Ladies’ (mostly) Weekend in Hotlanta

We’ve lived in Fredericksburg for over eighteen years, and I can’t imagine living anywhere else.  But if I had to move, I wouldn’t mind living in Atlanta.  (Or Blacksburg, my hometown.)  Sure, there is heat in the summer and not much snow in the winter, but there is family.  My brother-in-law has lived there for years, and now that he’s married with kids, we have more reasons to want to visit as often as we can.  To top that my brother and his family moved to the area a couple of years ago.  Every time we visit we wish we could stay longer and we leave knowing it will be a long time before we’ll come again.

First, a who’s who:  Ray’s brother is Bill, and his wife is Pamela.  They have a son, J who is eight, and a daughter M who just turned 7.  My brother is also Bill–for years my boys thought all uncles were named Bill–his wife is Jenn and they have 2 boys: E who is 3, and C who will be 2 this fall.  When Pamela announced that our Christmas present from them would be to fly me to Atlanta and Bill and J to Fredericksburg (well, technically Richmond) one weekend for a girls’ and boys’ weekend, I was very excited.  We picked the weekend of June 11, and on Friday afternoon I hopped on a plane for the quick flight to Atlanta.  Pamela and M were there to greet me, and M had made this sign:


I knew it would be a great weekend.

We had dinner at a restaurant just a few blocks from their house, and believe it or not we turned in early (we’re old, and it was bedtime for M anyway).

Whenever I travel I take a look at Geocaching dot com to scope out a running route that will take my near some geocaches.  I knew from previous visits that there were lots in their neighborhood–I’ve even found a couple, and DNF’ed a couple more.  I set out for a 3-mile run, stopped four times to look for caches, but found zero.  I even cut my run short because it was taking SO LONG, and I ended up running about 2 2/2 miles in over an hour.  Oh, well, at least I got out to explore a little bit.


(There was supposed to be a geocache on this bench.  This was all I found.)

After a shower and a quick breakfast–they had picked up a gluten free doughnut for me the day before, and it was DELICIOUS–we headed to Bill and Jenn’s house a half hour away in Marietta.  E had woken up that morning with a fever, and for a little while we weren’t sure if we would even be able to come, but he was feeling OK so we went.  We had a wonderful visit–those boys are growing up so fast!  E talks nonstop about anything and everything, and he was so excited to show M his sandbox and his rock pile and his dump trucks.  C is starting to talk as well, saying words like, Mommy, Daddy, Down, No, Truck, and Uh-Oh!  He also knows the word, “Help,” and Bill says that since he’s learned that word, he doesn’t have nearly as many meltdowns.  He’s looking more and more like his daddy, too! 🙂  After lunch it was time for the boys to go down for a nap.  E wasn’t feeling well, so we said our goodbyes.  It was great to see them!

Next on our agenda was something I’ve NEVER done:  visiting the nail salon.  That’s right, can you believe I’d never had a manicure or a pedicure?  It was so nice to feel pampered!  I chose a bright pink color for my fingers and toes–I figured since this was my first time, I’d go all out!  I’m already thinking about getting them done again in the near future!  Then after a visit to the pool where I napped in the sun and watched M practice her backstroke, headed back to freshen up for dinner.


(Old feet, young feet, pink feet, purple feet…)

We ate at an amazing restaurant called Wisteria, and met up with a couple of Pamela’s co-workers.  One friend was moving the following week, and Pamela wanted to give her a nice dinner out before she left.

On Sunday morning I had time for another quick run, and this time I was much more successful finding geocaches.  I managed to find three (still not many but better than zero!) including one I had looked for twice on two other visits.  (There is still another cache that I’m having a hard time finding…I hope it’s still there the next time we visit!  I won’t rest until it’s found!)20160612_071743

(The part of Atlanta where they live is filled with little tiny parks like this.  Piedmont park is close, too, and I DNFed the only one I looked for.  Next time I hope to have time to explore the park properly!)

Then Mass at The Basilica of the Sacred Heart, and it was during the Prayer of the Faithful when Father prayed for victims of violence, and the people of Orlando, that I realized something terrible must have happened.  It wasn’t until we sat down to a quick lunch before heading to the airport that I looked on my phone and learned of the awful shooting there.  I showed Pamela but we didn’t talk about it because we didn’t want to alarm M.  I don’t understand why people are filled with so much hate.

It was short weekend, but it was good to come home to my boys.  Their weekend had been filled with guy stuff:  grilling brats, making s’mores, touring the Fredericksburg battlefield, playing Breakout Game.  (Pamela and I predicted that we would eat better food than they would.  We were right.)  I don’t know when we’ll get to see our brothers and sisters-in-law and cousins again, but I hope it’s soon!

Miles run: 5.8

Geocaches found: 3

DNFs: 7 (ugh)

Immeasurable amounts of love. And great food.

Stay tuned for my recap of the Heritage Festival 5-miler I ran on July 4!



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