Adventures in travel

Nise's Notes
by Denise Schoppe

The Marlin Democrat
November 23, 2005


This last weekend, I logged more air miles and added yet another city to my list of places in which I’ve spent time.

Friends have come to just say, “Have fun where ever you are headed next!” as in the last year or two life has taken me to many different locations, and I know I have many more places to go in the future.

This most recent trip took me to Atlanta, Georgia and to Nashville, Tennessee. It was spurred by a special birthday and a wedding on the same day.

I started my travel with the purchase of plane tickets within a set time frame months ago. I wanted to make the most of my trip, but I also couldn’t leave before time A and I had to be on my way back before time B. I juggled all the variables and found a set of tickets that I felt good about.

Months pass. Wedding and birthday gifts are purchased. A dress for the wedding. All the preparations to go were in process.

Last minute I found out I needed to rent a car. Not only that, but I’d be renting the car in one city and dropping it off at another. Try after try I ran into roadblocks. Mostly, I kept finding all the cars had already been prebooked and there weren’t any in the size I wanted available.

Finally after countless tries and biting the bullet to pay the high costs, I had the car reserved.

Bright and early, I was on a plane Atlanta-bound. The flight was smooth and we were, in a rare occurance, early for our scheduled arrival. However, then I discovered how massive the Atlanta airport is and I was ever so glad I didn’t have to catch a connecting flight there — this time.

I claimed the rental car and hit the interstate in a city in a state I’d not been in since I was maybe four years old. Thankfully, my directions I had printed out were clear and traffic flowed smoothly. I traveled the 40 miles to my first destination with few problems.

A night of fun ended with a three and a half hour drive to Nashville. Excitement abounds when you leave at 2:30 (central time) in the morning. Thankfully I was not alone this time as I’d picked up my boyfriend to spend the rest of the weekend together. We arrived into Nashville at 6 a.m. as the sun was coming up. (I’d gotten up for the day at 4:30 a.m.) We were fighting fatigue with caffiene and conversation.

We got home and exchanged birthday gifts before catching a few hours of sleep. However, we had little time for sleep before we were up and out running errands before going to the wedding.

The wedding was gorgeous, one of the most beautiful I’ve ever seen. The short ceremony was held at the Opryland Hotel, which was already fully decorated for Christmas. Twinkling lights ran through the trees and amid poinsettas, large christmas stockings and wreaths. Pathways lined with waterfalls were accented by yet more lights, and the gazebo under which the ceremony was held had a dome of lights atop it.

A crowd gathered as the wedding was held, and it was hard to fight tears of joy for the couple.

After the wedding, the party moved upstairs for dancing, laughter and millions of pictures. Toasts were made, the bouquet was thrown (and I caught it), and the night seemed to fly by in a whirl of memories that will not soon be forgotten.

The next morning, after yet another very short night, I caught a connecting flight to Atlanta out of Nashville. It was a small plane that we climbed out of right onto the tarmac. I jokingly said I felt like the President walking into the terminal.
I was quickly reminded of the massive size of the Atlanta airport, and I almost burned the wheels off my carry-on as I pulled it behind me full speed across the airport.

My final flight from Atlanta to Austin was delayed, but luckily only by about ten minutes. Despite the flight being one of the most bumpy I’ve ever had, the lack of sleep for three nights in a row caught up to me and I slept for almost half of my two-hour flight.

I landed in our state capital with a lot of miles under my belt, and yet as I set foot in the airport I itched to go again. I once feared flying, and now I’ve grown to just love it.

Rental car hassles, lack of sleep, long distance track through the airport and even the security checks don’t diminish the joy trips bring to me. It’s always an adventure, and there is so much to experience out in the world.

This time I experienced the city of Atlanta, and I delved further into life in Nashville. I took a different plane carrier than ever before, and I attended a wedding that was very different from any I’d attended before. I may have come home very tired, but I’d have not traded the experiences I had for anything.
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