Spent some time down south with family and friends and food and babies and food and wedding hoopla of all varieties and eating food so good it would make your brains fall out. And oh, did I mention the food?
Makers of the Internet: you make it so easy to share pictures but why won’t you allow me to share stuff like smells and taste? Scratch and sniff screens or something? Taste-o-vision? You need to work on that, k?
Maid of honor duties prevented me from taking many wedding photos but somehow I found time to capture about 900 photographs of my niece. That’s not sarcasm. Abigail is ten-months of crazy cuteness and is freakishly photogenic. And since I don’t see her nearly as often as I would like, well, the camera never left my side. If ya’ll lived in the neighborhood I would invite you over for gimlets and a 2 hour slide show of nothing but Abigail photos. You never had it so good!
This vacation wasn’t about sightseeing or tourist attractions. Just grocery stores and playgrounds and an occasional craft project. Lots of old, friendly, familiar things. Somehow seeing them through the eye of the camera makes me appreciate them a little bit more.
Ahem; the highlight reel:
(from left to right, top to bottom)
- Went up to the mountains in search of acorns and came down with buckets of ash berries.
- Laid in the grass and watched the clouds go by.
- Renewed my profound appreciation for Sonic frozen treats (Dr. Pepper + Soft Serve Ice Cream = Oh Hell Yeah).
- Watched the sun rise.
- Met a chicken named Barbeque.
- Took my niece to the playground then realized why my parents thought play dates were exhausting.
- Went to six different stores in a relentless search for skinny brown ribbon.
- Made a super cute rehearsal bouquet.
- Witnessed the light of G-d shine through the clouds in such a way I was pretty sure the makers of biblical bookmarkers were going to pop out of the bushes any second.
- Downloaded Elizabeth Mitchell’s new album Sunny Day to entertain Abigail, but now it’s a week later and I’m still listening to it.
- Made Abigail a flamingo costume.
- Got the chills when I saw Aunt Annie cradle Abigail like it was a living photograph of her cradling me at that same age.
- Ate drool covered cheerios.
- Gave my bouquet to a stranger in the hotel hallway. Dang, was that lady happy
- Discovered that some ribbon just looks better off the spool. Thank you.
- Nearly flashed the Groom’s Great Uncle while dancing the Hora in a strapless dress. Your welcome.
- Saw my BFF marry a wonderful man.
- Rented a car and drove for miles on country roads with the windows low and the radio high.
- Experienced a slice of Double Fudge Coca Cola Cake at the Cracker Barrel. Listen good y’all: this thing is unreal.
- Stopped to smell the roses.
- Picked Cotton.
- Watched the willow tree I helped plant on the riverbank 25 years ago, finally grow tall and long enough to dip its branches in the water.
- Made Abigail a Sir Mix-a-Lot costume (“Baby Got Back” is spelled out in rhinestones on her back. Bubba’s request.)
- Welled up with tears seeing Abigail use her Grandads’s walker like jungle gym.
- Danced in the freezer section.
- Enjoyed a manicure and pedicure from a delightful man named Choo, who said something in Chinese to his colleague that I’m 99% positive translated to “Dude, where’d you put the hedge clippers?”
- Picked more cotton and ruined my lovely new manicure. Sorry, Choo.
- Ran my fingers through the wheat.
- Helped my BFF get ready for her wedding day.
- Met cat named Magda who drools when she purrs. Yup, it’s awesome.
- Watched Abigail flash a “Talk to the hand” gesture. The aviator glasses make it easy to think she really meant it, too.
- Wondered why I waited so long to make homemade Chex mix. Holy celery salt, I have been missing a good thing!
- Removed a chicken-nugget size ball of hair and earwax from Ol’Rusty Jr.’s neck. If I ever get as old as Ol’Rusty, I sure hope someone checks my neck for chicken nuggets.
- Asked a horrified grocery store clerk “Where can I buy penguin?”
- Lived high on the hog for the night at the Carolina Inn. If you are ever in Chapel Hill, GO THERE. The welcome cookie alone is worth the trip.
- Ate an igloo shaped groom’s cake.
- Printed, folded, assembled and tied bows for 160 wedding programs. Then untied, unfolded, reassembled, refolded, and retied 160 wedding programs, when I realized I did it wrong the first time.
- Ate fried chicken.
- Ate boiled chicken.
- Ate barbeque chicken (and no, it wasn’t the chicken named Barbeque).