New Year's Road Trip
Call it spontaneity or poor planning, but we decided to get on the road again at the last minute and head towards Atlanta, GA, to visit my mom's family for an extended New Year's weekend.
We planned to leave at the crack of dawn on Wednesday the 31st, so we could arrive in Atlanta early enough to enjoy the Holiday festivities and still fit in a visit to Hancocks of Paducah, which was on the way to our destination. But you know how things go: 2 cranky children + a non-morning Patty = leaving at 9:30-ish. Oh well... that meant that we couldn't spend as much time at the fabric store. :(
We arrived in Paducah, KY, around 2-ish but the first order of business was a nice, hot country lunch at Cracker Barrel (a visit to Cracker Barrel is a must when you travel... at least in my family!) We finally rolled into Hancocks of Paducah around 3-ish (not knowing at all that they closed at 3:30 pm that day because of the New Year's Eve holiday.)
Before we arrived, we made a bet in the car: let's see who can find Mama's fabric the quickest! This conjured up visions of children running around like chickens with their heads cut off until we all got kicked out of the store by angry management, but nevertheless I agreed. However, we didn't really get a chance to see who'd win the contest because as soon as we entered the store we were greeted by Blann Hancock, one of the Hancock brothers who we'd met briefly at Quilt Market, and after some brief chit-chat he pointed us in the correct direction to their Andalucia display.
Of course I had to take a picture...
Sydney conducted an inventory check, while Sophie did her best Vanna White impersonation...
After a quick tour of the store (which was HUGE and AMAZING by the way) we headed out to the back where the warehouse and call center reside. It was so cool seeing the "behind the scenes" action. And it was a pleasure chatting with brothers Blann and Justin about the business... Southern charm and hospitality at its best!
(From left to right: Blann Hancock, Sophia Young, Patty Young, Sydney Young, Justin Hancock)
We got back in the car and traveled about another 7 - 8 grueling hours down to Atlanta. I say grueling because, for one, I don't like road trips (I know I'm in the minority here, but I'd much rather board a plane and get to my destination in a couple of hours than sit there for 12 hours cooped up in a vehicle changing the position of my arms & legs every 15 minutes so they don't cramp up or fall asleep!) And to make things even more grueling Jon had picked out this audio book which turned out to be HORRIBLE! Needless to say, I slept a lot, mostly out of boredom, but also because I really couldn't do anything else while the book was blaring! The kids did OK. Sophie mostly played her DS in the back while Sydney watched movie after movie on the DVD player.
We arrived in Suwanee, GA, at my aunt's house with only 10 minutes to spare before midnight... remember, it was New Year's Eve. The family was having a HUGE party just down the block. My mom had told me that it was mostly old people there, friends of my aunt & uncles, so I figured it'd be pretty subdued, but NOOOOOO. They were partying like it was 1999! As soon as we got there, they handed us a glass of champagne. Everyone drank and kissed for New Year's good luck and we were asked immediately if we wanted a martini. WHOA! These guys were hardcore! LOL! I ended up drinking a glass of champagne and 2 very strong chocolate martinis in a span of half an hour (that's A LOT for me!)
After this, we walked down to another neighbor's house who had the most amazing bar built into their basement... it was an original Art Deco piece and so gorgeous! Complete with a flat panel TV behind the bar and a projection screen on the other side of the room, plus a pool table and many other amenities. More drinking ensued and we partied on till about 2 am. Boy, old folks in Georgia sure know how to have a good time!! (sorry I have no pictures of any of this... we hadn't even unloaded the car yet!)
The next day we headed out to the American Girl Store so Sophie could get her beloved doll that she had saved up all year for.
She had her heart set on getting Mia, which was the 2008 Doll of the Year... redheaded with freckles, just like her. But of course, me being such the AGM (American Girl Moron), I wasn't aware that they retired these dolls at the end of each year! In other words, we got there 1 day too late! We looked all over the store for Mia and that wasn't an easy task, since it was packed to the brim with crazed girls and their overly crazed mothers! My dad even joked that he should've gotten into the doll-making business. Finally I asked one of the AG workers about Mia only to be given the sad news... then she looked at me and shook her head like, DUH, didn't you know?
Sophie recovered quickly though, and announced she wanted to get Kit Kittredge instead. PHEW! Tragedy averted. I guess I need to go back to American Girl Remedial School.
Jon and Sydney had walked over to the Bitty Babies and Bitty Twins section and they happened to find a Bitty Twin that looked just like Sydney, so we just had to get her!
At the end, after fighting the crowds and dealing with slight disappointment, we walked out of that madhouse with Kit Kittredge and a Bitty Twin, which Sydney named... brace yourself... Sydney (there's no accounting for creativity).
The girls are so excited about the new addition to their doll collection! And did I mention that they bought these with their own money? Yup, this was cash they had saved up from doing chores around the house, a Summer yard sale, a lemonade stand, tooth fairy visits and birthday gifts.
The rest of the time was spent hanging out with my extended family and eating, drinking, and eating some more. Here are a few pictures I managed to get from our trip...
The oldest of the women in this picture (the one in the middle) happens to be my Tia Olga, remember her? She's the one that made those amazing Christmas stockings for my girls? She turns 80 this year... can you believe it?
Here's my Tia Olga's 3 oldest sons with the 3 Tias. My mom (on the bottom right) is actually the youngest of 8 children! My Tia Dinora (in the middle) was the hostess with the mostest. We stayed up for HOURS chatting about old times in Costa Rica... what it was like growing up there in the 20's, 30's & 40's -- the good, the bad and the ugly! What an interesting conversation! It gave me the idea of perhaps writing a book someday. Hmmmm... add that to my ever-growing to-do list!
Here are the "boys" with my dad. HAHA, this picture cracks me up, don't ask me why...
Hope everyone had a great Holiday break and was able to enjoy the festivities with their friends and loved ones. I'm glad we made the trip down & back... even though I complained a heck of a lot! ;)
I'm excited about 2009! So many new things coming up. To kick things off, there will be an eBay launch with Andalucia next Tuesday, January 13th. For those of you who are not familiar with this, it pretty much means that 121 designers will be coming together and listing items made with Andalucia... from children's boutique clothes, to accessories for mommies, like purses, jewelry, scarves, etc. I will mention this again next week and add a link to the launch so you all can check it out!
I'd like to wish you all a very happy and prosperous 2009!