It was really hard to come home after my trip to Tennessee. I was talking with a friend this morning and he said, "So what made it such a great trip?"
It was a great trip because ... even though I arrived in Nashville at 11:00 pm and had stood in line at the Alamo car rental counter (with my free one day car rental coupon in hand) for 30 minutes, and by the time I reached the clerk and was told all they had left were luxury cars and SUVs - I scooted over to the Enterprise car rental counter (where there was no line) and said to that guy, "I need a really cheap car." He said to me, "Well let's see what I can do to help you out."
We chatted a little bit. He asked me where I was headed. I told him I had two daughters who were in a variety show in Pigeon Forge. He perked up and talked about how he had discovered the theater when he was 19 and loved doing community shows and how awesome it was at their age to be getting paid to do what they love to do. (As we visited the cost of the rental car kept coming down.)
He wished me well, said to have a safe, fun trip and I was off to find my car ... in space #50. When I walked out of the airport at midnight, and into the hot 90 degree, damp air I looked at space #1 right outside the door and thought, Really? Space 50?
And then even after I got myself lost trying to get on the right freeway for my 3 1/2 hour drive to Pigeon Forge, having stopped twice for directions, it was actually a nice drive ... because the day before I left, I had switched my Cricket phone plan to their new nationwide coverage and I was able to call my girls numerous times to let them know where I was and how soon I'd be there without having to worry about running out of roaming minutes.
And then when I stopped for a bathroom break (3 hours into the drive) I took a minute to figure out how to plug in my iPod, which was two years old but had never been used, and realized how many great songs McCall had downloaded for her mom so I would have music I liked to listen to on my long car ride. (Sometimes I forget how thoughtful she is ... and then I remember, and it makes me happy.)
It was also a really great trip because ... Haley and Chloe had waited up for me and I didn't arrive until almost 5 am their time - and because their rooms were nice and cool and my bed was nice and comfy and we slept in as long as we wanted to. In fact, we slept in until lunch and then we went with the other two dancers in the show to eat and had a really fun time even though it poured down rain in the heat and soaked us as we went into Appleby's.
It was a really great trip because ... when I walked into the theater that night and was introduced to the show's cast I felt like the belle of the ball. Everyone was so excited to meet me, because my girls had been so excited to have me come.
It was a really great trip because ... Haley and Chloe didn't tell me that they sang "One Night Only" from Dreamgirls together in the show, and it was pretty amazing. And I was really proud of them as I watched them perform that night.
It was a really great trip because ... the girls were dying to show me "the cutest McDonald's ever Mom" in Knoxville. (We did cut our Knoxville tour a little short because Haley and Chloe felt we needed to hurry back to Pigeon Forge so we could get some deep fried oreos before the Funnel Cake Shop closed - a treat they felt I wouldn't want to miss. And as we watched the girl dip the oreos in batter and drop them into the oil, she said, "This is the south, we deep fry anything. We deep fry twinkies and zingers here too. We can even deep fry your favorite candy bar for you." I grinned pretty big after that one and thought it was a dang good thing I was only in town for a few days because those deep fried oreos ... Mmmm, mmmm GOOD!)
And as we were walking back to our car (which was a really nice, new, black Ford focus - btw) we also happened by a t-shirt shop and I bought Libby a baby pink tee that says, Grandma's little princess, Pigeon Forge, TN - and how could buying a corny cool t-shirt like that NOT make it a really great trip?
(I just really wished that I could have stayed with them and been their roomate for a while ... I sure enjoy their company ... LoVe.)