I had a wonderful, smooth, quick flight to Nashville on Thursday morning. Upon arrival, I had to wait about 20 minutes for my sister andBraxton (nephew) to pick me up due to traffic delays and the flights early arrival. I don't LOVE to sit and wait, but I do kind of LIKE it, especially when I am so involved in a book that I can't quit reading ("Long Way Gone: memoirs of a boy soldier"....you should read it). Not only did the wait allow more reading, but more people watching. The airport is usually a joyful place to people watch particularly at the arrival gates and terminals. I got to see all types of people, some smiling, some joyfully embracing, some shedding tears, and most anxiously waiting. As I watch, I too became anxious and tearful, as it had been a few months since I had seen my family and my first visit to Nashville since moving to Florida. Eventually, sis andBraxton arrived and we were off to do a little shopping for my mom and to eat lunch. It was a beautiful day in Nashville. One of the first rain-free days, or so I was told, in a few weeks. I enjoyed the rolling hills. The open fields of green grass and trees. The "less" cluttered roads. And thecoo's and mamamama's of my nephew.
I babysat Braxton on Friday, which was delightful. We played, he napped, I cleaned, we walked, we ate, I read, he listened, we laughed, we smiled, and on and on. Mom and dad came to visit around 2:30 p.m., but Braxton was still napping, so I was able to enjoy some conversation and relaxing porch time with them while we waited for him to awake. Following an afternoon snack we put Braxton in the pool. He played, we tried to help him play, we laughed, we smiled, we snuggled, and (of course) we snapped a million or so photos. We then enjoyed a pleasant patio dinner at Taco Express. I must say the name does not do the food justice, as our meal was very good and the mood was even better.
Saturday we were off to the zoo. It was more like, Saturday we woke up, Braxton ate, Braxton napped, we got ready, we got Braxton ready, we drove to mom and dad's, Braxton ate again, we ate, then we were off. The zoo was fun, entertaining, and fatiguing. Sis, mom, dad, and myself enjoyed the animals much more than Braxton , but at this point he is just glad to be outside. He notices the bees on the flowers, not the rather large, extraordinary elephant that is standing in front of us. However, my family is full of animal lovers, so we had a blast!
Sunday was my mom's birthday, so after church we went to Maggiano's for lunch. By the way, Carrie Underwood goes to my sister's church, so seeing her was a surprise and a distraction. I really wanted to get my picture made with her, but it felt to intrusive or maybe I was to embarrassed. Before leaving for lunch we fed Braxton, mom opened her gifts, and we had pre-lunch dessert. Sis and I had made mom cupcakes. I knew I wouldn't get to enjoy them after lunch, because I had a plane to catch, so everyone agreed to indulge before we left. We didn't get to Maggiano's until 2 p.m. so I was a little nervous that I would not make it to the airport in time to catch my flight at 4:30 p.m. After appetizers and salad, it was 2:55 p.m. and I was stressing out (which is pretty normal for me, as I hate being late for anything). We decided Chris should take me on to the airport, so I gave a quick round of hugs and out the door we went. We made it to the airport more quickly than anticipated, so I had plenty of time to spare and Chris made it back to Maggiano's to enjoy some Lasagna and Spaghetti.
Overall, it was a fun trip full of firsts, a birthday celebration, and some madness.
P.S.-I start my first photography class tomorrow night, so future posts may be filled with attempts to capture fun moments in a more creative, professional way.