March was a manic month bounded by two vacations; A trip to Tennessee at the start of the month, and one to Wisconsin at the end.
The tennnesse trip was the longest vacation I've taken in the six+ ears at this job, a full weekend-week-weekend nine days. I started it off with warphammer in Nashville after some flight delays and rerouting, and had excellent times there. The Lane Motor Museum, Ethiopian dinner, Centennial Park, the Nashville Zoo, the funky hotel with the Lava Lamp, good BBQ- just a good time. Sunday night I rode Greyhound from Nashville to Crossville, where my Dad, his girlfriend Mary Beth and her daughter Amanda live. Crossville's growing steadily, but it's still a small enough town their greyhound station was three feet of counter space inside a BP minimart.
Most of the week was quiet in Crossville, as Dad had his steady work from 9-5 from his home office, which also kept the computer occupied. This made for several days of watching cable TV while walking on Dad's treadmill as my main afternoon routine, and when going out to Wal-mart for an hour was the highlight of the day, you know it's on the slow side of vacations. Still. It was some good time with Dad and other relatives there. Friday, I/Dad/Mary Beth/Amanda all headed into Nashville in the Ford Econoline Van.
The Ford van with Chevy back seats.
Braced in with 2x4s and packing straps.
If it sounds dangerous, it was. Seats shifted forward in hard brakings, there was one seatbelt only (Amanda wore it). Still, it made the trip to Nashville successfully, for us to check in at hotel there, and proceed to the very equine-themed Wildhorse Saloon. Dad and Mary Beth got a good buzz on, so I ended up driving that van.. and in one hard braking. Mary Beth pitched forward from seat and cut her forehead. This made for a trip to the emergency room, as head wounds bleed.
Quite tired the next day, we all were, and Mary Beth now bearing a stitches and a permanent scar due to my driving and Dad's Jed Clampettech van. Still, at Mary Beth's insistence about using the non-refundable tickets, we did the Grand Ole Opry that night. Sunday was the necessary visit so Shoney's while I was south of the Mason-Dixon line, and a flight back home (this time, saving two hours from the re-routing!) Since then, Mary Beth's had her stitches removed, and will have plastic surgery in another month when thigns are fully healed. Not how I wanted this trip to be remembered, no.
The second trip was a bit less eventful and more generic-touristy, overall. A few days in Wisconsin to visit Clyde cbrenton, who lives just outside Milwaukee. Mars Cheese Castle, the highway tourist trap and fine fine cheese store, was a needed first visit. Mm. Free cheese spread. :9
Later visits included the Milwaukeee Art Museum (good overall, if the more modern works were.. more modern) and the Milwaukee Zoo. The zoo was a nice mid-size one, the featuring of mongooses cheering me, the wolves the same for Clyde, and lions licking at their enclosure window of amusement to everyone. Also, speaking of lions, caught up on Clyde's "Father of the Pride" DVDs. As always, I watch a lot more TV when on vacation, as everyone else has the good channels. I also insisted on two trips to Kopp's Frozen Custard, which is two blocks from his apartment and goooooooood.
Flew back on Sunday, and while Northwest is generic to the point of boredowm for airlines, spotting of the Frontier raccoonie-plane and seeing the futuristic oomph of Detroit's airport made it pleasant travel home.