A weekend with the girlfriend… (Or: “I caught my mom’s garter! Ewwww!”)

Bleh. I know I haven’t updated this site in a while. So sue me.

The truth is that I’ve been extremely busy with work and the like. This past week it wasn’t uncommon for me to not be home until after 7:30 PM, and that’s even with my coming in to work at 6:45 AM. I’ll go into detail later… maybe. I guess one could argue that it’s what I get for spending last weekend visiting the girlfriend up in Jackson. Back when I last saw Misty in November, I met her friend Dani, who more or less made me promise to take Misty to her wedding. And so this visit was set in motion… :-)

The whole visit thing started with me flying into Jackson around 9 AM or so. I really couldn’t get a later flight, as the one I picked was the cheapest one for that weekend. (And let’s not get into my needing to reschedule my flight in the first place because I picked the wrong weekend…) I ended up arriving at the Holiday Inn Express in Clinton at around 10 AM, only to learn that my room wasn’t ready yet. Fortunately the hotel has high-speed wireless internet access, so I sat in the lobby and did some work on the company VPN while waiting for either A) my room to be ready, or B) Misty to get off work.

Option B arrived first, as Misty arrived around noon to pick me up for lunch. We ended up meeting her coworker Shanna for lunch over at Chick-Fil-A. Once that was done, we wandered over to Wal-Mart to Misty could do a bit of shopping. After that, she and I headed over to the hotel, where we found my room was ready. After I got my stuff unpacked and whatnot, it was time for the one part of the trip I wasn’t looking forward to: meeting the parents.

Misty drove us over to her house, and of course I worried about making a good impression. We ended up sitting down and talking while we either watched Judge Joe Brown (Misty’s mom’s choice) or NCAA basketball (Misty’s dad’s choice). All in all, I think I made a very good impression on them, and they were really nice people. Once we got finished there, Misty and I made our way over to North Park Mall, where she needed to buy some pantyhose for the following evening. After she got some at JC Penney, we made our way out and headed over to Lakeland Drive, where we ate dinner at Ruby Tuesday’s. That done, it was getting late, so we made our way back to the hotel, and she headed home from there while I got settled in for the night.

Saturday morning was all work, unfortunately, as I had to apply DST fixes to the Linux servers at work. In fact, I worked late enough where I ended up missing the free continental breakfast. Bah. At around noon or so, Misty arrived already dressed for the wedding. I had already gotten into my suit (which I hadn’t worn since 2003… heh), and we made our way over to North Park Mall; Misty had an appointment to get her makeup done at Belk. Unfortunately, we got as far as I-55, and saw that traffic was at a near-standstill. Misty ended up directing me through downtown to get around it, while we used Google Maps on my phone to locate the number for Belk and call them advising we’d be late. We finally made it over to North Park Mall a few minutes behind schedule, and we made our way into Belk and over to the makeup counter. I spent the next half-hour or so browsing the web on my phone while Misty had her makeup done. She DID say I could go wander elsewhere if I wanted and she wouldn’t mind, but truth be told the only store in the mall I would have gone to was GameStop, and I didn’t really feel like going in there.

Once Misty’s makeup was done, we left North Park Mall and made our way to Lakeland Drive for the long drive over to Philadelphia (MS, not PA) for the wedding, with a brief stop at Raising Cane’s for lunch. (A side note: Raising Cane’s was pretty damn good, and was thinking it would be nice if there was one in Houston. Louie told me later there were a couple, and we even passed one yesterday while driving around.) The drive to Philadelphia was about an hour or so long, and pretty uneventful; we took a couple of state highways that were pretty much back roads. Other than a couple of towns we passed through, the most notable things we passed were two casino/hotels across the street from each other: the Golden Moon and Silver Star. We eventually arrived in Philadelphia around 5 PM, and found the church (after getting turned around several times). We got inside, and ended up finding a seat and waiting for the wedding to start at 6 PM. The service was a very nice one, of course… :-) Once the service was over, we had to make our way over to the reception. The problem? We had no idea where it was. We ended up following Dani’s father-in-law to the reception, which was being held at a country club.

The reception was fun; I got to meet several of Misty’s friends, including Steph (who she went to the bachelorette party with) and her husband Don. The food was pretty good, too, although I was good and didn’t avail myself of the wedding cake. There was also the traditional tossing of the garter and the bouquet, which Dani’s son and daughter caught, respectively. (Hence the subtitle of this post… thanks, Don!) It was also hilarious seeing Steph’s and Don’s daughter running around with a disposable camera and taking pictures right and left. :-) Finally, Misty and I made our way out near the end of the night (and after seeing Dani and her husband have their dance together); Dani asked if we planned on hitting the casino like several of the wedding party, and we said no. (I would have if we had planned on staying the night there.) We ended up making the drive back to Clinton, which was really fun as A) most of drive back had no street lights, and B) part of the drive was through some areas that smelled absolutely rancid. We got back to my hotel, and from there Misty made her way home while I got ready for bed.

On Sunday morning, I woke up in time to get the continental breakfast. In hindsight, I REALLY should have waited for Misty to come around so we could have had breakfast. The Holiday Inn Express’s room was as good as the Hampton Inn’s, but the continental breakfast wasn’t. Ah, well. Misty arrived as I was finishing with packing; I checked out of the hotel, and she and I went to IHOP. Misty got herself breakfast, while I got myself a breakfasty lunch. (Aka, a ham, egg, and cheese sandwich.) Once done there (and after taking a support call for work… ugh), we crossed the street over to Wal-Mart so Misty could get a DVD or two. From there we went back to the hotel to get my car, and we went over to her house for a bit. After talking to her mom for a time, Misty and I left to go to the Barnes & Noble by North Park for a while. After we did our browsing there (and Misty bought some books), we went to Applebee’s for a snack. After sharing an appetizer sampler, we found it was time for me to head to the airport. After a lot of hugging and whatnot, I left and made my way over to the airport. Going through security was a breeze compared to IAH; the perks of being at a small airport, I guess. However, thanks to some delays at IAH, it turned out my flight was going to be an hour late leaving. Gah.

I ended up staying on the phone with Misty for most of the wait, though, which made it bearable. We finally boarded the plane an hour late, and made our way back to Houston… only to have to sit on the tarmac for ten minutes when we got there while we waited for our gate to clear. From there, it was just a matter of calling Dad (who was in the cell phone lot) to come pick me up, and I was on my way home.

All in all, it was a pretty good trip. The only complaint I would have made about it is that I would have liked more “us” time, but that’s really a minor complaint. I enjoyed the trip, and am glad I went. Of course, now it’s Misty’s turn to come visit me… ;-)