Weekend getaway a blast

Published 12:20 am Wednesday, August 4, 2010

I’ve always been a homebody.

I like staying at home with a good book and enjoying my family. I enjoy a quick trip to the beach every now and then; however, I have never really had the opportunity to travel, per se.

Sure, I’ve been to places. As a teen, I traveled to St. Augustine, Fla., and Louisiana to spend time with family. I even rode to California once when illness struck. The ride back was nice. I got to see Vegas and the Grand Canyon, but something about riding in a van full of children and your in-law doesn’t really say, “fun, fun getaway.”

So, when me and mine began talking about how fun it would be to get away, I jumped on the idea.

This past weekend, we traveled to the great state of Tennessee, and I have now seen more and done more over those two days than I can think of from my entire life.

We started a list, as a matter of fact – a handy cheat sheet for future reference.

Point No. 1 was the fact I had never been past the Birmingham’s Children’s Hospital exit on I-65.

It was almost like the thought the world was flat, and if you sailed a ship too far, you’d fall off the edge. I always felt like there was something past there, but I had never actually seen it. All of my trips to Birmingham had included a trip to see a physician of some kind, so there wasn’t much goofing off during those trips.

Guess what? There’s a whole other state on that side of Alabama.

2. I did not get us lost getting to the hotel. (This is my point, not his.)

And I can tell you this, “Thank you God, for the Blackberry.” Without it and Mapquest, I’m not sure what would have happened to us.

3. I visited a Christian tattoo shop.

An oxymoron, I know. Let me preface this portion by saying I did not get a tattoo. Needles freak me out. But I did watch as someone else got one, and needles still freak me out.

It was quite interesting to say the least. Inside the shop, there were signs everywhere saying, “No cussing allowed.” How anyone can get a tattoo and not cuss is beyond me.

I even saw a guy that had Mr. Rogers tattooed on his leg. I didn’t ask him why. I was a little afraid of what the answer was going to be.

3. A carriage ride is a good way to spend $30. Cheesy, I know, but hey – it’s a vacation.

4. There are all sorts of people that make up the world, and I saw a good smattering of them while we were out walking – bad singers, homeless people and strange people who I saw arguing the merits of Goo-Goo Clusters with nuts versus without nuts. I just wanted to tell them, buy them both, and then everyone is happy.

5. It’s OK to go without a plan in mind. Wander around, take in the sights, and enjoy the music. We did.

6. (And this could be the most important, since as I type this some Nashville-hopefuls are blaring out “Little Liza Jane,” and aren’t doing too bad of a job at it.) Life is full of all sorts of new experiences, and it’s also way too short to look back and ask yourself, “Why didn’t I do that?”