I spent 20 hours in Atlanta this weekend!
A whirlwind trip involving 4 planes, 2 library books, 14 hours of travel time, and less than 24 actual hours on the ground on location, all for the wedding of my cousin Alyssa- my very first cousin on my mom's side of the family, and the oldest daughter of my jolly and beloved Pilot Uncle who we're lucky enough to see on his layovers in various cities around the country. And even better, everyone from my mom's side of the family was able to come! All ten cousins! The grandparents (or great-grands, as we now refer to them), three sets of aunts and uncles, my parents and siblings- the whole tribe! JP and the kids stayed home- it was just too hard (i.e., expensive) to get everyone halfway across the country for one day, but it was so fun to be the original Rices again.
We kicked it old school- 3 kids across the row in the back of the car (me in the middle because despite being the oldest and wisest, I was somehow left behind as shortest several years ago) and two hotel rooms: one for the parents, one for the kids, only now, instead of kicking me in her sleep, my sister kept trying to cuddle with me. Like aggressive cuddling- I had to keep fending off stealth spoon attacks. But really what else would I be doing in a hotel room at 4:30 a.m.? It's not like I sleep in them anymore. (Seriously. Not at ALL, even after an evening of vigorous dancing, some wine, a sleeping pill, white noise machine, and only 4 hours of sleep the night before. I maybe cobbled together 90 minutes before my 6:30 a.m. wakeup call. Nice soft clean hotel beds are apparently THE WORST.)
But there was family! And I love spending time with my family. My cousin looked like a princess, her hosts from her study abroad program in Brussels came over and I made two new friends and got a whole bunch of additions to JP and my Travel List (and insight into their wedding traditions and legal training; I like both of their systems over ours); and the DJ was FABULOUS. There was so much dancing. You haven't lived until you've seen your grandparents grooving to Sexy Back. My dad brought out his signature traveling meerkat shuffle bounce dance move- it really can't be described with words, but it was how I chose to move around for much of the rest of the reception.
We had a great time. I have awesome cousins who humor me by dancing with me kind of constantly, and a groovin aunt and uncle, and of course my mom and meerkat hopping dad, and my sister even got my brother on the floor once! I was sweaty and my legs were shaking like the end of a barre class by the time we got our sparklers for the exit and piled in the shuttles to head back to the hotel. But then after the reception came the after-party (with lulu leggings; the satin of my dress was no longer acceptable for bright light situations), and after the after-party came chatting with the sibs in jammies in our hotel room until WAY past our bedtimes, and then came the terrible horrible way-too-early wakeup call to get me on my first flight of the day. A flight I almost missed because Atlanta's airport security lines are terrible and I had to run down the terminal, hands empty of the chai tea latte I so desperately needed before my 2+ hour flight, as I heard my name mispronounced over the loud speaker. But six hours later, I was home!
Cora screamed and threw her arms up in the air so vigorously when she saw me that she fell over as I walked in the door. It was awesome. I'm exhausted, work is going to be insane, I fly to DC on Wednesday for a one-hour meeting, and then I take 4 days of testimony the first week of November, but it was so fun to jet off and party with the fam for a half day. So I'm thankful for airline miles, the law firm travel that earned me so many of then I still haven't bought a plane ticket since I quit, JP who enjoyed his solo weekend with the kiddos (though missed dancing with me, of course), and an awesome family I so enjoy hanging out with.