Amanda and I got up and went to church today, as we tend to do on Sunday mornings. Amanda’s aunt, Anna Frazelle, sat with us, as did Rob Peterson and Kristen Barriner. After the service we went out to eat at Boodles with the latter two, then we went by the house to let Bruce out to pee and headed on to Raleigh.

The trip went pretty quickly, at least for me. I was reading a book that I’d borrowed from Amanda’s grandpa by way of her mother, as I saw it at the Mercer house. It’s 1776, a book about the people involved in the Revolutionary War, if that wasn’t to be inferred by the title. I haven’t read much in the way of historical fiction, but I’m really enjoying the read.

We got to Panera Bread at Crabtree Valley Mall just a few minutes after 1:00. When we lived in Raleigh Amanda and I ate there quite a bit, but they don’t have Panera in Wilmington, sadly, so that’s where we wanted to have lunch. Amy and Ben Farmer were there. I’d also arranged to meet Chris Reeves there, and I’d left a message for Autumn Belk and John Pearson via MySpace that we were coming to town. John and Autumn were there, but it turned out that Chris had just invited them and they hadn’t seen my message.

As we were eating I told Chris why we were in town; because my parents had bought us tickets to Cirque du Soleil. Chris said he was going to that too, and I thought he was just pulling my leg at first but he actually was going.

After we ate we all headed upstairs and some of us got cookies. I was going to get two small sandwich cookies, but that would have been more expensive that getting one big one, so a big one I got.

When we all finished all of us but Ben and Amy followed Chris out to his car for some gifts. Well, he had stuff for me and John anyway. He gave me a Wacom tablet and John an Xbox and some games.

We all went our separate ways, Amanda and I heading back into the mall to get some more Producer Pants from Express for Men. We’d gotten a coupon plus they were having a sale, so I ended up getting some white pants and some gray pants.

We went over to Amy and Ben’s when we finished shopping. Amy and Ben live in Crabtree Valley Apartments, where we used to live. That was such a great apartment, and such a good location. When we got to Amy and Ben’s we gave them the Christmas present that’s been sitting in the trunk of the Jetta for three months, I cleaned up Amy’s laptop and showed her how to put music on her iPod and we played Taboo. It was Amanda and Amy versus me and Ben. We slaughtered them.

We headed up to Briar Creek to meet my parents, Rhonda and Jerry Dotsey, my brother Adam and his girlfriend Renee Sikes. Adam and Renee left Wilmington about the same time we did, but they went on out to Rougemont to hang out with the folks. We met them up at Longhorn. Amanda and I split a fillet, which was very good. We had a nice time sitting around, eating good food and drinking a little wine. Mom noted that all the ladies there were Tauruses then someone pointed out that all the guys were Pisces. Just an interesting thing of note.

It was drizzling lightly when we left Longhorn to head over to the RBC Center for Cirque du Soleil. I left Chris a message and he texted me back. I texted him back and told him if he stuck his head over the edge of the balcony he was on we’d throw some cotton candy up to him.

Cirque du Soleil was amazing, of course. There was a lot more dance and less acrobatics than the show, La Nouba, that Amanda and I saw in Orlando on the last night of our honeymoon. This one, Delirium, used an impressive multimedia display and it did still have some very impressive physical feats. There were guys doing one-armed handstands on the head of a guy being held up by two other people. There was the girl dancing with a ball, or sphere or globe or what have you. Reminiscent of the people who flew around on ribbons, there were two women flying around in nets suspended from the air, although that doesn’t give any justice to what they were doing. I was really impressed with the woman who was dancing with six (Amanda thought it was more, but I’m pretty sure I counted six) hula hoops, although she did mess up once.

One of the recurring characters brought to mind a Fascist dictator. He walked in a convincing fast-motion as though he were filmed with a hand-cranked movie camera, wore a gray outfit and seemed to be bossing people around, shouting orders and such.

I think we all enjoyed the show a lot. We said goodbye to Mom and Dad and Adam and Renee tried to follow us out of the parking lot. It took probably 15, 20 minutes to get out. After that it was a struggle for me to get us home. I didn’t really have all that much trouble, but I did need to keep myself awake. Amanda stayed up with me the whole time, but having gotten up at about 7:30 and driving to and from Raleigh (well, riding to, as Amanda was driving on the way there) made it a tiring day. But it was a good day.

Zach Dotsey