Back in March of 2011, we decided to use Scott’s precious week off of work to drive down to Memphis and see old friends.
Not friends who are old, but friends we’ve had since we moved to Columbus 5 years ago, which in our lives qualifies as a Very Long Time. 🙂
We almost didn’t go
Caitlyn, 6 months at the time, was largely untested when it came to traveling, though I had flown cross country with both girls the month before and lived to tell the tale. She was definitely a wild card for long hours in the car. Scott had been so busy that we’d barely put together a loose plan for the trip before we embarked.
I’ll admit here, I wanted to throw in the towel. Hotels cost money. Gas costs money. What if Caitlyn screamed the whole time? What if our friends barely recognized us? Weren’t stay-cations supposed to be fun? Let’s just catch up on sleep instead.
But Scott packed up the car, buckled the girls in, opened my car door for me, I climbed in and we were off!
Smart man that he is, Scott knew building memories as a family was important to me (despite my misgivings) and that they are well worth the effort. He also knew that when I feel like I’m barely treading water, sometimes the best thing for me is to get me out of survival mode and into adventure mode.
We did a multi-hour hike as a family in Mammoth Caves and Caitlyn had a blowout of epic proportions at the very middle of the hike. We were over an hour from the exit and it was nearly pitch black with nowhere to change a baby. Let’s just say it’s a good thing she was strapped to ME in the Bjorn or Scott would still need therapy for the experience a year later.
We found EXCELLENT vegetarian food at funky little restaurants in nearly every city we stopped it. Special shout-out to Silly Goose in Nashville. It was so good that when we passed through again on our way back, after straying and choosing another vegetarian place nearby for lunch… we decided to have a SECOND lunch just so we could go back to Silly Goose.
The Cincinnati Children’s Museum made for a fabulous afternoon. Mackenzie was in heaven playing in their “town”, shopping at the grocery store, cleaning houses, and tending babies in the hospital. She dressed up like a postman and delighted me with a special delivery of a plastic taco tucked carefully in her mail sack.
Scott was also in heaven, making things like this:
Being with old friends again was incredibly restorative. I came away having laughed until it hurt but also inspired to make some personal changes. I am such a homebody that I would generally be perfectly happy just spending all day everyday with my husband and children. But undeniably, I am a better person for having had the friends I’ve had. In particular, my friend Anita always listens patiently and asks great questions. Without trying to “fix” whatever problem I’m wrestling with, she makes me think and encourages me. It was great to spend time with her on this trip. And, when Scott and I said goodnight after a late night of talking and games, and loaded Mackenzie into the car… and realized that our OTHER daughter was still sleeping in the crib of the house we just left… we did the walk of shame to retrieve her knowing that our friends would still love us. That’s priceless.
They’re just our kind of people!
We went downtown to see the peabody hotel ducks and they did not disappoint:
I can’t say the same for Beale Street, unfortunately, though it did have some color:
Honestly the best part of downtown Memphis was going out to eat with the 6 adults and 6 kids ages 3 and under in a busy restaurant. You would think with man-to-man defense we would have been ok but I think 5 glasses of water were knocked over and more catfish ended up on the floor than in mouths. It was chaos and so much fun!
I am so glad Scott made this trip happen!