Sunday, October 9, 2016

A weekend to remember-- part one

     How the skies looked
             rains and clouds..the entire drive

This past weekend, (Oct. 8/9 2016) will be a weekend that will live forever within my heart and memory. I doubt that the passing of years, advancing age, and a thousand other memories made will ever hide or erase it. This was a wonderful weekend. Even though, it had a rough beginning.
 We had been planning this weekend for months. Immediately after finding out that our favorite country band of all times, Sawyer Brown was going to be in concert close enough for us to travel to, and with tickets within our range, I had to go. My husband, bless his generous heart, agreed. Our first difficulty was that the time of the day the tickets went on sale, I was going to be at work, with no access to a computer or phone to try and call in. I enlisted the help of my mother who began calling the minute the clock struck the starting hour. The first time she got through, she was 27th in line, when they got to 26, she heard, sorry, no more room.. and was disconnected. Trying again she was caller, 23. When they got to her number, the call disconnected. She started to give up, but tried one more time and was able to score us seats on row K. I'll take it. So, now we had seats, I had to find a hotel room. I began by searching to see where the closest hotels were, one by one was knocked out as they had nothing available that day. I finally found a room and quickly booked it. Now we had tickets purchased and a room booked. All we had to do, was wait. The show, was weeks away yet, but I was getting excited. It had been a little over six years since I had seen a show, much longer than that for my husband. I contacted a friend to ask about if there would be a meet and greet and if that was done through the fan club, I wanted to see the guys again yes, but I wanted my husband to have that chance as well since it had been so long.....finding out what I needed to know about that I settled in.
 Then, finally, the week of the show arrived. I reminded my manager that I would not be able to work Saturday due to the planned trip. She was fine with that as I rarely miss work.
 Then on Thursday night, the rains came in. All day Friday it rained thanks to Hurricane Matthew. The skies never lost that odd shade of grey and the rain seemed to be destined to fall forever. Saturday morning, it was still raining. My son had to work, then had plans for the Charlotte race, it was called. Still, I was sitting here, trying to wake up and prepare for the trip when I noticed the lights flicker. Once, twice, then out. Our power was out for thirty to forty-five minutes before gloriously returning. My husband and I quickly packed and loaded the car. Our first stop was for a quick breakfast and then onward. We were now, officially, headed for Greeneville, Tennessee.
 As we went through Stanley, NC, I managed to get behind a truck that had a driver that must have feared the rain. They went no less than ten miles and hour below the speed limit. My husband ranted and raged the entire time, when the truck turned down the road toward our home church I said on look, its the pastor. (No, it wasn't but still...) My husband stopped, he stumbled, he stuttered, he offered apologies, he demanded to know if it really was, he said he had no way of knowing, he said surely he didn't really drive that slow. It was humorous listening to all the excuses rather than the ranting.
 My husband had to stop at a truck stop to send off some paperwork so he would get paid. While there he got us more coffee. The whole time we had been driving, we had been going in and out of the rain. The rain, it seemed, was determined to fall continually, all of the way. At one point crossing the mountains the rain was falling so hard and the fog was so bad that I could barely see beyond the hood of my explorer. While I fought the weather, my husband fought with his GPS. Being a long haul driver, he had it obviously set for trucks, and it liked that setting and flat out refused to change to auto, no matter how much he fought with it.
 At one point, in the midst of his arguing with an electronic device that wouldn't have cared even if it could, I saw a road sign that said Greeneville. Whipping off the interstate I headed into the unknown...brave? Brilliant? Fool hearty? Only time would tell. At the end of the exit ramp, the sign pointed toward the left, so I went left. A couple of miles up, there was another sign with the information that Greeneville was 19 miles ahead. Forward we drove.
 The further we went, the more my husband was determined that we were going the wrong way. Finally I saw a welcoming sign, the name of the road I was familiar with. I remembered it was the street name for the location of the concert hall.  Not long afterwards I came to the road our hotel was on. My husband asked me over the course of the drive about the hotel. I honestly couldn't answer any of his questions because my own information was severely limited. 

 When the hotel finally came into sight we had to figure out how to get there as it was on the opposite side of the road and we were blocked by a nice large traffic island that went all the way up almost to the traffic light and there was a nice sign with no u turns. At the next light there was a turn arrow and I was able to make that u-turn and go back to the hotel. It was 1:30 in the afternoon, the paper said that check in was at 3. As we entered the building I was amazed, across from an impressive alcove area to the desk there ran a long arboretum type hallway. There were several trees that reached upward, tables, chairs and potted plants were expertly placed. It was beautiful.

 There was an old type popcorn machine there as well. I was in love. The lady at the desk went ahead and looked up our room, her questioning look gave me pause for concern. For some reason, the outfit I used to book this room, put us in a handicap room. ? My husband glanced at me, I assured him that no, I did not book a handicapped room. It was however, we were informed, the only room they had available and therefore ours. I watched as my husband in a confused manner, attempted to find if there was anything else, after listening for several minutes, I finally told him, that no, she had told him there was nothing else, if he wanted somewhere to sleep, it was that room, otherwise it was nothing. Fine, it was that room. I really think he was worried about keeping a room from someone who would need it, but, that was our room. We were given our keys and told how to get to the room. I drove around and parked. We grabbed our bags and headed for the sliding doors as instructed. Immediately turning left we made our way to our room, all the way at the far end of the hall. A hallway that was on one side, the rooms, on the other a privacy type plexiglass, fronted with chairs, tables and more potted plants.

 Going in to our room, it was as any other room only the bath had more rails and a chair to sit in the bath. The queen size bed was clean and comfortable. The television worked even though the channel selection was limited. We didn't plan on spending all of our time there anyway. 

Now that we were in and all our belongings in, we had to do what all redneck tourists do, we went to walmart. We picked up a few things we had forgotten, I bought some makeup because one look in that bathroom mirror showed that I had a look that the grim reeper would  be envious of. Leaving there we hit the local chicken establishment, sorry, but ours here is better. Then it was back to the room and rest up for the show later at 7:30.
 I did make one phone call once we arrived, hoping to hear from someone I knew was there. I was already anticipating what was to come.

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