Trips to Atlanta always seem to be a series of hours spent driving, and it doesn't make me miss the town of my birth and upbringing. This weekend was no different.
There was one major difference but one that wasn't obvious to those around us. Momma was part of the trip, and that was bittersweet in that I have to wonder when we'll take another road trip together. I'm looking forward to Christmas, but I don't assume she'll be part of it. My family is always willing to accept her, and that's one of many great things about them all, but our relationship is of course different, and we are still, years later, still working out our separating our lives.
I won't belabor this point, but we have made our break under such odd circumstances, and we remain such great friends. There isn't much we won't do for each other, but as time passes we do find a greater distance between us on some level while maintaining such closeness on other levels. It's a puzzle I'm not concerned with solving.
All things considered it was a good trip. We were there ostensibly to witness the marriage of my oldest niece, but as important was seeing the vast majority of my family, loved ones I haven't seen in far too long.
The niece was a beautiful bride in a LOTR inspired dress (in a good way) though she and her groom both looked much, much too young to be making a lifetime commitment, though this should not be seen as me doubting their good intentions or the seriousness of their decision, and I wish them great happiness in their life together.
I couldn't help but notice the male chauvinism I feel is inherent in christian marriages inspired by biblically based marriage vows, but I will also accept that it isn't my place to worry too much about it. Really my true complaint and only concern was the driving.
One of my brothers was nice enough to offer us the use of his home for the weekend, and we were happy to take him up on the offer. We expected to reach his house at a reasonable time Friday night, but we also chose to plug his address into Google maps and accepted the recommendations given without bothering to look to closely.
We spent some amount of time on I75 driving south before the directions led us to a state route and then onto a series of other state routes. At some point, in the nearing lateness and serious darkness near some lake in north Georgia we approached a stop sign behind a truck towing a boat. A man approached us from the truck, apologized for bothering us, explained he was "not from around here" and asked if we could direct him to a hotel or gas station. We were also not from around there and were of no help. It was an odd moment.
We did some amount of missing signs and having to turn around due to the ass backward nature of the directions (sucks to your assmar Google btw) coupled with the darkness of being in the middle of not quite anywhere. This was a portent of too much of the trip as you'll soon learn.
Nearing very late we finally did arrive north of Atlanta and finally found ourselves in my brother's driveway. We carried our stuff in, put Big Brother and The Boy to bed and were finally able to settle down with a beer and take our shoes off.
We were awake Saturday in time for breakfast and an almost relaxing hour to get ready for even more driving. The wedding was to take place farther south of Atlanta than we were to the north, a nearly two hour drive down to the church. I ironed clothes and looked nice if I do say so myself. The wedding went well and there were pictures and smoked wings and some sort of drink that was really good if lacking in any alcohol.
One of my many brothers had to work and missed the wedding, and our plan was to retreat back to the house we stayed at and relax and hang out with family until we were able to figure out some plans to hang out with the working brother. Instead we attempted an alternate route that ended up adding two hours to the two hours it should have taken us to get back to north of Atlanta. It didn't help that there was bumper to bumper traffic on I75 that allowed us to average a speed somewhat comparable to a grandparent taking a dump after overindulging at world o' cheese.
We did get to hang out with that brother and enjoy some enjoyable food. It was yet another nice time with family and made the trip and the driving as worth it as any of the seeing family, which, all combined, made it all worthwhile.
Sunday was also spent doing too much driving, and we missed visiting the mall that has the Lego store. The boys were looking forward to the Lego store, but because of that even more driving we weren't able. We didn't really get lost this time, but we did forget that traveling in metro Atlanta is such a giant pain in the ass that we'd all probably rather have to spend the day combing chickens for bugs.
But Sunday did see us spending even more time with family, namely my parents and yet another brother and his wife and kids. We got to enjoy some mediocre Mexican food and watch most of the Brazil versus Ivory Coast game. I hate to admit, but Brazil's second goal should have been disallowed because of two handballs, but the play looked so great as the player beat what seemed like all of Cote d'Ivoire's team within the penalty area.
We finally made our way back to the interstate. We encountered yet more traffic that we have yet to imagine an explanation for. What clogs the interstate south of Atlanta on a Saturday or Sunday early evening? And honestly it's happened before, and I've never figured out what happened any of those past times.
And with all of that, home is so nice to see. I suppose that's part of what makes it home. Ticking off all those familiar junctions as we speed through them on the interstate is a really nice feeling as is that sight of the one your looking for. Pulling into your own driveway and finally walking into your own house, smelling your own place washes over you, and though you don't want to, you go ahead and drag everything out of the car to be unpacked and sorted later. It really is a great feeling.