That’s my busy bee sound and I absolutely have been one these last few weeks.
At the end of July, my best friend came up to visit from Texas. This included her two little girls and husband. Unknown to the folks around here, our friend/my best friend’s sister-in-law also came up so it was a throwback to middle school. I hung out with them a lot as we caught up and spent too much money as it was the week of the fair. I played games, went on rides and even saw Styx play. Somewhere in there, I went to a birthday party for my cousin’s daughter. I caught up with my older cousins, played with the younger ones and saw my grandparents for the first time since Christmas.
There were a lot of conversations and introspection and too many insides jokes to laugh. I missed them all terribly and I’m so glad that I was able to visit with both Ashley and Christina. I definitely feel closer to both of them. Christina left early Thursday afternoon and I was soon on my way, with Robyn and Wendy, to Chicago. We spent Thursday through Sunday at Wizard World Comic-Con and it was fantastic. Highlights include:
- Awesome costumes
- Hugs from Nicholas Brendan
- Hilarious panels
- Autographs from James O’Barr
- Talking with Chad Lindhberg
- One seriously nice hotel room!
It was far better than my first convention experience and Wendy and Robyn decided I need to hurry up and have kids so we can take them to cons. I took a few pictures and posted most of them to my Facebook in real-time. On Saturday, Wendy and I went as Desire and Death, respectively. Her costume was pretty awesome but I didn’t get a picture of me because mine was full of fail. I’d grabbed some Manic Panic in Raven to temporarily dye my hair black and did that Thursday morning before we left. Unfortunately, it just didn’t take and I had neither the time nor patience to try again. Boo.
I bought some awesome things, including bookmarks, a pillow and a poster (Batman). I spent far too much time on my feet and got far too little sleep but it was pretty exciting. We finished up on Sunday and, for some reason, my ass kept being kid-height and they kept running into it. LOL
We returned home on Sunday evening and I spent Monday relaxing for the most part. Tuesday I tried to but couldn’t get any sleep so I was exhausted by the time 8:30 AM rolled around. I was expecting my mother to shower up so we could head down to Memphis for a couple days. She showed up at least an hour late and I crammed into her friend’s tiny sedan. The five of us barely fit and I seriously considered asking them to turn around so I could go home and to sleep but figured it would make my sister sad.
The car was covered in dog fur and smelled like it too. I tried my best to live with it. Unfortunately, my bad feeling was right on target. We headed South and so did.. everything. I started out tired and nothing was horrible.. until we got to Rockford or so and my sinuses opened up and my eyes and nose just started pouring. Every time we stopped, I’d steal toiler paper or paper towels from the rest rooms. By the time night rolled around, I was pretty miserable, my throat was hurting and I was ready to get out of the car.
Unfortunately for us, the “twelve” hour trip took more like fifteen. We ran into a lot of construction and a 40-mile detour so by the time we got to Memphis, to the hotel, we were all in piss poor spirits. Illinois just didn’t want to let us go, then we hit a storm and it was 1AM by the time we checked into the hotel. The hotel in itself was pretty disappointing. It was old and falling apart at the cracks–literally. They were performing construction on the floor above us and I heard the bumping and grinding all morning. Every employee had a hard hat. It was all ghetto-iffied.
I stayed in the next morning while everyone went out for breakfast because I felt awful. I enjoyed some timed to myself to shower, dress and check my email. I snuck downstairs for leftovers of breakfast and we all packed up when Mom returned. As it turns out, I had no reason to rush. We wound up waiting around for everyone to get their act together. I am pretty impatient when people are poking around. I like to know when something is happening and to do it at that time but my mom has a clock that runs at least 45-minutes later than everyone else’s.
We were out of the hotel by noon and on our way to Graceland–the point of the trip. My mom is a huge Elvis fan and this had really been a dream of hers for some time. I enjoy Elvis but was mostly along for it to be an enjoyable experience. I can’t ever remember my mom taking a vacation or traveling someplace for something other than a family event (wedding, funeral, etc)–we’ve never been on a family vacation–so this was a HUGE deal for her. She was all fan-girlish when we got to Graceland and taking pictures all over the place. I was in control of her camera and took a bunch of pictures before the batteries died. I hope she likes the ones I took (as I speak, I’m Bluetoothing them to the laptop).
We bought tickets to tour the mansion/ground itself, the airplanes and the car museum among other things but we only did those three. The “mansion” tour is interesting because the house isn’t that big and you only have access to the bottom floor. Elvis’ bedroom and office upstairs, as well as Lisa’s room are off limits. What I did see was tacky and dated. Green shag carpet on the ceiling kind of stuff and too many mirrors everywhere. There were a lot of TVs and other appliances, which just speaks to his wealth and success. Some of the grounds had been converted to showcase his wealth and success and there were flowers and memorial signs all over. It was over pretty quickly and I left feeling disappointed.
The car museum was interesting and another testament to his wealth. If owning a Pink Cadillac is no sign of your success, then having two airplanes certainly is. I think that really struck me because airplanes weren’t common back then and this guy has two and holy crap! one of them was fancy. But it was only a few hours and we were off, back on the road. The trip was just as frustrating back, involved some doubling back and ended, for me, just shy of six o’clock yesterday morning.
I’m sitting here, sneezing and blowing my nose, and really wishing I hadn’t gone. But I’m so happy that my mom did get to go. The excitement is not yet over. Tomorrow, I finally get to see Pat Benatar perform. That will be awesome!