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!