1/31/11

Maybe it was an episode of Touched By An Angel (in which we play the people who can't think)

I got home from Nashville last night wiped out and ready-ready-ready to sit with my boys. We read books and talked about the last few days and we watched some sort of superhero dog movie. We were so happy to see each other, and I swear to you, they aged a year while I was gone. Thicker and longer and deeper and wiser. It's insane.

Later, after the boys were in bed, Ryan said, I still don't know how you guys did that. He was referring to a story I told him the night before. I said that what we had done makes perfect sense to me--that Katherine and Ellie
and I would have such a day with such an ending on our final day together in Nashville. I mean, we attended a conference with approximately 600-something other women, and as much fun as that is, it's also exhausting. It does things to you that are similar to newborn sleep-deprived-brain. So by Saturday, after having been at the conference for four or five days, we were all experiencing some serious brain deficiencies.

It all started with the three of us standing in front
of the Opryland Hotel talking with some young men from the hotel's transportation company. They pushed steered us toward using their company rather than a taxi to go spend a few hours in Nashville. We agreed to do just that because everything they were saying was only semi-clear, blurred by our exhausted and slow-to-snap synapses.

You want to go to Hillsboro Village? That's just a mall, they said.
OH. Weird. We don't want a mall. We were told it was
a hip little neighborhood.
Yeah, you don't want that area...you want (such and such and such)...
OH. Okay. Take us there then.

We ended up being dropped off in a Borders bookstore parking lot with a Have fun ladies and just call a half hour before you want to come back and we'll get you right away.

We stood in the parking lot and loo
ked up and down the street. We saw McDonald's and Taco Bell and what seemed like a million other chain restaurants and stores. We had wanted and requested Nashville charm, so we started to walk to look for it, confused as to why the young men from the transportation company would think this location matched our "kitschy and quaint" request.

We walked and walked and found nothing we hoped for and wh
ile we did, the pregnant one among us (that's me!) grew hungrier and fussier and quieter. So we sat on a curb and looked at smart phones, begging them to tell us of a very nearby eating joint that wasn't a chain, something unique to Nashville.

We thought we found something promising, but it was too far to walk, so we grabbed a cab. (cha-ching!) We gave the cab driver the address and he said (I kid you not) Where is that? We answered with something along the lines of uuum, maybe just follow the numbers on the buildings or the order of the streets or something.

It turned out it didn't really matter where it was because it was closed. 11:30 on a Saturday...closed.
So we three weary ones stood in front of the dark building on a curb and tried to figure out what to do next, hoping for less cha-ching and more AH-HA.

We started walking again, heels and soles slapping th
e sidewalk and big sighs our only other sounds. (Seriously, we were mopey.)

Then...hope arrived (or so we thought) in the shape of a rectangle sign and letters painted in the color red, pronouncing--"Named Nashville's best restaurant 3 years in a row!"

We thought we'd finally hit the jackpot, even if the neighborhood was nothing like we'd hoped for, so we followed the sign's arrow and came to a door, a door that read,

Gone Fishing.

(True story.)

Our six shoulders slumped and we started to wonder if maybe we had spent far too much money for a round-trip ride only to give up and go back to the hotel with no idea what else to do...Yes, we were about to give up...

And then a couple walked to
ward us, fresh from their car, on their way to doing their Saturday things. We stopped them and asked them kindly for help, could they please point us in the way of a Nashville area that's more..."Nashville-y"?

They started by saying we'd been dropped off in the totally wrong place and then they tried to explain how we needed to go right and then left and then right again (or something like that) and they were pointing far away and my head got all fuzzy and I was thinking ab
out how there's NO way we could walk that far while being that hungry and disoriented and then they said it...

How about we just bring you ov
er there?

We let out a collective REALLY? (Probably a bit too loudly.)
Then they opened the doors to their car for us and t
hey climbed in front and asked all about us, interested and kind. On the ride talked about being at a blogging conference called Blissdom and they understood that and had even heard about it, rather than the usual, "What does that mean?" We felt totally safe (no worries Mom!) and loved being with someone who knew where they were going when we had felt so lost.

