This weekend Stephanie and I went to Nashville, Tennessee to see our (Stephanie’s) cousin Jonelle Graham become Mrs. Carlton Capps. For those of you that are a little slow, that means she got married.
It was a great weekend. We really enjoyed the wedding and the short trip out of town. Our parents (again, Stephanie’s) came over for the occasion. We picked them up from the airport on Friday and drove down to the Music City.
We stayed at the Opryland Hotel. If you haven’t been there, you need to go. It was gorgeous. We went there around 2 on Friday (Nashville time) and spent the remainder of the afternoon walking around the hotel’s atriums, checking out all of the vegetation. It was hilarious to me that the majority of the flowers, plants and trees that we came across, the reaction was, “hey, didn’t we have this near our ____?” That’s right, my in-laws had an amazing backyard in Florida where they had just about every tropical plant known to man. They may have even had a few that haven’t been identified or named yet.
The big downside to our Friday afternoon was that I forgot the camera in the car. Otherwise, we could have filled it up with too many pictures of flowers, plants, and decorations. It was awesome.
Sidenote: I also got some ice cream. My throat was feeling bad, and we stopped at a Haagen-Dazs. I did feel bad because my ice cream was bigger than everyone else’s. Then again, I was the sick boy who needed it in the first place. Ok, I no longer feel bad about that one.
Saturday night we ventured to the rehearsal dinner. I was honored to be invited and really looking forward to some good food and getting to know more of Stephanie’s family, even though I couldn’t speak all that loudly due to my “throat condition.”
Prepare yourself. I am about to talk about a short-coming of the iPhone.
We had the name of the place and an iPhone, so we were good to go with directions. However, we weren’t prepared for what Nashville was about to throw at us. Apparently, some workers found some un-detonated TNT near a particular stretch of highway that was believed to be left over from the construction of that section 2 years prior. So they were closing that section of highway, we found out after being in stop-and-go traffic for 20 minutes, thanks to the radio. We were just about late. So, using our iPhone as a map, we re-routed. That didn’t work so well. We got turned around and ended up having to make elaborate u-turns about 2,000 times. We had a crack-pot three-man team: a driver, navigator, and professional back-seat-driver (Stephanie: “Hey!!”). The best part is the amount of emotion that was building in the car. There was embarrassment that wrong directions were given. There was frustration that we weren’t there yet. There was rage as blood-sugar levels dropped. And there was hopelessness that we were never going to make it anywhere.
It would have been nice if the iPhone would have informed us that they closed a stretch of highway that was vital to our travel plans. It would also be nice if Nashville would have a better highway system. And while I’m on the topic, it would have been nice if Nashville road crews would just detonate all of the TNT that they have on the site, or at least pack up and take home what they don’t use.
We finally got there, an hour late. It was to our benefit, as we walked in and happened upon the rest of the family in line to eat. They all welcomed us, spent a few moments catching up, then pushed us in line before them. Normally, this would have rubbed me the wrong way and I would have to be at the end of the line for moral reasons. You just don’t do that… cutting in line. But, after our highway debacle, I was up for anything. The best part… it was bar-b-que!
Eating with family is always fun. I enjoyed listening to stories, conversations, and observing the personality differences in aunts and uncles. I felt bad that when people tried to engage me in conversation it was hard for me to hear (due to clogged ears) and reply (due to a painful throat). However, there will be other occasions where I will speak loudly and have the hearing of a hawk (for you slow people, I’m not even going to point out that one).
By the time we went back to the hotel, we were all tired and happy the ride back was 1/10 as long as the ride there.
Stephanie and I weren’t as tired as her parents so we decided to check out the atrium a little more. We ended up finding this awesome bench. It was right near a waterfall in a deep recess in the atrium. It was dark there and the waterfall provided some nice white noise so we couldn’t hear everyone else walking around. We sat there and other than the occasional high school passer-by, we enjoyed a long conversation that covered everything from our past to our future together. We talked for a couple of hours in our own private fake-jungle world. It was wonderful. Moments like that make trips like this all that much better. (Stephanie: “Ok, I forgive you for the back-seat-driver comment. This time.”)