I meant to post a post on Thursday or Friday last week that was titled "Ready or Not" and discussed the chaos of the sick baby recovery and how I would be taking my long-planned trip to see a friend one way or another.
As it turns out I was so NOT ready that that post didn't happen. So instead you just get to hear about the trip.
The timing turned out to be less than ideal in retrospect, due to the illness and weather and taxes. But DH handled it all like a champ while I was gone. I left Friday morning first thing to drive to Minneapolis. I was supposed to work a couple hours first, but the Blizzard conditions made me decide to give myself extra time on the road. That was a good idea. The first 60 miles or so were brutal. The snow was blowing over the road faster than the plows could clear it. But, as I went south the precipitation decreased and the roads cleared. I got to the airport with plenty of time to spare. My flight plan was kinda crazy. I flew from Minneapolis to Denver to Jacksonville. For those of you without good geography skills, that is WAY out of the way. It made for a really long second leg too (Denver to Jacksonville is a LONG flight). But, it was kinda cool seeing the Rockies from the air! What a long day though! I started travelling at 8am and did not walk into my friends apartment until 1am... (16hrs when you account for time zones).
I was staying in Valdosta, GA. It's a small city. On Saturday we drove a bit north an hour or so and went to Horse Creek Winery. The winery's in this area focus on Muscovite grapes. As my friend describes them, they make a 'musty' flavor. When I tried a dry white, I could tell exactly what she meant. But the sweet and semi-sweet options were delicious, and they had wine slushies as well. We spend an idyllic hour sitting on a big front porch in the shade, 75 degrees, breeze blowing, sipping wine slushy. NICE. We eventually headed back to their apartment complex and then took a nice late-afternoon dip in the beautiful outdoor pool (it even had a waterfall). Swimming outside in April is a plus of the south... We watched the Hobbit (part I), which was decent even though it did stray a bit far from the book for my tastes.
On Sunday it poured. Like, really poured. (I later found out it was the most rainfall in a day they have had in 8 years). With it being Sunday, and small town, there was not much indoor to to that would be open. So, we hopped into my rental car and headed out to Tallahassee for shopping and, most importantly, CHIPOTLE!! Oh how I missed thee... It was delicious, and we stumbled upon a World Market, which was also a lot of fun. I bought some sweet potato Gnocchi (have had it before, so delicious), and a chocolate soda that I later mixed with Fluffed Marshmallow vodka - it tasted like a fancy restaurant cocktail (like a chocolatini or something).
Monday - my friends had to return to work, but I decided to try and take full advantge of the morning before my late afternoon flight, so I headed to the Okeefenokee swamp! Really fun and a new biome for me. I saw several alligators, and lots of cool plants. Did you know there are 27 varieties of carnivorous plants in that swamp? I did not know there were 27 varieties of carnivorous plants in the world...
The flight back was also an adventure. I flew Jacksonville to Norfolk (where we landed but I stayed on the plane), to Chicago Midway to Minneapolis. It was cool because the first part of the flight was right up the coast with a great view of the beach and ocean, and coming in and out of Norfolk I got to see the Navy shipyards from the air. Air craft carriers are BIG.
I did make it home safe and sound. Benjamin was nice and smiley for me on Tuesday morning and I was able to work from home which eased the transition (was able to sleep in a bit and do some cleaning). Because, DH had his hands VERY FULL while I was gone. In my 85ish hr absents, he dealt with 2 blizzards, one day of closed daycare, both him and DS having a severe cough, him having pinkeye, and finalizing our taxes.... Wow. Kinda glad I missed that...
Other random notes
- It was my first rental car! It was a little red 2013 Toyota Corolla. Nothing fancy, but nice to drive a new car :) and it got great mileage
- Okeefenokee swamp holds a special place in my heard because my mom used to mention it at random a lot when I was little, mainly I think because the weird name.
- I got Benjamin a small stuffed animal alligator, which fascinates him
- While I was gone, DH taught Benjamin to make moose antlers and my Mom taught him to make rooster noises.
- Next time I fly. I am concentrating on layovers and routes rather than on departure time alone....
- Seeing old friends is really good, but makes me miss them more.