Thursday, October 12, 2017

first annual best friends trip

If pictures offend you in any way, you may not want to read this post.

Last week while on our anniversary date, I asked Toddley if he would like to go to Dallas for one night so I could meet one of my favorite authors.  Melanie Shankle is an author and blogger I've read for years, and as part of her launch team for her newest book, Church of the Small Things, I was invited to a VIP meet and greet on Tuesday night at a Barnes and Noble in Dallas.

Todd would have gone with me, had he been able to take off for a couple days, but his work scheduled wouldn't allow for that.  So, after I found out my wonderful step-dad Bill had enough points for a FREE night in a hotel room, and woke up to the confirmation email on Thursday morning of last week, I promptly called my best friend Missy and asked her to go with me.

So, our planning commenced, and on Tuesday morning at seven, in the pouring rain, I picked her up.

She was DRENCHED by the time she actually got in my car, and this was us two hours later and her mostly dried out.  Her shorts and hair were never quite the same.  We stopped just outside of Little Rock for a break to stretch and got back in the car and stayed there until Texarkana.  Her hubby Jeff recommended stopping places for us, and we were both so thankful for that!  He knows his stops and told us where we would be safe.  We had decided to pack enough food for picnics to cut back on spending money.  Oh, we did buy breakfast while outside Little Rock, because I was hungry.

Here we were in Texarkana!  We had a great spot for a picnic, and the weather was PERFECT.  We ate and walked a bit more to stretch, and got back in the car and kept driving.

We made one more stop for gas after lunch at noon, and by three thirty or so, we arrived at our hotel.  I have to stop here and say that the roads in Dallas are terribly confusing, and never in my life have I ever felt so dumb while driving.  I seriously accidentally ran two red lights, because I couldn't tell which light I was looking at, and I went while I wasn't supposed to.  The lanes keep changing and my Waze app could not hardly keep up, or warn me fast enough to tell me to get off at a certain exit, or in a certain lane, because the road was about to fork.  It was INSANE.  After that one time, we stayed off the interstate the rest of the time and took service roads that ran alongside the interstate.

We checked in, unpacked, had a snack, changed, then left for Barnes and Noble.  We were a tiny bit late, but no worries.  We were ushered upstairs to where Melanie and her best friend Gulley were talking, and quickly sat down.

Then after, we got her to sign our books, and we had a besties picture taken by the sweet girl Alexis, who was in charge of her book launch team.

Melanie loved that we were best friends traveling together for hours for thirty minutes to meet her and then play around the rest of the time.  She asked what the rest of our plans were, and when we told her we were excited to go to The Container Store nextdoor, she said, "Dream big, ladies!".  We did.  Dream big, that is, but keep reading, because we are nerds and small things are ridiculously exciting to us.

We looked around and were awed.  They're a bit pricey, though, so I didn't buy anything.

After this, I remembered how much I had loved Chuy's that one time I went a few years ago in Dallas (at another location), so we asked a sweet lady if there was one nearby, and she directed us to a really fun location about ten minutes down the road.

I was stopped at a redlight when I took this.  It looks like a gold building!  It was just the sun setting, but man.  I think it's beautiful.

We made it to Chuy's with little mishap, and were charmed to pieces when we saw how adorable the location was.

We decided to eat outside, because who doesn't love adorable patios?  We had a delicious meal that made my mouth numb it was so spicy, and Missy died laughing when I kept saying, "Chili rellenos", and basically had a blast.

I made her pose in the restroom with me, for a Snapchat to send to our sweet friend, Marissa.

After dinner we headed back to the hotel, which is where more driving mishaps DID happen, but I won't speak of those here.  Just know that Todd and Jonah were unfortunate enough to hear the entire thing while I was talking to Todd on bluetooth in my car, and we laughed so hard that I had to RUN inside when we got back to the hotel.  And poor Jonah may never be the same.  We were crying, we laughed so hard, and I thought I was going to be sick.  Also, it's not good for me to laugh that hard while I'm driving, because I can't see that well when I'm cracking up.

