Thursday, March 3, 2011

Tennessee

Me: Hey, we need to figure out a time to come visit you.

Taryn: How about the 18th?

Me: See you then.

This is more or less how the conversation went.

With all the sadness, illness, boredom, and plain ol' done-with-everything feelings we've been wading through the past few weeks, when Taryn invited us out to Tennessee we jumped on it like my mom on dark chocolate and frog pajamas. We needed a break. We needed a get-a-way.

And we needed Taryn.

It's been 6 long months since seeing Taryn last. Too long. But that is what life and kids do to you. If you read Taryn's blog post about our recent visit on her blog "What a beautiful mess..." then you already have the history on Taryn and I.

In a nutshell, and I mean like a teeny tiny nutshell, we met Taryn back in 2008. She was our neighbor when we lived at these downtown loft apartments when we weren't broke, had little responsibility, and considered every night as a Friday night. Taryn quickly became my best friend and when Matt would come home from work to an empty apartment, he'd grab a few beers and head across the hall to Taryn's, where I would be sitting at her bar watching her make Monte Cristo's or some crazy capt'n crunch casserole, and we'd end up staying for dinner. She has counseled me through the worst of times, and stood by me through the best of times. Truly a great friend.
















So anyways, we knew seeing Taryn would be exactly what we needed so we packed up and headed east.

Here are the highlights of our get-a-way to Tennessee...
















Reacquaint

Taryn was there in the hospital, holding my leg up, the day Evelyn was born and a month later she came back to get to know that little girl she lovingly referred to as "nugget." But for the past 6 months Evelyn has not seen her "Aunt Taryn" so some reacquainting had to be done first.























They hit it off.
















Breakfast

While it may seem silly to say that breakfast was a highlight of our trip, Matt and I hardly ever make breakfast at home. By the time we get around to it, it's usually lunch time.  It was a nice change of routine to get up each morning and eat breakfast. 
















Plus Taryn's a fantastic cook.























Monkey bread.






































And coffee with flavored creamer. We never buy flavored creamer... double treat.
















But the best part of breakfast time is the conversation. The time of day when Evelyn is most happy to sit and observe and we have a chance to catch up while the men are still sleeping.

Hangin' Out

While we made a few trips out, most of the trip was about catching up and relaxing.
















No set in stone plans.























No time lines.













































Go with the flow... Taryn style.


And being able to be parents with childless friends. Children don't always go along with your plans. They need to be fed, bathed, throw 2 hour long fits in the car, and keep your from doing things you may normally do if children weren't in the picture. It's so nice to have friends who understand and are okay with having to stop midway through a day trip drive so that the screaming baby can eat and then resume screaming... and even get excited over bath time.


Local Food Joints

Like Cootie Brown's.





Asheville

(As we enter downtown Asheville)

Me: Wait, are we in North Carolina? Everyone has NC plates.

Matt: Oh my God.

Ahem.

Anyways, we went to Asheville for the day which I have to say is a pretty cool town. It's artsy-fartsy and Matt and I have already decided that we'll be going back for a longer stay. While we were there the boys explored a few neat bars they have down there.

Oh, and that's Brian up there, Taryn's boyfriend who we were finally able to get to know.

Lunch at the Beer Garden.

And drinks at the Thirsty Monk...
Happy Christmas/Easter/Birthday

Taryn gave Evelyn her belated Christmas gift, her early Easter Basket, and an early 1st Birthday gift while we were there.

Among the sidewalk chalk, bunny sipper cups, bubbles, and dresses, was the best gift we could have ever received.

Growing up I spent a great deal of time in Tennessee, mainly in the Pigeon Forge/Gatlinburg area. It was relatively inexpensive and close by and was a vacation spot my entire family enjoyed. When Matt and I began dating I knew I had to take him to Dollywood. I told him that I had no bad memories of vacationing there, it was always happy. He had his doubts, but grew to love it. He even proposed to me in Dollywood. Cheesy, maybe, but he knew it meant something to me.

Taryn knows it too. She knows that I've always dreamed about taking my own family and vacationing at Dollywood.

Attached was a note that among other things said "Have fun making great new memories as a family. Hope she falls in love with it as much as you did. Love, Taryn and Brian"

This trip wasn't great because of the places we went or the gifts we were given, those were mearly bonuses. This trip was great because it once again showed us how lucky we are to have such wonderful friends who care so much about us, all of us, as a family. The type of friends you don't have to call all the time or spend every weekend with because you know when you do see and talk to one another, it's like you were never apart. The type of friends who treat your children like they would their own. The type of friends who truly know you. Those are the best friends.

And I think Matt would agree with me, Taryn... she is our best friend.



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