Long story short: we had a May trip to Florida planned months ago. At the last minute, I got creative, turned the whole trip on its head, gave it a good shove and still managed to avoid stepping on an airplane.  

I don’t want to bore/nauseate/confuse you to tears with the details of my itinerary. Mainly because I’m still not exactly sure what they were myself; I just sort of got in my car every five days and hoped it knew what to do. And it did. Because Hondas are awesome. Plus, I only spent $150 on gas to travel over 1600 miles. Ok, complete lie, but I’m still desperate to justify this trip to my husband and every other person he tried to explain it to. We’re all still confused. (I vaguely remember my jaw locking up around mile 375 from all that itunes sing-alonging.)

Instead, I thought a concise “Hot or Not” list would wrap up my thoughts on this latest trip.

HOT
Puppies. And family and friends who adopt them so that I can play with them without taking them home to chew on my furniture and pee on my carpet.

Breakfast dates with my grandma where I “accidentally” pay for the whole bill, which almost makes Southern Baptist grandma slip out a curse word.

Breakfast dates with college friends in places that make college feel like it wasn’t a million years ago.

Every waking second with ex-east coasters Nicole and Josh Blanco. Especially those moments when they made us feel like they weren’t too cool to hang out with us…even though 30 seconds in Seattle makes you too cool to hang out with anyone who doesn’t live there. Seriously. I’ve been there. Twice. Which kind of makes me too cool to hang out with you, but let’s not open up that can de worms.

Having a real bed sans bed bugs (coughRedRoofInncough) and clean bathroom for free while in Tallahassee because college kind of was a million years ago and now our friends are doing grown up things like buying houses and allowing us to invite ourselves to stay in them.

Weddings where hugging the groom makes you overwhelmingly happy and suddenly emotional all over his fancy tux. (I hope Men’s Wearhouse doesn’t charge for bronzer stains.) And also mega girlcrushing on the bride’s picture perfect wedding day adorableness.

A one-year old nephew who makes it way too tempting to think having a baby is all funny voices and cheek nibbling. (And maybe one emergency explosive number two-initiated hosing off that leaves a baby butt-shaped poo print in the tub. But just the once.)

Gas wars in Pace, FL perfectly timed to my having to drive 15 hours back to Virginia.

Receiving an “A in parenting” from my mother-in-law after babysitting the easy-as-pie nephew. I’m really, really into getting A’s, no matter how utterly ludicrous the subject matter might be. Trust me, if you ever choose to offer me unsolicited parenting advice, you will be reminded of this Above Average earning.

Overnight Atlanta stopovers that 1. break up a 15-hour drive, 2. come with red wine and 3. make me really glad I married a guy with sisters.

Outsmarting Atlanta traffic for the first time in my life and perhaps being the only person on the planet to boast this feat. In other words, I got a big, fat boldfaced “A” in kicking Atlanta’s traffic patterns square in the bumper. (Get it?)

NOT
Humidity.

Running in “spring” humidity in Florida.

Existing in “spring” humidity in Florida.

Petersburg, Virginia.

South Carolina in its useless entirety.

Discussing the gas wars in Pace, FL with the in-laws ad nauseum.

Dodging late night Atlanta block parties that prompted sobbing “Please-come-save-me-I’m-going-to-die” phone calls to my husband before safely arriving at sister-in-law’s house. (And, in the middle of pleading into husband’s voicemail, finding SIL walking her dog all casual and not afraid for her life down dark, tailor-made-for-Scream 5 street.) 

Epileptic/tourette-afflicted dog at sister-in-law’s house that randomly barked at me, the other dogs and the air and made me create excuses to hide from said dog in the bathroom, bedroom and kitchen because she really freaked me out. Red wine helped. Me, not the dog.

(Didn’t I use the word “concise” at one point in this post?)

Driving. Anywhere. Ever again. If I could take Delta to Trader Joe’s, I would be Pricelining tickets right now.

Feast on this while I try to sell my unused Valium on Craigslist:

Mama and I on Cinco de Mayo. I'm like twice as Spanish as she is. That's why I had Corona and she had tea. It's just numbers.

 

Nava and Wilson's unforgettable lunch date. Because of the upturned salsa they got to lick off the sidewalk, not each other.

At one time, I'm pretty sure we were the most important female force in his life.

But who wouldn't give that up for this little lady? Meet the new Mrs. Robinson. (Let's all pretend that slide show thing in the back isn't totally stealing our couple photo thunder.)

Chances are, if you saw us Saturday or Sunday, we were doing this.

Except here, when we paused long enough to be the cutest things you've ever seen.

Surrounded by people who would gladly take our picture, we opt for a self timer situation. Regrettable.

We really couldn't be more different from each other. But I think lots of impromptu breakfasts are still in our future. They just won't be at an outside table ever again. Welcome back, awkwardly sweating forehead.

And now for the Panhandle portion of the trip. Kicked off with a birthday beach day with another SIL, followed by blistering sunburns on my now delicately Northeastern skin.

Me: Is it good? Husband: Yeah, it's cute. Me, a half hour later in the car: Clayton! My eyes aren't even open!

I mean. Come on. Try not to fall in love with those baby blues.

Boys who love big dogs and the outdoors. Such Noa's.