I wrote this from the beautiful Alabama. Which, I'm convinced, has something in the air that makes life seem a little more amazing, the ordinary a little more adventurous. This might have something to do with the fact that it's the home of my amazing best friend... but I'm gonna stick with "magical air" for now. :)
It began Friday with the packing. I'm not a good packer... I tend to arrive in places with a suitcase full of amazing outfits, sans underwear. Or with absolutely everything... but a toothbrush. And this time there were two of us, since Mags was coming with me (more on this in a bit!) so it was crucial that all our stuff fit in one checked suitcase.
I was pretty impressed with us! We had to sit on the suitcase to get it to zip, but then we realized that after we'd given away all the birthday and hostess gifts we were schlepping, it would relieve some of the pressure. :)
We got up way to early for a Saturday to catch our 9:45 AM flight. 2 hours to the airport plus our 2 hour wait time equaled way, way too early. But once we did get there, we had a beautiful face waiting for us! :)
Abby and her parents were on their way to Disneyland, and we actually got to share gates as we waited for their flight (and later ours). Abby was super excited about going - Chris said the first words out of her mouth this morning were "Daddy, we have to go to Target and buy dolphin food!" (They're going to feed the dolphins in Florida).
I was a little afraid she'd be clingy, as she'd mentioned several times that Maggie and I should come with them, lol, but all it took once their boarding zone was called were the words "Go feed dolphins," and she gave us goodbye hugs and happily skipped away. :)
After we said our goodbyes and their flight took off, it was our turn!
The first amazing thing that happened was that we got to meet Robin's equally amazing boyfriend, Joe. For starters, aren't they a cute couple?!? :)
Secondly, Joe is as fun as Rob. I think five minutes after we'd met we were all fast friends and feeling like we'd known each other for waaay longer. He has an amazing accent, by the way - though he described it to me as "redneck," I find "southern drawl with a sort of precise enunciation" to be more accurate. :)
First order of business - lunch. :)
I finally got to try Little Rosie's last summer, and I've been dreaming of it ever since. Since part of this trip was to cram as much true Huntsville, Alabama experience possible into Maggie's first ever trip down south, it seemed a fitting first meal. It was amazing. (Pocket tacos rule!)
As soon as lunch was over, we were ready to head up to Tennessee to Rutledge Falls.
Rutledge Falls is a beautiful series of waterfalls, the largest with a round deepish pool at the bottom.
Since the last photo I took had no sense of proportion, leading my dad to believe that the falls were, in fact, six feet tall at most, I am including this pict that Joe took. :)
We ladies at the top of the trail leading to the falls.
Maggie at a little viewing point topside.
Maggie sitting beside one of the smallest falls.
There were tons of people there, which was nice in a way because we could watch other people jump off the top of the falls into the pool beneath. I've been to the falls several times now, and I always say I'm going to jump, but I never have the nerve. Maggie was determined to jump, and sure enough, she watched several other people jump, scaled the fall face to the top, and leapt fearlessly. :) She came out exhilarated.
Just as I was contemplating doing the same, there was a big peal of thunder and most of the other swimmers scrambled for shore. We had a quick discussion about whether or not to go, but a moment later, the rain was already dripping. I scrambled to the rock where we'd thrown our stuff to hurriedly wrap a towel around the bag containing our cell phones, cameras, car keys, etc, and glanced up at the sky...
... have you ever seen raindrops falling? Not out a window, but in the midst of them, face reached toward the sky to see raindrops hurtling like lightning bolts to the earth. I was mesmerized. Maggie scrambled up beside me and I told her, "Look up!" No explanation was needed - a moment later when Robin joined us, we all stood in wonder at the sheer beauty of it.
By the time we reached the car, we were laughing and running in the rain, drops dripping off our noses, hair, etc - we were all equally drenched, even those of us who hadn't gone swimming. We piled into the car and just had to take a photo. :)
Imagine the "wet dog" smell, and you're there! :)
And then time for the ride home!
Robin's friend Tanya, who we get to hang out with sometimes when I'm in AL, was hosting a Scentsy party that evening, so when we got home we gals scrambled to go from "drowned wet rat" to "fabulous". :)
The scentsy party was fun. Chocolate fondue - in dark AND milk! :) - tons of fresh fruit, pound cake, and rice krispie treats for dipping, and a million and one... okay, eighty :)... scents to sniff. I was on the lookout for some sandalwood wax cubes, and was kind of disappointed to discover that they only carried "mixed" scents (I'm a purist at heart I guess lol). I did find several things that I liked, though! In the end I picked up some wax cubes in in "Weathered Leather" for a leather-obsessed friend, :) some of this alcohol-free hand sanitzer in Titanium, since Abigail always complains that regular sanitzer "itches" her sensitive skin, and a scent circle in "Route 66" for my truck - which, by the way, is fabulous. :)
After we got home, Robin left to go pick up Khy, and Maggie and I showered... and fell asleep before she even got home. Completely unintentionally, I swear! :)