Taking off from LAX is tight because I get to say goodbye to my backyard for like 10 minutes while we fly over the ocean. Normally I fly out of LAX before 6 AM and never get to see the coast. I was supes dupes sad to say goodbye to this view but I get to see it everyday so I was like, whateva. Where's my wine?
We spent 4 hours at LAX because we couldn't find a ride other than my friend Mark who works in El Segundo and had to get us to the airport at 7:00 AM for our noon flight. We spent three hours flying to Denver, then three and a half hours flying to Orlando, where we picked up a rental car at 9:00 PM and drove two hours to Gainesville. Our heads didn't hit the pillow until after midnight. We cruised Gainesville in the morning and were generally unimpressed (due to our tiredness and not necessarily with the town itself), so we went back to our hotel to sleep before Annie's wedding.
I love the colorful houses of the South against cloudy skies. One thing I really love about Ventura is the indigenous charm and the fact that zero fucks are given in all of the neighborhoods. Families are free to go buck with the paint and colors and nobody cares. The South is kinda like that too.
Speaking of going buck, Pappas was dancing through the streets while getting ready and she looked like a fairy.
One of the cool spots was a tiny record store where Brad had a panic attack over whether or not to buy a $70 The Oh Sees record. I can't disclose the outcome.
Annie's wedding was stunning. It was intimate and had an open bar, which are the only two requirements I ever have with weddings. And there wasn't even a barn!!! It was a dream come true for me. We ate salmon and drank a ton and laughed a ton and hunted for gaters.
We went to bed that night knowing our next day would be mind numbing: it was road trip day. We wanted to go up to Nashville to see a few friends and the family I used to work for. Estimated driving time? Eight hours.
It was less exciting than it looks.
"Need we say more"
Things have changed quite a bit since I was a resident out there, and apparently one of those changes is the traffic situation of Atlanta. Holy shit.
We originally planned on grabbing a bite in Atlanta, but our hunger / anger / road rage increased so rapidly near a town called Locust, Georgia that we stopped at a Mexican restaurant because we don't respect our bodies. It was okay except for after our $6 margaritas, our waitress asked if we "needed" waters and then gave us our check. Clueless.
We hit Nashville around 4:30 and I squeezed Avery with all my might. I love her so.
Smokey, who is still alive and grumpy as ever, was gifted a new companion last November. The black dog is Nyx, who now outweighs and can outrun Smokey, so she is in no real danger anymore. Smokey hates her. Nyx refuses to be refused.
Avery took a liking to Brad right away; they had never met in person. Their only exposure to one another was in my final months living in Nashville, when they used to FaceTime and send each other photos. I came upstairs to Avery snuggling in his lap while the boys read their Dragon Encyclopedia to him. They were so happy and had so many questions for Brad, who played with them nonstop in their backyard. They have since installed a zipline and pogo jump, and plan on putting in a bigger zipline and potentially a pool. It's the dopest house on earth.
Being utterly exhausted after sleeping for a grand total of maybe 10 hours, we dragged our zombie asses to Fenwick's, which is new enough to Nashville that I hadn't heard of it yet and I ate the best grilled cheese sandwich of my life.
We later met up with Lindsay, who is my own flesh and blood basically, and we treated ourselves to pizza and appetizers at City House. I don't have photos because I was dead tired and dying of an allergy attack -- another aspect of the South that I had since forgotten.
I'm not sure why I don't have any photos of Wes, but it might be because he was hanging on my back most of the time. I love watching these babies grow up. They are absolutely brilliant, and funny, and witty.
In the morning, we packed up quickly, I hugged them goodbye and sent them off to school. Lindsay picked us up and hustled us to BNA where we caught our direct flight back.
I didn't wake up until yesterday.