirement home locker room. A male custodian yelled inside, "Is anyone in here?" before entering to clean. Well....of course, granny didn't have her hearing aids in, so she didn't hear him or reply. I'm sure you can guess what happened next. That poor, poor custodian. Scarred for life.
~ Granny purchased a back scratcher, a very large adult bib, and six magnifying glasses from a company called "Make Life Easier." She modeled her bib for us during meals and told us that it's such a hassle to have to change clothes all the time when she spills on herself! She apparently already has several magnifying glasses, but "they're always in the other room when you need one" so now she's going to have at least one in every room.
~ They once had a bomb threat at the retirement home. She was downstairs checking the mail and her husband was upstairs. They wouldn't let her back up and they weren't letting anyone out of the apartments either. She was so worried about him that she finally convinced the staff to let him come outside to be with her! :)
~ There's an old man at the retirement home who scoots as close to the wall as he can when he sees granny coming down the hall with her walker. He's worried that she's going to run over his toes with that thing!
~ She plays Wii bowling while holding onto her walker with one hand and bowling with the other! She also has an iPad!
Sporting the new bib!
Later we went hunting for shark teeth in the Chesapeake Bay. It was hard work and they were tiny and difficult to spot, but Matt's mom actually found several. I basically stood around and took pictures after realizing that I wasn't the best shark tooth hunter in the world and it required more patience than I had.
Matt carved this beautiful heart into the cliffs for me........NOT! I told him to carve "Matt loves Ashley" but he declined so I had to take a picture of someone's random heart instead. Hmpfh!
When we got back, Matt's stepdad played piano for his mom and she loved every minute of it. She had told some random story earlier about a man who just played piano and put out a tip jar and lived off the tips, and she suggested that Matt's stepdad could've done that since he's a musician. As a joke, they put a tip jar on the piano, but granny didn't even offer any tips! Hahaha! After another huge meal & dessert (we did lots of eating), we hit the road. We dropped granny off at her retirement home and she was actually able to give me a tour inside her apartment.
Matt's stepdad gave granny this album of photos from our wedding, and the picture on the front cover is of her on her wedding day! How sweet is that! She has it right by her chair in the living room.
Our hosts for the weekend were great (Hi Jill & John!) and it was really nice to get to know Matt's family a little more. Once, when granny and I were the only people in the room, she said, "You know....Matt's my grandson, so that makes you my granddaughter too." :)