(Read Uno first if you haven’t yet)
After spending a fun day of friendship and Florida-Family with Katy, I woke up on Thursday to head out on the longest leg of my entire planned trip: to Atlanta. After hitting the road by 7am, I remembered twenty minutes into my drive that I had forgotten Gizmo’s leash at Katy’s. Sure, I suppose I could have gotten a new one, but it was part of a leash/collar set my parents had bought for him… and one I had been particularly particular about getting (I wanted a specific color, a specific material, a specific thickness, etc. Yes, I know I can be ridiculous.) So we doubled back and finally headed out. We got coffee, breakfast, and gas before driving hours upon hours just to get out of the damn state of Florida.
You guys, Florida is a long freaking state. From state line to where I lived is 8 hours. From where I lived to Key West is about 4 hours.
One state… 12 hours long.
Anyway, when we hit the state line, I woke Gizmo up from his sleepy spot on his pillow and made him take a selfie with the Georgia state sign. I said a verbal “Peace out Florida. Its been real,” and continued on my journey to Karen’s house. Albeit an easy drive, apparently Atlanta is known for their incredulous amount of traffic and it did not disappoint. At 2:00 p.m. On a Thursday. Like, really, why aren’t people at work??
Once I got to Karen’s, McNugget met us and we went out for food and drinks. I think we watched TV or a movie and then passed out.
The next morning, Gizmo had quite an exciting time. Karen’s dog felt threatened by Gizmo being in her house and attacked the little guy. After tearing her off Gizmo, I tended to his wounds and helped him calm down, but overall, he was okay. Shaken up, sure. But he was just fine.
A bit later in the morning we met up with the rest of our kickball caravan to head up to Nashville for the weekend.
When we arrived in Nashville, we went to get beers and food before being let into our AirBnB house for the weekend. This little adorable house in East Nashville held 12ish people and provided just enough space for everyone to get ready and sleep soundly for a very cheap price. Even little Gizmo was able to be there and had himself a friend to hang out with in one of the other girl’s dog.
Saturday I left Gizmo at the house and headed out to play kickball all day with a team of people I had not met before (or, in some cases, had met the night before at the Kickball meet and greet event.) It was a ton of fun in spite of our piss poor record. I kept myself well fed with some breakfast beers and some brunch beers before we headed to get some Nashville BBQ just outside of the town where we were playing. The rest of the night included writing, drinking, porch sitting, and more drinking. I finally got to bed around midnight in order to “rest up” for the girls tournament the next day. The outcome of the day was pretty much exactly the same. After hugging all my friends and kickball family good-bye for quite a while, I headed off to my next destination: Dianne’s house.
The quick run down on Dianne is this: we met in college through our sorority and just clicked. We went on spring break together, hung out all the time, and decided to live together our senior year. This proved to be a horrible idea and we quickly found ourselves at each other’s throats for the silliest little things. After we stopped living together, graduated college, and moved on, we got back in touch and quickly reconnected our friendship. A few years later, she got married and I was in her wedding. Then life got crazy and while we kept in touch, we hadn’t seen each other in about 5 years. So I went to see her and her family for a few days!
So, on day 6, I arrived at a gorgeous home to be greeted by a very excited four year old named Jake. We spent the next three days reconnecting again (or for Jake, for the first time) through home cooked meals, campfires, coffee, wine, trail hikes, shopping, and hanging out. Gizmo and I (along with Dianne and her dog, Hazel) went on two “mountain” hikes that were just absolutely beautiful. Nashville is pretty, y’all. Like, for REALS. The homes there? Adorable! They have a tendency to do one of the things I love most in a home: have a walkway that is entirely separate from the driveway. They also have large yards and specifically front yards. If I wasn’t so hell bent on living near my parents, I might have stopped and put down roots in Nashville.
I spent two and a half days with Dianne and family before heading a bit more north on day nine.
Which seems as good a point as any to pause this story for today.
Don’t worry, I still have Kentucky, Ohio, Indiana, and Illinois to drive through before landing at my “final” destination.