As always the year trip to my parents was once again planned. It took a lot of phone calls and stress before I booked the tickets for me and Babs. The reason for the tension was that we were trying to do a lot of things in a small amount of time but neither of us (my brother and his family and my parents and yours truly) wanted to compromise anything...so off we went, Babs and I on an airplane again to Chattanooga.
Mom dad and my niece Z were waiting to pick us up. The minute Babs set her eye on her cousin I was lost to her. She did not listen to me, think about me or need me. Normally I would hate to be ignored by her or her father but on this occasion, I was ready for it. After all, isn't one of the reasons we go to our parent's house? And I literally started to relax the minute I saw my brother No.2's smiling face walk towards me.
It was crazy after that. Babs rarely ate a full meal, she was busy playing with her cousins. Z wanted to spend time with her and A wanted to run away from her. So Babs decided to ignore Z and chase A to madness. He almost had to hide from her. Babs would stop and give him random hugs and kisses and chase him around claiming her love for him.
The day we landed, we chilled out and the next day we set off to Atlanta. We went to the aquarium and also to the Coca Cola museum and were drunk on coke. My favorite was the mango-kiwi one. Then we met one of our childhood friends had a relaxing evening before driving back home. Day three we did local stuff and shopping gifts for each other. Day 4 was the big day and drive so we decided to tone it down a bit.
Day-4 all of us were ready in our cars driving up the mountains to the Great Smoky Mountains at Gatlinburg-Pigeon Forge area. Brother had booked an awesome cabin up in the mountains, no technology other than TV was there and tall pine tress all around us and warnings posted for Bear awareness everywhere. It was amazing. We learnt what absolute silence meant, the beauty of nature and we were also sure when we were done with it. We did some kiddie things there and then some adult thing of driving around into the woods. Sat down by the river and relaxed a bit while keeping a watch for Smoky the bear.
Day 6 we headed down the mountains towards to coast to North Carolina to meet Brother No.1 and his family. We ate a lot, played a lot of tennis, the kids now doubled and along with that their fights and fun too did. All of us stretched our legs and chilled. The four women also made time to go and get a manicure while the kids played with their dad's and uncles.
And as all good things come to an end Day 8, I was back on an airplane heading home. On our way to the airport in small town Fayetteville, NC, we saw tornado devastated villages all brought to ground by nature. It was quite surreal, so shocking that in one week I saw the beauty of nature as well as its power. And as I sat in the airport waiting, I once more teared up...
PS: So you wonder why this post is called aunty? Well my mom has a very good friend in Chattanooga. I keep associating this friend to be my "mother's" friend and everytime I see her I never miss a chance to call her aunty by pure accident and then regret it the minute the word escapes my mouth. I feel so horrible about it each time but I am not able to stop myself. This lady is probably 5-6 years older than me. I am a horrible person! :(