Tuesday, December 8, 2015

The Adventures of: Parents in the South

Way back in September when there were still days in the high 80's, I got the amazing news that my parents had been scheming a trip to Memphis for their first time for my 28th birthday. Originally it was a twisted plot conceived between my mom and my guy in a Words with Friends chat session, but before booking the flights it was cleared through me to make sure I was down for a ten night visit. C'mon down y'all. The more, the merrier!

Quickly November arrived. So did the air mattress, the cold weather, and my parents. Our mission while they were in town? Convince them that it's a really awesome, fun, safe and comfortable place. We knew we couldn't keep their eyes from seeing everything about the town since we'd have to still go to work during their visit, but when we did have a say in the agenda we opted for live music, Southern comfort food and occasionally a cozy night in.

The first four days flew by as Brian and I had to quietly sneak around in the mornings, go to work in one car and wait for one another to be done with the workday before returning home for a few big hugs. Those evenings held exciting moments like parents meeting parents and my grillmaster offering up our favorite steak and sweet potatoes meal. During the day while we were working the parents took some test drives in the Prius to see the noteworthy neighborhoods and found quiet spots to picnic overlooking the Mississippi.

Friday night was where the fun really began. Amazingly, the Portland Trail Blazers were in town to play the Grizzlies.  It was a home game we couldn't pass up. Since "go to a Blazer game in 2015" was a Christmas gift I gave my dad last year, we made sure to get seats close to the court so we could really battle back and forth about who was better. They wore red, we wore blue. We had playful banter the entire night and even bet that the loser would buy the post-defeat beers. Grizzlies won in the final play of the game keeping us all on our feet, and we washed the night down with some music and soul food on Beale Street. 

Now here's a ridiculous fact: I didn't get to see my parents in the daylight until Saturday. By that time they'd been in Tennessee for five nights and had already done more exploring than I've done in five months. Saturday was packed with adventure. Brian's sister's soccer game, parents socialize with parents meal, downtown to a pop-up bar in an old fire station, cornhole, Bass Pro Shop in the Pyramid, delicious pizza and finished off the night by crossing into Arkansas to show them one of our favorite silly adventures. Dog racing. 
When we were at the fire station bar, the family gave me the Birthday surprise I'd been anxious about during their entire visit. They finally let me in on their big-time schemed plan and how we were going to make it happen. The first surprise was a simple note that said "New Orleans!". Awesome, but hey it's Saturday afternoon and I have to go to work Monday. That's when I got wind of the second and third surprises. Brian got Monday and Tuesday off for the both of us and I wouldn't have to spend another minute of my time at work while my parents were with us in the South. 

Sunday we woke up with our sense of adventure and made the six-hour drive down to New Orleans where hand-grenades and hurricaines - both drinks - waited for our arrival. We had two rooms at a lovely hotel in the French Quarter with a balcony overlooking Bourbon Street. My dad was the first of us to get beads on the street from ladies above who needed to see some flashing on a Sunday night, and the rest of us just held up our hands and didn't need to show any skin for our collection. 

The time we spent in New Orleans went by quicker than you can imagine. We played, we danced, we drank, we ate, we celebrated and we made plans for how quickly we could make it back. Between the three hours it takes to get to Nashville, the three hours it takes to get to the lake house and the six hours it takes to get to N'awlins, I'm not sure which one is our hands-down favorite. 

The final night was to celebrate mom's birthday since we are two days apart, but the fun was cut short by the heaviest rainstorm I've seen in this city. We still had a great time showing them our future neighborhood once we move in the Spring, and still made it home to all cuddle up and watch the latest zombie drama on The Walking Dead. I drove them to the airport the next morning and had a tough time letting them walk through security on their way back home, but understood their excitement because they had two golden sisters to go rescue.

Hopefully our next hugs will be sooner than the family vacation we're planning for the Spring!

It's okay if many of you didn't make it to this part of the post or that this was possibly was the only part you did read. Just know it was a wonderful ten nights in Tennessee, Arkansas, Mississippi and Louisiana with the parents that I love and miss so much along with the guy I'm hoping to adventure through the ups and downs of life with. 


Helene in Between said...

how awesome is this!! i love when people come to visit because that's when i really get to explore the city. looks like you've been having a blast!

MacKensie said...

Awwww!! I'm so glad you had a wonderful birthday. I love how they surprised you. You've got some good ones.

Anonymous said...

Hearing about the Words with Friends chat scheming makes this whole story even better. I am so, so happy your parents had such a full and fun visit and you got to have some big Portland hugs in Memphis. Yay! Here's to many more exciting adventures with ones you love.

Kristen @ See You In A Porridge said...

aww i love this, especially the part about NOLA and getting time off work to spend with your parents. so fun! boo about rain though. moving? how excitement! leaving people at airport security is the worst, no matter what side you're on. sorry girlfran. hugs.

Life with Lolo said...

Oh my gosh, NOLA is the best birthday surprise ever! I just went this year for a bachelorette party and it was the time of my life. There was so much good packed into their trip it sounds like the perfect way to celebrate. Now I really want to go back to New Orleans!

Nadine Lynn said...

What a fun time spent with the parents!!! So sweet that they were able to get you off work with a surprise trip to New Orleans and everything!!! That last sentence made me smile and get warm fuzzies. Awwww.

Tracy said...

Aw I'm so glad they were able to make the trip, and a long one at that! It sounds like it was the perfect introduction to your new life in the south. I'm amazed at how much exploring you've done already! We thought about going to New Orleans over the Christmas holiday (never been!) but it got put on the backburner for now. One day!

Nancie Anne Frazer said...

Awwww!! I'm so glad you had a wonderful birthday. I love how they surprised you. You've got some good ones.
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Myra said...

What a freakin' awesome surprise, friend!! I bet it was so nice to have your parents around and to get to soak up so much fun & adventure WITH them :)

Saying bye is always the hardest time, but yay for hopefully seeing them again very soon! xo

Amanda - Voyage of the MeeMee said...

This is AWESOME! GO BRIAN for thinking ahead to get you both off of work!!!!

Melissa Nicole said...

fucking rights brian got you time off work! I'm so happy you got to spend time with ang and tim and go on an adventure in new orleans <3