I woke up in time for the 6 AM alarm. My little sister, still lying there at my side, also got up. “Ready for the Museum of the Ocean,” I asked her.
Rachel's response was, “Yep. Let's get dressed, eat breakfast, and head out. What time do they open?”
I answered, “9. The movie begins around 3 and we should be on the 6 PM bus leaving the Oceanfront.” Rachel and I quickly got dressed and headed down. It was 6:30 and we were excited.
“I'm going to make pancakes with banana mixed in. Please come into the kitchen. I want to teach you how it's made,” Rachel said as we walked down the stairs.
I followed my sister into the kitchen like she asked and she pulled out the ingredients.”It all starts with the basic pancake recipe. Cooking time is still the same. The only thing I'm doing is adding crushed bananas. I made this all the time out west. I hope you like it.”
I looked her square in the eye and said, “I'm sure I'll like it.” My sister hugged me tightly (this is her way of saying thank-you) then went back to her instruction.
“I need a cup of water. Here's a measuring cup,” Rachel explained as she handed me the cup.
I measured out a cup for her and handed it to her. “Here you go,” I said. My sister started mixing the water with the pancake mix.
“Now I need two bananas. Watch how I smash one. Your job will be to smash the other in the same way.” I watched as Rachel made banana mush and I followed suit with mine. She continued, “Now, simply put your parts into the bowl. I'm going to mix them in with the batter.” She started mixing as she explained, “This is the part where I completely take over.”
I sat down at our table and happily waited for breakfast. It wasn't too long before Rachel was finished with making our food. She came over to me and said, “Three pancakes each.”
We happily ate our food and it was around 7:15. “Let's get on the 7:45 bus. We'll take the 33 to the museum. I think one of my regulars who works at the museum rides that trip,” I suggested.
Rachel responded, “That's fine. Do you want to take our bikes for the ride between the North and South buildings?”
I answered, “That might not be a bad idea. We'll do that. Ready to get going?”
Rachel answered, “Sure.” With that, my sister and I put our helmets on and got our bikes going.
“Next stop: CCHR,” I declared. We headed out to the bus shelter and it wasn't too much of a wait for the 33. When it did show up, Rachel and I strapped our bikes on and boarded. The only thing that sucks about TWT's bike racks are that it's two bikes per bus (meaning with Rachel and I the bus was full).
It wasn't too long of a ride before we got to the museum and I happily pulled the cord. “Stop Requested,” the bus called out as we came up to the light.
When the bus stopped, I told the driver, “My sister and I will be getting our bikes.” With that, Rachel and I exited the bus, offloaded our bikes, and headed to the museum. We latched our bikes to the bike rack and I asked Rachel, “Did you want to see a movie as well?”
My sister replied, “Yes. Yes, please. I think that Wizard Boy 5 film is playing there. Let's watch that.”
I replied, “Thanks for the suggestion. Yeah, let's watch that.” With that, Rachel and I headed to the ticket counter and purchased two Aquarium/Feature Film passes. The building was being expanded and we were excited about what was going to be happening.
We entered the main hall: “Creatures of the Chesapeake Bay Bridge-Tunnel and Vicinity” the sign proudly informed us. Rachel held me as we made our way through the aquarium. My little sister pretty much fell in love with the place. We ventured on looking forward to the main part of the building, and the main reason it was the Museum of the Ocean, the Norfolk Canyon exhibit.
That's when all of the sudden, my sister grabbed me so tightly and cowered behind me. “That isn't dad I hope,” she whispered in fear.
That's when I noticed the issue also. The person sure did look like dad so, understandably, Rachel cowered in fear since this was only her first week back in Virginia. Luckily, he passed by without any hassle (no, he wasn't dad thank goodness).
We entered the Norfolk Canyon. “This is amazing,” Rachel started. We continued into the exhibit as Rachel continued, “To me, this is the best part of the museum.” I've never seen my sister so happy in the longest time. I was quite happy to see her smile considering the Hell she went through this past while.
I hugged Rachel tightly as she started tearing up. “I'm just so happy to be home,” Rachel started explaining.
I replied, “I know Rachel. You can stay with me as long as you want.” My sister was so happy that she was really tearing up. I found us a place to sit down by the Shark Tank. Rachel was tearing up because she was so happy to be at my side. We sat there in front of the sharks and she was curled up in my arms quite happily.
We sat there for a while as Rachel started opening up, “I'm just so glad to be home. What dad did to me is so unthinkable.”
I said, “Rachel, only tell me as much as you want. I'm not pressuring you to say anything.