Vacations aren't really vacations anymore. When you live 1,900 miles from home every "vacation" is spent traveling home to visit, which is fun but not exactly relaxing. We had a great trip though; we saw all of our family and a ton of friends from high school, some of whom we hadn't seen since our wedding three years ago.
I just love Tennessee... it's so green and wide open, but man was it HOT! When we stepped out of the airport we immediately started sweating, and I was introduced to a joy of pregnancy I haven't experienced yet... swollen feet and ankles. I'm telling you, I looked like I had elephantitis and it was soooo not attractive. This continued to happen all weekend and the 3-inch heels I wore to the wedding festivities Friday and Saturday night certainly didn't help the situation. Oh well, we're back in the 60 degree weather now and I won't be wearing heels again for the foreseeable future so they're back to normal and no harm done (except that Paul may never look at my feet the same way again).
So here's a little recap of the trip...
Thursday night after getting into Jackson we went to eat at Cracker Barrel with my parents, my brother, and his girlfriend. We have to go to Cracker Barrel at least once on every trip home because, can you believe this, there are NO Cracker Barrels in the state of California! Oh how I miss it when I need a good dose of carbs and home-cooking.
On Friday Paul went to eat lunch with Russell, the groom, and I went to Target to pick up things we had forgotten or didn't have room to pack. Afterwards, on the way to take Paul to get a haircut, we saw a man selling puppies out of the back of his truck in the almost 100 degree weather and I made us stop so I could check on them and make sure they had water, etc. Luckily for him, he had them under an umbrella in the bed of the truck with water and a fan blowing air on them. I still gave him a little piece of my mind though. He could have just as easily put an ad in the paper instead of dragging them out there to sit for hours in the heat of the day.
Anyway, then we picked up Paul's little sister who was in town from Chicago and went to see Paul's maternal grandparents where we spent a couple of hours visiting. By then it was time to go get ready for the rehearsal dinner at the Country Club. The dinner was very nice and they had great food... mmmm, mashed potato bar!
On Saturday Paul and I went to eat at one of our favorite local restaurants, Snappy Tomato Pizza. The owner has known us ever since we first started dating, so it was funny to go back now married and pregnant. Sidenote: They have the best and weirdest pizzas... cheeseburger pizza, barbeque chicken pizza with BBQ sauce instead of marinara, baked potato pizza with sour cream instead of marinara, etc. Delish! Then we went to see my best friend, Jinny, and her family at their new house. They have done so much work on it since moving in and it looks beautiful! Paul got to meet their new little baby boy, Blane, and get some practice in holding him and we were thoroughly entertained by big sister Aniston's outfits and antics.
After spending a couple of hours at Jinny's, we went to my paternal grandmother's house where we spent another couple of hours visiting and eating delicious ice cream with peaches.
After that it was time to go get ready for the wedding reception, which was also at the Country Club. We saw soooo many friends we hadn't seen in years and it was fun to get to hang out and catch up with everybody.
On Sunday we woke up bright and early and headed to Covington to have family pictures made with my mom's family. You'd think coordinating 28 people into one decent photo would be a nightmare, but it actually went really smoothly and we were out of the heat in about an hour or so. That afternoon my sweet cousin Katie and my other cousin's girlfriend Chelsea threw me my first baby shower. They had the cutest decorations and some great food, and I got lots of books for Baby Taylor's library and tons of other great gifts.
The hostesses and me
My mom and me
My grandmother and me
While we were having the shower, Paul went to see his cousin Josh and his wife and their new baby girl, Ava. Sunday night we went to eat at the new restaurant in Jackson, Coyote Blues, with Paul's mom, his sister, and her husband. The food was amazing and we had fun catching up with his family.
On Monday we slept in trying to recuperate a little from the weekend and then went to eat lunch over at Paul's paternal grandparents' house. I knew I could count on them for one last good Southern meal and his grandmother certainly delivered: roast, mashed potatoes and gravy, green beans, corn, cornbread and rolls, and blueberry cobbler for dessert! I was in heaven!
After that we hung out with my parents a little more, saw Paul's mom again briefly, and then headed off to the Memphis airport. Whew! We were exhausted to say the least! We got back to San Diego late Monday evening and the dogs were totally ecstatic to see us. :)
Thank you to everybody who took time out of their schedules to visit with us and to Corey again for taking such good care of our dogs while we were gone!
This morning I had my 6-month checkup with my midwife and everything went well, except that I've gained another 6 lbs. Hmmm, I wonder why? Could it possibly have something to do with all the awesome Southern food I consumed over the last five days? Oh well, it was worth it. And the baby is measuring perfectly and still kicking up a storm so all seems to be going well!
OK, now I'm going to bed. I have a feeling it's going to take me the rest of the week to fully recuperate and unpack from this trip but I'm so glad we had the chance to take a "vacation" back home and I can't wait to do it all over again in September before I can't fly anymore.