Wednesday, December 17, 2008

On the Road Again

I'm in Atlanta today, and for the rest of the week, my internet access is uncertain. This is the week my sister Bev and I are taking our annual "Girl's Trip." We'd tried to schedule something earlier in the fall and talked about going to Vegas to catch some shows or maybe to San Antonio to see the Alamo before heading to a dude ranch. Those fizzled out. But last month when I was working on my novel for NaNoWriMo, I set it in Atlanta and kept asking my sister questions I thought she might know the answers to. Her son went to Georgia Tech and both she and her husband have to travel to Atlanta on business.

Well, she was a veritable fount of information and helped me with a down-home diner, an elegant hotel for my characters' honeymoon and a refurbished one with gorgeous ballrooms for a charity gala they attended. About mid-way through NaNo, when the stress levels were building and she could probably read the desperation in my emails, she suggested that as my reward for winning NaNo (she apparently had more faith in me at that point than I did) we meet today for two fun-filled days and nights in Hotlanta. We're going to eat dinner at Agnes & Muriel's, the diner I patterned the Rosebud Diner after. We're staying at the Georgian Terrace Hotel and hoping to visit the Biltmore Hotel for a glimpse at their ballrooms. Non-book related, we're going to see the Christmas lights at Stone Mountain, we plan to shop and then shop some more. We'll definitely be eating in good places and we're hoping to touch base with some women we met on our cruise last year. We'd hoped to catch the Christmas show at the Fox Theater but it was last week. :-( There's still plenty to do -- more than we have time for.

But we're gonna enjoy the holiday spirit in the big city. She lives on a small barrier island off the coast and I live in Huntspatch. We have no real schedule and we certainly aren't packing pantyhose.

This is a photo from our first road trip in 2003. We spent a few days in Nashville, Tennessee and took in the Grand Ole Opry and the Country Music Hall of Fame. Here we are with Sherry Lynn and Brenda Kay, the famous Jugg Sisters of Nash Trash Tours fame. If you're ever in Nashville, you have to do this tour. It's a couple hours of singing, gossip and sightseeing on the big pink bus, complete with fancy hors d'oeuvres (AKA squirt cheese and saltine crackers).

We skipped a few years and I'm not sure why but our next trip was actually a week at my sister's house in July 2006. I mentioned she lives on an island and since her husband and son were going to be gone for two weeks and she lives in a resort area, why not just go there? We slept late, watched chick flicks and if we wanted to eat tomato soup and grilled cheese sandwiches for dinner every night, there was no man asking,"Where's the rest of the meal?" Here's a photo of us at the Fourth of July fireworks display in the beachside park.

Later that year we took a second trip. She came to my house and from here we left out and headed toward the Natchez Trace. Again we had no real schedule and stopped when we felt the time was right. We spent the first night in Tupelo, Mississippi, in a B&B across the street from Elvis Presley's elementary school. Two nights in Natchez followed that, one in a B&B on the bluff overlooking the river. The owner was a retired psychologist who had renovated the old house himself. Here we are along a section of the Trace, which was an old trading route. We had a funny experience on that trip with a couple we met at breakfast at the Tupelo B&B and then ran into at virtually every place we stopped along the Trace.

In 2007 we decided to hit the high seas and took a four-day cruise to Cozumel. I'm not sure the cruise line will ever invite us back because we didn't order a single alcoholic beverage or even set foot in the casino. But we had a blast just chilling, taking in a few shows and spending a day shopping in Cozumel. We also met two sisters-in-law who were taking their first girl's trip together, and after hearing about our adventures, they decided to make their trip an annual event.

Here I am in the courtyard of a restaurant in Cozumel.

And here's Bev across the table from me. A nice mariachi band serenaded all the diners that day and created a nice, touristy atmosphere.

Do you have travel plans for Christmas? Ever done any semi-spontaneous travel like this? If you could drop everything today and go somewhere, where would you go?

See ya when I get back. I'll be home on Friday in time for #1 son, DIL and BabyGrand to come for Christmas. #2 son will be home on Saturday so we're going to have a full house!

P.S. Congrats to Lynn Raye Harris, Monday's winner from Anna Campbell's blog. Email Anna here with your snail mail info and she'll get the book to you.