We pulled up to just the kind
of neighborhood we'd been looking for, with great little gift shops, book stores, ice cream and coffee shops and hole-in-the-wall eateries.

The BookWoman bookstore

We went straight to eating and I had the best salad of my life and we talked and shopped and strolled, all thanks to our Nashville stranger-angel friends, Matt and Lisa.


Jackson's Bar and Bistro


Later, about a half hour before we needed to go back to the hotel, I called for our return ride.
Then a cheerful voice responded with, I'm sorry, it will be well over an hour, probably an hour and a half or longer, until we can get there...we're on a shift change.

Greeeeaaaat.


So we sat and waited...and waited...and waited...
We talked, we felt really sleepy and we talked some more. We grew more impatient and frustrated, having such a bad experience with our expensive transportation.

We were sitting silently for a moment, watching the traffic go by when Katherine suddenly said, I KNOW WHAT WE SHOULD HAVE....done...her words trailed off and her face turned sheepish and then her hands came up to cover her eyes...

What? WHAT? What is it? Ellie and I laughed and watched her, ready for something but not expecting this:

You guys? she said. I have a car here....I drove to Nashville!

The End.


Katherine


Ellie


P.S. Here's the thing, friends. Not only had Katherine forgotten (as we stood in the hotel parking lot trying to figure out our transportation) that her car was in the parking lot, but we all had this conversation at that very same time:


When are you driving home, Katherine?
Tomorrow morning.
Oh. How nice that you're close enough to drive.

(and stuff like that)
(then we turned to the guys and asked if we could get a cab)
(I told you we were tired)


The Real End.

Oh wait. Just kidding. Not done. WE HAVE OUR ULTRASOUND TOMORROW!!!

Really REALLY The End.

33 clicked right here to comment:

Christy said...

LOL! wow...

I worked at Vandy for 3 years. As I was reading this, I was like stupid driver should have dropped you off on the other side of Vandy (which is where y'all ended up). The best breakfast place is the Pancake House, and if you go back you should check out Noshville. It's down the road from where you were and is very Nashville-ey.

Katherine said...

That made me laugh out loud. Again.

-- Katherine

Becca said...

*snort*
Great story.

My husband and I took a weekend trip to Nashville once. The guy in the hotel told us (when we asked where to get some great Nashville food) that there was an Outback Steakhouse about a mile and a half away.

Awesome.

Brigid said...

I was thinking the same thing as Christy. I'm so glad you ended up in Hillsboro Village. I would have been disappointed if some Nashville strangers hadn't given you a ride. The fact that she had a car back at the hotel = priceless.

jaime said...

I just laughed SO much at the fact that someone had a car during all of this. :) Thanks for that!

I love visiting Nashville. Not sure I could have been much better with suggestions than the people who dropped you off for your explorations, but it's really a great city. So sad I had to miss Blissdom!

Ace said...

I'm sorry, I could not help but giggle! Hillsboro Village? Lol, not the place to go to "see" Nashville! Hard to tell but it looks like you ended up around music row, which is much better!

Cathy said...

Super funny! But honestly, you lost me at, "grew hungrier and fussier and quieter". When I get hungry, I definitely get fussier and definitely NOT quieter!

Hilary said...

Well, it still sounds like a LOT of fun.
Especially since you had no whiney children. :)

Heather of the EO said...

heh. Cathy, quieter=pouting. not pretty :)

ace - I have no idea, since I'm from MN, but it did say Hillsboro Village on the street where we found what we were looking for. And it was by music row--I only know that because the driver told us on the way back. Am clueless.

Becca - what is the deal with people thinking we'd want to go to a chain restaurant? So funny. And strange.

Christy - YES. We were on exactly the wrong side. Until the angels appeared :)

Kim said...