We talked a little, and I pretty much fell asleep while Missy was talking to me.  And then we simultaneously woke up at 5:30 the next morning.  We ate breakfast, packed up, then left for a nearby town, called McKinney.  I have to stop here and say that I love to read blogs, and two of my favorite bloggers live there.  They both always write about how cute their little town and downtown square are, and since it's only about half an hour away from Dallas, I though it'd be fun to go.

And now I know why they love their little town!  It is precious.  We had so much fun!

Our first stop was an old cotton mill that is still in working order.

We took these then saw a sign that read, "No trespassing, No photography".


 I LOVE old buildings!  I got out of the car and took a few pictures.

After this we drove to the square.  Well, we turned around a few times after going way out of the way, then we finally reached our destination.

We had a little restroom break in that first building you see, that is really old and neat.  Then we walked around to a few stores.  I love old drug stores!  I bought a magnet.  Well, Missy bought it, actually, and now I owe her money.  She also bought me a Christmas present there!  I wonder if she's going to make me wait until Christmas....

We walked all around the square, then stopped for lunch at an ADORABLE restaurant called Spoons.

I should have gotten a tee shirt, but oh well.  And I am usually pretty excited about food, and mine was AMAZING.  That was me when the waitress brought our food.  Who knew fried okra and ranch dressing were so good together?!  I never would have thought, but the waitress recommended it.

The picture right above is a little coffee shop called Snug on the Square.  We also stopped at a beautiful place called Home-Ology  and it was decorated for Christmas.  That was right about when we threatened to not come back home.  Who doesn't love Christmas?! 

We passed this street while I was trying to get back to this house you see below.  I love old homes!  This was one huge and gorgeous.   Missy was very accommodating to my whims. 

After this, we made one last stop...

 I know, I know, but we don't have these!  I told you, we are simple people, Missy and I, and these are the kinds of things and places that excite us.  I really wish we had a Trader Joe's here, but oh well.  We each bought some stuff, then the sweet guy checking us out gave us cute little bags for free, when he learned we lived in Memphis and didn't have one of these near us.

After Trader Joe's, we stopped for gas one more time and refilled our waters, then got back on the road to head home.  We passed a place where all the pecans go to die, and some really cool little small towns, then finally were lead back to the interstate for the remainder of our drive.

We stopped in Texarkana for snacks and a chance to walk around and were so thoroughly cracked up over ourselves, that other people were staring.

Me: "I didn't know you like cinnamon raisin bread!"

Missy: "I like cinnamon.  I like raisins.  I love bread.  What's not to like?!"  Then she proceeded to gesture so wildly with her arms that she dumped half her bottle of diet coke into her purse.

We stopped again near Little Rock for gas and another refill for our waters, and got home by nine o'clock last night.  We threatened to not come home, though, we had so much fun.  I never knew that two full days would feel so long and that we would have so much fun.

In all that time together and for FOURTEEN hours together in the car, never once did we ever run out of things to talk about.  We talked about everything under the sun: movies, music, church, Christmas and family traditions, you name it, we discussed it.  Our favorite topic to speak of?  Jesus.  We both (might have) choked up at least once or twice over how good He has been to us.  Our last two hours were spent singing praises to Him along with Chris Tomlin and Travis Cottrell in the car.

We also spoke of how thankful and fortunate we are for sweet husbands who don't mind us doing things like this together.  They were both so loving and encouraging for us to make this trip, and we are both so grateful!  How precious they both are.  Also, we were both so thankful for Bill (my step-dad) who made arrangements for us to stay free at our hotel Tuesday night.  Thank you so much, Bill!  I know you're reading this.

Thanks for reading this long post, if you're still here.  I wanted to make sure to write it all down before I forgot of all that we did and the things that were funny only to us.

Love to all.

(We're thinking Hot Springs next year, because our favorite bible teacher will be there for a conference, plus it's a tiny bit closer than Dallas.)

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