P.P.S. Inevitably, when people find out about our sister's trip, we usually end up singing a few bars of this song. Sing along with us!


PM's Mother said...

It's hard for me to believe that after I suffered through the teen-age angst with you two that you're such good friends now...but I'm glad! It seems I did a good job of raising you two (with the help of a whole lot of other people!) I'm proud of both of you!!!!!
Love, Your Mother

PS: You're having so much fun -- I'd like to join you on a trip some day.

Problem Child said...

I think it's great you two do this. Makes me wish I had a sister. Hmm, maybe the Playfriends will do road trips with me...

Anonymous said...

It's good that your sister & you get together to have some fun. I am able to do that too - I have 3 brothers & 3 sisters and you never know when a road trip will come up. I am planning a little solo trip over the Christmas break to do a little ding-ding (gambling) as my sister calls it. You never know where we might end up on one of our little road trips or who is going but we always have a lot of fun.
PC - want me to loan you a brother or sister or two?

Smarty Pants said...

Yeah, PC, cause it takes a lot of convincing to get us to go on a road trip...

Playground Monitor said...

T-minus 30 minutes til departure time. My suitcase is in the car. I've had breakfast and done my hair. I have on minimal make-up so I don't look like an escaped convict.

Mom -- we'll see about taking you along one time. Maybe the next cruise?

PC -- Playfriend road trips rock! Especially when we don't have a meth bust in the next room.

robertsonreads -- sometimes the spontaneous trips are the best. No time to angst over anything so you just concentrate on the fun.

LOL SP! You really have to twist our collective arms to get us to travel, don't you?

I'll check back in later if I can. Not sure about the hotel's internet access.

Christine said...

No sister to travel with, but always my BFFs--but with children--no husbands. Again, the idea of not having to make an entire meal to please the man and doing chick things is the key.

We're thinking about two mini trips over the holidays--Nashville for the Rockettes show and Birmingham because we just love it down there.

Barbara Vey said...

I have 4 sisters and we've never managed to go somewhere together at the same time. At the most, it's 3 of us together. Then it was Vegas.

I love to just pick up and go. I always keep a bag packed...just in case.

Liza said...

Hope y'all have a great time in Atlanta. My sister and I get our time together shopping the day after Thanksgiving. It's about the only time all year, we get to do something without her kids. However, a long trip together sounds even better. Must add that to our list of things to do.

Jen said...

Marilyn, it looks as if you two have so much fun! Enjoy Hotlanta -- and know that it is HOT. It's positively balmy here today.

Lynn Raye Harris said...

Oooh, I won Anna's book!? Yay!!!!

Have fun, PM! I wish I had a sister to tour with. My mom and I have done two trips together without the men, and we had fun both times. The first was to Moscow and Leningrad (when it was still called that). 8 days behind the Iron Curtain. Fun.

The second was to Madrid for 4 days. Mom was going to a security professionals conference and I went along as her guest. While she had to attend lectures, I went on the tours the conference organizers had set up for the spouses/guests. We saw Toledo, the royal palace in Madrid, and had a personal guided tour of the Prado. Awesome.

But Mom and I did plenty on our own when the conference was done, so that was fun too. :)

If anyone wants to tour and needs a temporary sister, I'll volunteer. :) I love travel! (I especially liked it when SP planned everything.) *g*

Smarty Pants said...

Glad you appreciate it, Lynn. I have some friends who don't. (Thankfully not the playfriends!)

Kathy said...

I don't have a sister. Have 3 SIL's though. Have a great time, PM! ;)

I love to travel once I get away from the family. As some of the playfriends know, that's hard for me, what with all the stress of planning for their needs before I leave.

If anyone needs a travel buddy, (Lynn?) I'm willing. That is if I can get away from my crew. LOL!

Instigator said...

Enjoy your time away, PM. But know we miss you :-)

PC, of course we'll travel with you. Have we ever said no to a road trip?


catslady said...

It always makes me sad that I'm not real close with my sister. She's just not a people person and now that her daughter had 7 kids, it's the only thing she's interested in. Anyway, I did everything in my power to help my two daughters be best friends and I'm thrilled to say they are!

Joyce said...

Oh PM, I love the Georgian Terrace. The last time I was there I had a suite with the bedroom in the turret, it was so cool!

I hope you have a great trip!

PC's Mom