I am dying over here because I can HEAR Katherine saying that. oh my gosh, you guys CRACK me up!!!!!

Miss you.

Becky said...

"I drove to Nashville!" That is fantastic! I love it. Glad you all had a good time, sleep-deprived or not.

Deb said...

Best post-Con story ever.

One Crafty Mother said...

That was the most un-funny day, until it was the funniest day ever.

I wish we had the presence of mind to take a picture of our faces outside the "gone fishing" restaurant - we were poster children for deflated.

Of course, if we had the presence of mind to do that, we would have had the presence of mind to remember Katherine had A CAR. :)


-Ellie

sara sophia said...

You are all three my favorite and my best.


The end.

Momo Fali said...

I am sorry that I'm laughing, but that just may be the funniest story I have ever heard! So awful and so hilarious at the same time!

Meagan @ The Happiest Mom said...

Okay, I am totally laughing WITH you guys because it's exactly the kind of thing I would have done if it had been my car sitting there gassed-up and ready to roll in the Opryland parking lot. So glad you guys finally did make it to your hip destination and it was SO wonderful meeting you :)

Ann Imig said...

I am so thankful to have missed 60% of this day and very sad to have missed the best 40%

Katherine?

Too good. Too too good.

Cameron said...

OMG, I totally thought it was just me... granted, it's not Blissdom, but there's an artist workshop weekend I attend every year and it's the same for me. I am a total zombie by the end! I love this story. :) Glad you found a great area and had stranger angels! :)

Amy @ Never-True Tales said...

Am I to assume this story illustrates exactly how all-consuming a blogging conference can be, then? :) I love it. (And I thought you'd be interested to know I've bit (bitten?) the bullet and am going to Blogher. Won't know unless I try, right?) Welcome back!

MidnightCafe said...

Oh, this made me laugh & laugh! Thanks for the story!!

LoveFeast Table said...

That is such a great story and hilarious. At least you were together!! Love it~
Memories!!
Chris Ann

jen said...

you lost me at ultrasound tomorrow.
i'm a bit too excited for you considering that i have three of my own children and all.
(i think that's what happens when your last baby turns one. you get all mushy and gushy about other people's babies. this is when my taking pictures of other people's babies thing comes in really handy.)

Wendi@Every Day Miracles said...

I LOVE IT!!! I would so do this. :)

Adventures In Babywearing said...

omg this story! And also, ultrasound! I can't wait to hear.

Steph

Tracey - Just Another Mommy Blog said...

That is absolutely AWESOME. Love it!

Good luck tomorrow! Hope you have an immodest baby!!

Ellie's Mom said...

Great story... I've been there, done that too!

Natalie said...

This has to be the best post-Bliss story I've heard. And I completely understand how it happened b/c I was utterly & totally exhausted on Saturday. By the time I got home, I was so tired I couldn't sleep- if that makes sense.

I loved hearing you speak at the workshop. I was one of the ones crying in the front row.

Becky said...

Awesome AWESOME story!! Loved it. Especially since everyone ended up safe and fed.

Ashleigh (Heart and Home) said...

You three rock my socks.

And this totally trumps the story of Friday night when Gussy, Emily (Pilot's Wife) and I were taken from overbooked Opryland, by taxi, to the wrong hotel at midnight. And had to walk, all bags in tow, to the correct hotel. It may have even been a smidge our fault, but I'll go ahead and claim your Blissdom Brain Syndrome.

From Tracie said...

That is so hilarious.

Also, the bookstore picture is making me swoon. Swoon I tell you!

Sober Julie said...

that is truly a classic move, I'm glad you ended up having fun

Kimberly said...

I have such a big grin on my face right now that I'm going to stop reading blogs and go to bed. So I can go to sleep smiling like this. Ah, the fabulousness.

AzĂșcar said...

HAHAHAHAHA. Oh, Heather, this was funny.


(Because I can see doing the exact same thing.)

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