Friday night, Jason and I drove up to Tennessee to see The Avett Brothers in concert–marking 2 firsts in our family. The first time (since Korea) that we have gone out of town as a couple with no kids. The first time our children have been kept overnight by anyone other than family. We have a couple of amazing friends who offered to stay at our house and hold down the fort for us.
Traveling now is sooooo much different than it was pre-kids. This time, I put hours into getting the house ready. I mean I had company coming and staying overnight with the kids–we needed clean sheets, clean towels, and I didn’t want to feel judged about that gray ring around the boys’ bathtub. Getting food ready–I have a kid with 11 food allergies, this isn’t as easy as it sounds. I dedicated a shelf in the pantry for food safe for Isaac so nobody would get confused. Bought plenty of fruit. Made sure there were makings for an easy meal. Getting instructions ready. My kids take medicine. My dog takes medicine. My cat is on a prescription diet. WE ARE A HIGH MAINTENANCE FAMILY. There, I said it. And the most important–mentally preparing our childless friends for the task ahead.
When it was actually time to walk out the door, we finished up instructions, gave kisses goodbye, and turned to walk down the stairs. That was when Jason turned to our naive babysitters and said, “oh yeah, the kids don’t know how to wipe their own butts yet. Just thought you should know”. For good measure, I threw in, “and if we get in a tragic car wreck, can you raise the kids for us? Thanks!!!”. Jaws immediately dropped to the floor, but we hurried out before anyone could call it a deal-breaker.
You would think that it would be smooth sailing from then on.
You would be wrong.
In the driveway, I realized we had forgotten our picnic blanket (it was an outdoor concert), and as Jason ran in for that, I realized that we had also forgotten the concert tickets. That was a close call.
As we pulled out of the driveway, I asked Jason if he knew how to get there. He said, “no, I figure we just head north, though”. A quick check to google maps revealed that that plan was totally wrong. So we began heading east.
15 minutes into the trip, I inhaled sharply, saying, “OH CRAP, I was supposed to check emails and phone messages for my supervisor!! She’s out of town!!!”. So we had to pull into a McDonald’s parking lot so I could break out the laptop and use their wifi.
30 minutes into the trip, Jason said, “you don’t think we’re going to cross over to Eastern time, do you?”. We both looked at each other with dread. Well, we lost an hour there.
After that things began to calm down and I slept until Chattanooga. When I woke up, Jason shared a box of Bottlecaps with me (can you say YUM!!) and we stopped for refreshments.
After getting back on the road, we realized we would be coming into Knoxville right at Friday afternoon rush hour. I texted my friend to say that I was worried we might be late to the concert. His response? “There must be a saint I can pray to for concert trips.”
Traffic kept coming to a standstill and I made the decision that I had better put my makeup on in the car. Which is pretty brave considering we were navigating stop and go traffic in a stick shift.
We passed wreck after wreck. I then considered changing clothes in the car, but Jason pointed out that flashing my
pasty fabulous body may cause another wreck and make us even later.
In the end, we made it to our hotel in the nick of time. We were able to walk over to the stadium and get settled before the music started. I texted my friend to let him know that we made it. His response? “Great! And I just wiped an a$$ that doesn’t belong to me!!”.
I don’t know why we were so worried–I should have realized that the musical acts would have been fashionably late. But I’ve been away from the concert scene for a few years. Not to mention the social scene. Let’s face it, I haven’t been a part of any scene except the poopy pants, tantruming, Thomas the Train scene for quite a while.
The concert was amazing. AMAZING. Love me some Avett Brothers. And of course, because it was us, there were some shenanigans. But more on that tomorrow.