A few weeks ago, Kevin and I decided to drive to Ohio to visit the grandparents. Here's the kicker, though.....we decided to make it a surprise!!! After a little detective work from Kev's sister, Susan, we learned that they were not going on any vacations themselves, and started planning. Here are a few highlights from our trip:
Highlight #1 Reagan was a TROOPER in the car.
She stayed on her schedule and was only fussy in the evenings and during that 4 hour traffic jam in Kentucky (Kentucky, we hate your roads....LOVE your country).
Highlight #2 Do not stay at Microtel in Memphis/Cordova.
This is actually a lowlight. Um, can you say, "nasty"? The first room they put us in smelled musty and the carpet was wet and sticky. There were black marks all over the walls and there was HAIR on the bed. GROSS. They moved us to another room sans musty smell and hair, but the carpet and wall markings were the same. And the toilet paper dispenser was in a weird place. It was on the wall directly in front of the toilet.....so, you had to r-e-a-c-h pretty far when you needed any TP. Would have been difficult for a short person. Kev and I were really disappointed, because we stayed at a Microtel in Raton, New Mexico last summer and LOVED it. Hmm.
Highlight #3 The grandparents were so surprised!!
They love Reagan. And she loves them! (She told me so).
Highlight #4 I got to see Lil and Reid!
Reid is the cutest little guy. He's got this bright orange hair (like his daddy) and a super-cute smile. Watch out ladies! No dating 'till you're 25, Reagan. And Lil looks amazing. It was really good to chat with her for a while. I miss you, Lil!
Highlight #5 I got to do lots of farm-y things while visiting: mowed the grass with a zero-turn mower (super-awesome), helped snap green beans fresh from the garden, watched fishies from the pond eat grass, saw lots of vermin: groundhogs, chipmunks, bunnies, lightning bugs.
Des let me mow a chunk of his 13 acres with the zero-turn mower. That thing was AWESOME. It took a little getting used to, but soon I was zipping all over the yard, weaving in and out of the trees in the orchard and trying to keep my lines straight in the long stretches. And here's the amazing part: I didn't sweat at all. Know why? Because the temperature was in the 70's the whole time we were there. Sigh.
Highlight #6 http://www.priceline.com/ rocks.
For our trip home, I booked our hotel on Priceline.com. I've never done this before, but a friend recently did it and got a good deal, so I thought I'd try it out. For those of you not familiar with Priceline, you go online and choose how fancy you'd like the hotel to be (1-star, 2-star, 3-star, etc.) and you choose the geographical location where you'd like to stay. Then, you get to NAME YOUR PRICE. That's right. You pick how much you want to pay and then Priceline finds you a hotel with your fanciness and geographic designations. It's awesome. Sometimes there aren't hotels available for cheap-o, but sometimes there are. For instance......we wanted a 3-star hotel in the western downtown Nashville area for $65 ($85 with tax). Priceline booked us with the Holiday Inn on the Vanderbilt campus. It was AWESOME. Right outside our balcony was the Vanderbilt stadium. How cool is that? And there was a songwriters camp going on in the hotel, so there were lots of guitars and big hair. And you know those information boards on the back of hotel doors that tell about evacuation plans and tell you the cost of the room? Our said that the room costs $345. I don't know if that's true, but the Holiday Inn online listed the cheapest room at the hotel at $119, so we definitely got a sweet deal. We will use Priceline for all of our future hotel bookings.
Highlight #7 We got to stay with Grandma and Grandpa on our way home!
We had to make the trip home to Dallas a 3-day adventure. And we're glad we did, because we got to stay with Grandma and Grandpa in Texarkana. It was so great! Grandma made us grilled cheese sandwiches at 8pm and let me do some laundry (Reagan made poopy). Grandpa was also a great host and made sure we had enough whipped cream on our jello-ladyfingers dessert. Yum! We're so glad we stopped and stayed with them. We love you guys!
All in all, a very successful trip. But, maybe next time we'll fly?