I woke up at the butt-crack of dawn on Saturday and got on a plane to Nashville. I’ve never been to Music City before, although I’ve always wanted to. My future sister-in-law and friend picked me up at the airport and whisked me off to get pedicures. Except I’d had a pedicure the night before, so I just drank my non-fat iced mocha (not to be confused with a skinny iced mocha) and chit-chatted and thumbed through the typical salon-quality reading material — you know, highly intellectual literary journals as People and Redbook. Hey, it beats Star and National Enquirer. I have standards, you know.
Afterwards we headed over to SIL’s condo and met up with several other bridesmaids who came loaded down with food and drinks. We tried on our bridesmaids dresses and pinned and tucked so the seamstress can make alterations. SIL tried on her wedding dress so we could all ooh and ahh appropriately.
Then we threw on bathing suits and headed out for a few hours of lounging by the pool. We must have made quite a sight with our grocery cart laden down with refreshments. Doesn’t everyone go to the pool dragging a grocery cart behind them?
I immediately tossed a towel down on a lounge chair and laid down on my stomach, announcing that I had not lain in that position by the pool for 9-and-a-half years and I planned to enjoy it because it may be another 9-and-a-half before I find myself by the pool without kids again. Someday the backs of my legs will have a tan again.
Later that afternoon, we checked into our rooms at the Hilton downtown Nashville and had ourselves a little lingerie bridal shower. There was plenty of cackling and shrieking and eating and drinking. I could tell you more, but I’d have to kill you. Or at least render you mute for the rest of your days. Suffice it to say, there were some hilarious gifts given and plenty of crazy gags. And at that point, the night was young.
After feasting on Chinese takeout, we finally hit the town. By then it was getting dark and the city was coming alive – especially along Broadway where all the touristy honky-tonk bars are located. I’ve never been bar-hopping in my LIFE, and I didn’t know what to expect. (I know, naive much?) But it was actually quite a tame crowd, and we had a blast. There was mechanical bull riding (SIL stayed on for almost 30 seconds, although she has a bruise on her ankle to show for it) and karaoke and plenty of dancing and laughing and picture taking.
Although I was having fun, I hit a wall around 11pm (not literally, don’t worry) and decided I’d had enough. Fortunately one of the other girls was in the same boat, so we headed back to the hotel together and let the rest of the girls party on. Which they did for several more hours. Ah, youth.
The next morning we all met for breakfast and then most everyone had to head home. I had one of the hotel rooms for another night, so I said my good-byes and went back to my room where I promptly returned to bed. If you’ve never stayed in a Hilton, you are missing one comfy bed. I happily stayed there until well into the afternoon. It’s the first truly guilt-free nap I’ve had in, oh about 9-and-a-half years. It was sheer heaven.
Finally I decided it was criminal to come all the way to Nashville and not see any of the sites (well, besides the honky tonks the night before), so I got myself out of bed and walked over to the Country Music Hall of Fame where I spent several hours taking it all in.
By then it was time to get ready for my second night out. This time I was meeting with some girls I have known only in cyberspace for (warning: here’s that number again!) 9-and-a-half years. We met on babycenter.com when we were pregnant for our Nov ’99 babies. We eventually formed an email group and have kept in touch that way ever since. This would be the first time I’d ever seen these two Nashvillians face to face.
The funny thing about meeting people you have only known online, and I don’t think I’ll ever quite get used to this, is that when you see them, you DO feel like you know them. Of course, you DO know them. So even though you might think it will be weird, it really isn’t. At least, that has been my experience.
In addition to these two ladies, I also got to meet three other Nashville bloggers. We had a great time getting to know one another, and before I knew it the night was over and it was time to return to my solitary hotel room.
On Monday I met up with SIL for some shopping before I had to hit the road, or the runway rather. My flight home was fairly uneventful, with the exception of the part when the pilot suddenly changed runways mid-landing (without notifying us of what was going on). Everyone was looking around in confusion and wonder, and I almost had myself convinced we were being hijacked and taken to crash into Independence Hall or something. Don’t EVEN tell me you wouldn’t have been thinking the same thing.
Despite that, we landed safely and I arrived home an hour later to the pitter-patter of little feet on the pavement and the pell-mell of soft arms and legs and cheeks and lips, all clamoring to shower me with affection before I could even get out of the car. And the sweetest sound I know — little voices saying excitedly, “Mommy’s home! Mommy’s home!”
Of course it wasn’t long before the same sweet little voices were bickering and fighting, and I was threatening to put them all out to pasture. But even so, it sure is nice to be home.