South of the Border

At the beginning of June, we traveled to Virginia for Bleys’ graduation. It was a fun trip and we’re very proud of Bleys for doing so well in school.

South of the BorderOn the way back, we stopped in South Carolina at a place called South of the Border. They have all kinds of crazy billboards for quite a ways out, so by the time you get there, you just have to stop and see… on I-95 just south of the North Carolina border. It’s a huge complex of stores, with a hotel, several restaurants, goony golf and I’m sure lots of other things we didn’t see. I got the impression you could buy pretty much anything you wanted there! Plus there’s a giant sombrero which serves as a lookout tower (next time I stop there I want to go up in it).

We got out to stretch our legs and look around a bit, and found the store “Hats of the World”. What a fun place! They had these great tye-dye hats but my darn head was just a little too big to get one on (that actually happens more often than I would like hehe). But anyways, we had a good time trying on various hats. I think Trav would be a very good actor – he was able to take on each hat’s persona the moment he put it on. Below you’ll see Senor Trav preparing for his siesta!

Senor TravWe also ate lunch at a dumpy little fast food place. The food was OK (I had a corn dog, yum!) but the ambiance definitely left something to be desired. After that we shopped a little more, bought some candy, and hit the road again. Oh and I got a rolled penny, my favorite souvenir!

The rest of the ride home was mostly uneventful, except for a crazy lady at a gas station where we stopped. She got out of her car asking for help because she was lost, and then she started screaming and crying and carrying on about people dying and all kinds of babble. A guy there was trying to help her, but I think he was only just a little bit more sane than she was. Scary.

Scary, but also interesting. I’ve been reading a book called Social Intelligence, and one of the main points of the book is that emotions are contagious. Being within range of that raving lady’s emotions definitely had an affect on me… not a lot, but enough to notice. The book also says it’s instinctual to want to help someone in need, so I asked Trav if he was compelled to help her, and he said yes, up until the moment she started screaming. Then he just wanted to get away from her (like we all did!). Smart to want to get away from something that could be catchy, like a cold.

The book also goes into great detail about the brain’s chemical and structural changes during and after interactions between people. Apparently our brains are pretty flexible in the connections built by neurons, and they are constantly being reshaped by our experiences. And the more positive interactions we have with other people, the better our brains and bodies age. There’s lots of other good stuff in there, I’ll write more as I read and digest.

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