Monday, June 22, 2009

Father's Day Weekend, Part I

Just got back from a wonderful weekend with James' family. But I have to say that the fun and festivities started on Thursday evening when I was loading the car, and on one of my trips out there I accidentally locked myself out of the house. No emergency spare key hidden outside, no phone in the garage, and I have not yet memorized the husband's new cell phone number, so I couldn't even run to a neighbor's house. After I unsuccessfully tried to pick the lock and break in with anything I could find in the garage, I gave up. I enjoyed about two leisurely hours outside, watering the flowers, playing basketball, petting the neighbor's fluffy cat, sitting in the garage in front of a fan, listening to the radio. Then it was getting really dark and I knew it would still be an hour or so before James got home. The only door that was not locked, was the one on the back deck, where Spider was also waiting patiently outside. I got the big extension ladder from the garage and carried it to the back deck, where it just barely came up to the bottom. The rest of the way, I had to grab onto the deck railings and hoist my fat behind up and over. For those of you who missed my post about Romeo jumping off the deck to chase a squirrel, here is a photo of just how high up it is. I was stupid, I should have just waited on the husband for awhile longer, but I am very impatient and impulsive, and I was also worried about Spider because at this point she was crying and getting upset out there. I have to admit, if this was a few months ago, when I was 40 pounds heavier, I don't think I could have lifted my bulk up and over the railing.

Speaking of which, I had a great weigh in this week, for a 2.8 pound loss (for two weeks). I reached my 10% goal and got my shiny new key chain from Weight Watchers, which brings my total to 25 pounds gone since joining in late February. I will continue to stick to it! I am very happy with my progress this time and I believe I can reach my final goal weight by the end of this year. I will be just shy of my goal of getting below 200 for the Florida vacation, but that's okay, I got about as close as I could. So how to combat that? Why, of course, by loading the car with snacks and sodas for our weekend drive! Car trips give me the munchies, I'm not sure how it works for anyone else, and since we don't stop for fast food this fills the void. Something about being in the car for a few hours, and crossing state lines, makes me want a cold soda and a bag of pretzels and I always give myself license to indulge (gotta work on that). Plane travel does the same thing- it's like once I hit the airport concourse I feel like the vacation has already started and it's time to eat every bag of yogurt-covered raisins in sight, and chase it with a Starbucks' latte. Of course, I spent this Friday afternoon baking 8 dozen cookies to take to Tennessee for the weekend, and had to sample a few to make certain I wasn't going to poison the family. So the holiday weekend started- and ended- badly for my diet. But I won't fret about it.

Friday afternoon I picked James up from work, and we headed over to Charlotte for one last time. Yes, the old house is no longer ours, in fact the new owners were moving in this weekend. Glad it wasn't us, I don't want to move again for a long time! We had dinner along the way at the Wild Wing Cafe- love that place!- since we don't have one in our immediate vicinity now. I had to stop at the rest area at the state line for North Carolina to relieve my badly throbbing leg and back (bet you expected me to say bladder), so here I am below, probably for the last time in this area of the world. We reached Charlotte a little after nine, and the hard-working husband quickly plugged in the laptop to check in on work- after all, he'd left there a whole five hours before, and catastrophe could have ensued. Hah, I am just giving him a hard time about it. We got to the Marriott Courtyard at Ballantyne, and we were tired so we just crashed, watched rainy highlights from the U.S. Open to see how Tiger was doing, then we zonked out.

Saturday morning breakfast was in Charlotte at, where else, Cracker Barrel because who doesn't love a good CB breakfast, as we both do. Small world, because our chatty waitress knew where Newnan is, she has a friend who lives there and she's been there for a visit. Wow, you just never know! Then on to the business of the day, James' haircut appointment. As we have for the last few months of coming back to check on the house, James has gotten his hair cut by his regular guy in Charlotte. We joke that it's a $300 haircut, with the hotel room and gas and meals on the road. But, this was one last visit, to say goodbye. Michael Allen of Michael's Hair Studio has been cutting James' hair for 16+ years, and not only was it a business relationship, but they were friends too, who socialized away from the salon. He's a super nice guy that I've gotten to know over the last few years as well, since I would normally go with James to his monthly appointments on Saturday mornings. Michael is a born story-teller, and he's charming and warm and funny, and made me feel like family on my first visit there. A true southern gentleman. It's very possible that James might stop in to say hello one day in the future, but probably not anytime soon, and probably not for a haircut. James will now have to move on and find someone local to take care of him.

After we left Michael's, I made my poor husband take a totally unnecessary side trip over to the Earthfare, because we don't have those in Atlanta (I don't understand why), and I adore that quaint little organic grocery store and just had to pay $11.50 for a jar of cashew butter. They also carry a brand of the yummiest (and cutest) little cookies from ShaSha that I just love, and have never found anywhere else, so I had to buy a few containers (the bakery is out of Canada) to take back home. Then it was onward and over to Knoxville as we bid Charlotte a fond farewell. We do still have friends living there, but there's no knowing when we will go back again for a visit. One last drive on I-40 through Asheville and the mountains of NC. And then we were in Tennessee to start the Father's Day weekend. We stopped in at the Bass Pro Shops in Kodak, just outside of Sevierville, in order to add to our elongated penny collection. Yes, we do crazy things to get our smashed pennies, like drive many miles out of the way (luckily this time it was right off the interstate), but it's not a job, it's an adventure... We know we keep hearing stories about how bad the economy is, but we never see it at the malls or restaurants or shops that we go to, as seen in the photo below. Maybe the economy hasn't hit the south quite as hard, I don't know, but wherever we go we see lots of folks out spending money. Now whether or not it's their money or the credit card company's, I'm not sure.

After visiting Bass Pro- and the jerky store nearby where we loaded up on crazy dried up meats from elk to alligator- we headed on up the road to Knoxville finally.


  1. Welcome home! Looks like a fun trip so far. We have our fair share of elongated pennies, too! They're fun, small and easy to collect!!

    I think one of the worst things about moving is having to find a new hairdresser!!

  2. What a fun road trip! I, too, get the munchies while on a long drive - road trips mean junk food and strawberry milkshakes! Must work on changing that mindset, lol!

    Love that you actually climbed the ladder and then the railing to get into your house - it's nice to know that you CAN do it if you really need to!

  3. I love road trips - in fact, the only vacations Tim and I have ever taken were road trips around the south and as far north as Washington, DC. Always the CB for breakfast and then we look for bookstores, antique shops and produce stands along the way. My Yankee husband is a sucker for boiled peanuts!

  4. Looks like you had a wonderful time. But I wonder who you took after "climbing ladders"?