This past weekend was quite a whirlwind. Sadie and I left around 5:30 a.m. on Friday to begin our nine hour trek to Atlanta. We would only be gone for a couple of days, but naturally we packed for more like a month. First of all, traveling with a 3 year old by yourself for over 500 miles sort of necessitates having 1) plenty of snacks and 2) enough entertainment to keep the native from getting restless (toys, books, crayons, etc.). Then, crossing 4 states usually involves changes in weather patterns which require packing for various elements...rain, sun, wind, etc. Those things alone can result in an overly packed suitcase but I think I can safely say for most of us women out there that when planning to attend a wedding or other formal occasion, we can easily empty a closet trying to decide what to wear and then either only be able to narrow the choices to a "select few" or declare that we have absolutely nothing for the occasion and we must go shopping for something appropriate. As for me, I packed my "select few" and planned a fashion show with my friend later to help me with the final decision. :)
For the most part, the ride there was uneventful. I must say, however, that Memphis drivers are insane! I can handle the craziness of Atlanta (growing up around there helps) but there is something about Memphis that always makes me nervous. Maybe it's the bridge. Maybe it's the infrastructure. I don't know. I just know it's the most dreaded part of my entire drive.
We finally arrived at my friend's house around 3:00 that afternoon. That left just enough time to exchange a few pleasantries before getting ready for the rehearsal and dinner. Karyn (my friend) heard from Renee (the bride) earlier that day and was told that we didn't have to be at the rehearsal and just coming to the dinner would be fine. Although I was super anxious to see my friend of 23 years, that news was good because it meant we had a little more time to work on a project for our friend, the bride. I can't tell you about it yet because it's not finished and I don't want to risk spoiling the surprise for Renee but we will eventually share that story with you, too. :)
Karyn's husband, Aaron, offered to watch the kids that night after the babysitter canceled. (Wasn't that nice of him?) So, while we waited for him to arrive home from work, Karyn and I sat and talked about our wardrobes and how our shopping habits have changed over the years and since having kids. She mentioned shopping at Goodwill, something we both have in common, and buying jeans and how you can find just about anything and everything in that store. Then she said, "You know that show, The Antique Road Show? Do you remember when that couple brought in those giant panties that they'd found at a thrift store for like $1 and they ended up being worth about $72,000?" (At least, that's what I heard her say. ;) ) I thought to myself, "Who on this earth would pay $72,000 for a pair of giant panties??? And who did they belong to for cryin' out loud?? Was Betsy Ross wearing them when she made the American flag or something?? Maybe they were sewn with golden thread..." Of course, you've already figured out what she really said...paintings. Once I finally got up the nerve to ask her about it, we both erupted in laughter. That story came up repeatedly all weekend and every time we were both brought to stitches. I just love a good laugh!
It's a good thing that we were able to add that one to our arsenal, too. We were going to need that laugh again soon. Little did we know that we were about to get lost. In Atlanta. At night. Around rush hour. And did I mention it was raining? Karyn drove us to the rehearsal dinner and I was content to be the passenger (at first) after a long nine hour drive. We left for the dinner shortly after 5 and GPS estimated the trip would take about an hour and a half. (Yes, the word ATLANTA, for those who don't know, is a loose term that can refer to anywhere within about a 300 mile radius of the city's epicenter. Ok, that's a slight exaggeration but you catch my drift. :) ) The dinner didn't start until 7 p.m. so we were going to get there in plenty of time...or so we thought. Plus, everyone knows that the GPS always overestimates how long it will actually take you to get anywhere so we were doing really well. No worries. We looked at Karyn's phone (GPS), saw that we had 11.5 miles until our next turn, and then set the phone on the dashboard. In between my sudden gasps and stepping on my imaginary brake pedal, we chatted along the way. Traffic was just creeping along and I was certain that Karyn was mistaking brake lights for green lights. I could swear that every time a car in front of us was braking, she was hitting the gas pedal! I nearly had a heart attack that night. Finally I said, "This is the longest 11.5 miles that I've ever been on." Karyn checks her phone (which we later named "Idiot") and it still says 11.5 miles to our next turn. Great! It had frozen up on us. She has to restart the thing all over again. I'm desperate to help because the last thing I want for my driver is another distraction. (Please keep your eyes on the brake lights in front of us!) We finally get the thing reloaded and we're about 27 miles off course. Great! It estimates that it will take us an hour and a half to get there. An hour and a half to go 27 miles?! Double Great! We're supposed to be there in about 25 minutes. Triple...!
