Saturday, July 16, 2016

That time I got married on a sidewalk in Memphis

Let me just say that this week has been a size large CRAZY with a side of I need a nap.  

And let me promise you that I would much rather be chatting with you on here than what I've actually been doing.  Like today when I almost got run over in the Lowe's parking lot by an old man in a truck trying to park in the handicapped space.  And I just wanted to exchange my caladium plant for a more sun loving variety. 

Now, with no further ado ... here' s a little run down of our cross country drive last week.  Otherwise known as vacation. 

The trip was planned to be a trip for two - meaning me and Fireman Dave, while the boys went to church camp.  And we spent some time debating over Nashville or New Orleans but The Grand Old Opry is something I've always wanted to do.  So it won.  And we were ready, set, go... till 2 days before our trip when I got a call from the church and found out that Kid 3 was not going to be allowed to go on the youth camp trip with his brothers.  And yes, I know.  Kid 3 is approximately 6 weeks from officially being a  part of the youth group, but I didn't think it was any different than other kids inviting a friend on the trip.  Till I got the call that it was. 

It seems there may or may not have been a couple of unhappy mothers who didn't enjoy the idea of Kid 3 going on the trip if their own kids couldn't have the same privilege.  But it was told to me with a smile and just the faintest nod toward sincerity -  which made me bite my tongue and dig deep for grace.  Translated loosely to mean I had to pray to be nice.  And praise God it worked.

So we bought Kid 3 an airline ticket to join us, for the low, low price of $2 million last minute booking fee dollars.  And we sent brothers off for a week of adventure while we headed out in the wee hours of the morning, as Fireman Dave always enjoys on trips, to the airport in the world's worst lightning storm.  I feel confident it was history making.  But I think we were the only ones awake to see it. 

Anyway it delayed our flight so very much that we missed our Atlanta flight connection and decided to take matters into our own hands and ask for a refund.  Then we took off driving and made it to Memphis by about the same time our flight would've landed in Nashville. 

Fireman Dave got us a room at the downtown Memphis Sheraton which is now a favorite of mine, and also that of my new acquaintance, Homeless Betty - who met me at my car door by surprise and showed me her very nasty and infected spider bite and a tube top that needed a little tighter elastic around the bust line.  And she asked for money and then asked for more, specifically $3 more  because she obviously has a background in sales.  Then she told me how pretty I was.  Which I would've loved to hear had it not been a dishonest twisting of the truth - because I know what I looked like after waking at 3:30 AM to sit through an airport storm and then driving 7 hours to Memphis. 

But I paid her just like that time I kept throwing food at that squirrel at the Arboretum to keep it from invading our picnic blanket area when Kid 1 was a baby.  And I kept looking all over the world for Fireman Dave to be my helper but turns out he was really busy putting money in the parking meter while Betty and I chatted.  He finally arrived about the time she was asking for all the toiletry items in my purse and eyeing my wedding ring.  The good news was that my annual summer swell was in full swing and there was no way in the entire world that ring was coming off my puffy finger without surgery.  The lunch meal at Cracker Barrel didn't help with my sodium count, but it did possibly save me from a vicious crime.

After that I took a shower, found the complimentary bathrobe and settled into my 14th floor penthouse-like room while Fireman Dave and Kid 3 roamed downtown Memphis and saw the fireworks.  Did I tell y'all this was July 4th?  I celebrated the holiday with room service, some fluffy pillows and a Meg Ryan and Tom Hanks romantic comedy on TV.  I love a good romantic comedy.


The next day we had tickets for the 7pm show at the Grand Ole Opry in Nashville so we had just a short amount of time to explore Memphis.  And when in Memphis, what's the most important thing to do?  Graceland, the home of Elvis Presley.  Of course. 

You, too, can wear a star-studded jumpsuit like Elvis.  There were so many to choose from.

Then we drove the 3 ish hours to Nashville and made it to our hotel in time for me to have exactly 15 minutes to transform into an Opry- going beauty.  I could've benefited from additional time. 

And here we are at the show.

The next day we found the cutest little town outside Nashville.  If I ever leave Texas for any reason, look for me in Franklin, Tennessee in a beautifully restored old home with wrap around porch and boutique shopping right around the corner.  We also visited a civil war cemetery and battle ground and took in a little history before I went to try on dresses in town.

And here we are at another Nashville institution, the Loveless Cafe.  Yum.

You should go there if you ever get the chance.  And take your picture in this cornfield that makes me and Kid 3 look like an old childless farm couple.

And our last day we drove home.  Oh my gosh, all the way home.  Once again via Memphis where we stopped to see the ducks at the Peabody Hotel and met another homeless person, a man, poet and quite the public speaker.  And y'all, I am not insensitive to the plight of the homeless.  So don't leave me all manner of nasty comments below.  I'm just sharing that the Memphis homeless were different than the ones in Dallas.  In Dallas they just hold signs.  But in Memphis, they obviously have a training program and are the world's best story tellers.  Which I totally admire as I fancy myself a bit of a storyteller as well.

This very nice gentleman and poet happened specialize in wedding vows.  So he recited his and hers vows to me and Fireman Dave right there on the sidewalk - and I think we can count this as a vow renewal ceremony - for the bargain price of $10  - because that was exactly all I had left in my purse.  Next time we go to Memphis I have to remember to bring more cash. 

Then we drove home and learned of the bad news here.  And I wrote this.  

And this. 

But most of all I loved having Kid 3 all to ourselves for a few days.  And I think he loved it too.  And what started out as a phone call making us change plans at the last minute turned out to be the best part of the trip.  Funny how that happens. 

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  1. Looks like you had a great time! We had thought about doing that last year. Glad you got home safe with your wedding ring intact. Love the pictures too!


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