So, what do most women do when they get lost? Call a husband, of course. Maybe not your own, but someone's. :D Karyn gave me Aaron's phone number and asked me to call him for directions. He is more familiar with the area anyway and he also has a maps app on his phone. Maybe his will be working. I tell him we're at Cumberland mall. Then he asks what the heck we're doing way over there. (Really helpful, right? We're stressed and panicking and he wants to know why we're over by some mall that's in the opposite direction. I wanted to say, "Oh, I don't know. Karyn's driving is so therapeutic that we decided to take the scenic route...you know, relax and unwind.") He gives me basic directions and tells me how to program the phone to get Idiot to work correctly. Finally, after much trepidation, we are back on track...and running horribly late. I had the privilege of calling the bride to tell her how late we would be. Fun! Not. Renee was super cool about it, though. Told us to just be careful and not worry about when we got there. Be safe and all that. Little did she know how we were blaming her for our predicament about 10 minutes earlier. "Why in the world is she getting married way up here in BFE? This wouldn't be happening if she had just picked somewhere closer to home. Even Perry! If it were in Perry, we'd be there already!" Haha Our casting blame was all in good fun, of course. Renee has been my friend since the 6th grade. She's like a sister to me. Razzing her and recalling the antique panties helped us keep our sanity.
Karyn and I have also been friends for about 22 years and she is like a sister to me too...which is why I don't feel bad about telling you that her driving scares me to death. After nearly pounding my foot through the floor to no avail, at one point I actually screamed and she slammed on the brakes. My heart was pounding in my chest, heart rate racing, sweat beads forming on my brow. (Funny thing, when she hit the brakes we could both have sworn that a little toy action figure in the backseat hollered, "Oh, my GOD!" I thought, "That's exactly what I was thinking!" ;) ) She told me to just relax. Close my eyes. Close my eyes?! Seriously? Teasingly I said, "But if I close my eyes, I might never open them again. Did I tell you what my son asked me before I left Arkansas? He asked me if I was going to die. I'm beginning to think he knows something I don't. I don't want to die, Karyn! I told my little boy that I didn't plan on dying this weekend!" (I'm a great passenger, by the way. ;) )
So, Idiot gets us to States Bridge Road which is where the restaurant is located. It's a divided roadway so Idiot had us drive past the place and told us to make a u-turn to get there. At least, that's where the flag was. You know, the checkered destination flag? Anyway, we were about 35 minutes late at this point and we don't see the restaurant anywhere. "Where is it? According to this, we're right on top of it. Where is it? Well, now we've passed it. You'll have to circle around again." We drove through shopping centers. We circled time and again. I think we drove around 3 times before finally spotting the place on the side of the road BEFORE Idiot's u-turn! Later, Aaron told me that the addresses on that app are approximate and not exact. Oh. Thank you. That would have been helpful information.
We were only 45 minutes late. Renee looked amazing! I've never seen her so skinny! Beautiful! I told her we just wanted to make an entrance and asked an acquaintance if we made it in time for dessert. She told me that the only thing we missed was the blessing. Everyone had just sat down. They didn't even have the drink orders yet. Oh, goodness. I hope they weren't waiting for us. They assured us that they weren't and I hope that's the truth. Karyn and I were seated at different tables. We joked later about that being our punishment for being so late...not sitting together. But it would seem as though Karyn deserved even more punishment for some reason? (maybe because she was the maniac driver? haha Just kidding, Karyn. ;) )...ginger ale dumped in her hair and down her back. I didn't see it happen. Actually, I wouldn't even have known it had happened if Karyn hadn't told me. Aah, but we made it. Finally. Good, bad, or ugly, we had finally arrived!
Stay tuned for Part 2...
- I'm a mother of 3 who started blogging as a way to share our many adventures and to expand beyond the everyday "mommy world". While there IS so much more to us mommies than the title, there is very little that doesn't in some way or another lead us back to or influence our children...if anything. So, I hope you enjoy following our family's randomness, because as all moms know- you can never anticipate what tomorrow will bring! Thanks for visiting and have a blessed day! :)