Longing for Masters Week!!

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Yes it’s here… that time of year when I am REALLY tired of winter but spring is still a long way away. I find myself not only looking at the spring fashions wishing it were warm enough to at least wear a short sleeve shirt but longing for Masters week. In this part of the world, we begin the countdown to Masters pretty early for several reasons. First, it is the official beginning of spring to all of us in the Augusta area. Second, tons of people rent their house out so they have to get it Masters ready. Meaning the house looks like it is going to be photographed for a magazine (reason #4,563 why we don’t rent!!) And third, it is spring break.

Yes, you will NEVER EVER hear of a spring break in the Augusta area occurring any time other than Masters week. Now to those of you not steeped in Masters tradition, that means our spring break always starts on Monday following the first Sunday in April because Masters ALWAYS ends on the second Sunday in April (more than you ever cared to know? You’re welcome!) The good news about this is that you can plan your spring break years in advance resting in the knowledge that it WILL be that particular week. The bad news? It is so hard to wait that long for spring break. Especially when your college kids are enjoying an early March spring break.

For years we stayed in town for Masters week because, uh, I worked there and taking vacation that week was really frowned upon by the establishment. WHAT?!?! This past year, Tim and I had tournament badges so I REALLY wanted to get to go as just a normal person (I admit, it’s a stretch for me to be normal but I gave it my best shot.) So hubby and I have been torn this year, should we stay or should we head out of town??? Naturally, there are tons of fun things to do in town Masters week but there are also about a million extra people. That’s the rub, stay and play with a million of my closest friends or get out of town and enjoy peace and quiet… hmmmm… it really is a harder decision than you can imagine. And when we decide, I’ll be sure and let you know.

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In My Swagger Wagon

The Swagger Wagon's 2012 Senior Trip

The Swagger Wagon’s 2012 Senior Trip

I still drive a minivan only we call it the swagger wagon. Yes, I realize that I have no children at home and one would think that by the time all of your children are out of the house that you have earned the right to drive a nice adult car but then the van comes in handy and you just can’t part with it. Y’all, this swagger wagon is practically family at this point, I mean it has taken us on vacation to Florida every year since 2007, moved one child to Georgia Tech four times, another two times, one move to Furman, gone on the senior trip with the class of 2012 (without me- yes my son and his friends begged to take it), moved a child to Memphis, brought home some amazing antiques inherited from my darling mother-in-law and taken us on more road trips than I could ever name.

No one sets out to purchase a minivan when their kids are out of car seats, but as I was searching for my next car in late 2006, I realized that with the length of my oldest son’s legs at the time, there were very few choices he could fit in. It was a light bulb moment people! As we tried to squeeze all three boys in the back of a smoking hot candy apple red Volvo, I quickly noticed that Will’s chin was resting on his knees and decided maybe we should pursue something a bit roomier. Right then one of the boys saw a van with the sliding door open, a drop down TV/DVD combo and heard the words, “You can even plug in any video game system and play while you travel.” It was game over at that point. Game…Over… To humor the kids we walked over to check out the vans and I realized that not only could my long legged son fit comfortably, but there were enough seats to keep them all separate. It’s the little things in my life people….

Many times we have discussed getting rid of the swagger wagon and each and every single time I think about how handy it has been. Plus, when you buy a van with half grown kids, you can afford all the whistles and bells. Can I say I really love my heated leather seats? Not as much as Tim but if I’m being honest, on some super cold days it’s been close people….real close.

Opposites Attract

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Tim and I will be celebrating twenty-five years of marriage this summer. Twenty-five years? Am I old enough to have been married that long? (Well I was 10 when we married…) I question how life passed so quickly? More importantly I question where are we going to go to celebrate? You think I’m being petty, but this is a big deal because when it comes to vacation getaways, Tim and I could not be more different.

For me it’s pretty simple: beach, chair, book, ocean and PLENTY of sunshine. That is really all I require. There is just something so soothing and tranquil about the sound of the waves combined with the smell of the salt air and the continuous breeze to keep me from getting too hot. I mean it people, this is what heaven is to me. Ahhhhhhh……

Tim on the other hand loves a vacation with a lot of doing! No sitting still for him. Whether it is exploring a nature trail, taking in the local attractions, going on a zip-line, climbing a mountain, or anything else that is NOT just being by the beach reading a book. No sir, no sitting around reading for my man. (I know, how in the world have we lasted this long?!?!?!?!)

Funny story, one of my favorite vacations was when Tim and I went to a resort in Cancun, Mexico just the two of us. I loved it so much because we did nothing but enjoy the pool, the ocean and Mexican food (again, heaven!) How did I get Tim to go for this? Well, he had his appendix out on Saturday and we left for Cancun that next Thursday. Yep, he was not allowed to do anything but rest, relax and recover. Does this make me a bad person that I enjoyed the trip so much? I’m going to say no… I just made the best of a bad situation. Right?!?!?

So you see there is a dilemma… there is also a budget. Combine the two and you’ll understand why we have no idea where we are going…yet. But you see I’m an optimist and I truly believe we will find a solution to this problem. Who knows, maybe we’ll find a beach with a zip-line over it!!

World Peace and Cheese Dip

If I was forced at gun point to choose my favorite food (cause that could happen), there is NO DOUBT what it would be. Ask anyone in my immediate family and they’d know along with most of my Nashville friends. Why my Nashville friends you ask? Well a good portion of them agree with me (right Ans, Katy, Annie, Kelli, Graham?) You see we all believe that the only thing necessary to achieve world peace is to make everyone involved gather around a bowl of cheese dip. Yep, I said cheese dip. Now this would be no ordinary cheese dip but MEXICAN RESTAURANT cheese dip… with fresh tortilla chips (I’m drooling… you?)

I love Nashville for a thousand reasons but the biggest one is the people. Because y’all, I’ve found these are my Mexican restaurant, cheese dip loving peeps. On any given trip to Nashville, there will be at least one trip to eat Mexican… if it’s a really good trip, we’ll go twice. I’m not talking Chipotle or Moe’s (even though they have tasty food) nope, I’m talking what we call dirty Mexican. Meaning that when they bring you your food, the plate’s not pretty and all they’re going to get back is an empty, dirty plate from a satisfied customer.

Truthfully, I could eat Mexican food three meals a day and one of my most favorite trips ever was when Tim took me to an all-inclusive resort in Cancun, Mexico. We couldn’t do much since Tim had an emergency appendectomy on Saturday before we left on Thursday, but just between you and me, that made it better because all we could do was hang out by the pool and EAT (understanding now why it was my favorite vaca ever!!) I could lie to you and say that my favorite part was just being with Tim or the pool sitting, but why lie?? It was really all about the food for me. I ate quesadillas, enchiladas, burritos and even tacos for BREAKFAST. With fresh guacamole, sour cream and cheese dip…. this girl was in heaven.

Unfortunately, we can never go back to this particular resort… no, not because of anything we did but simply because it would never match up to that first trip. I never mess with perfection when it concerns food. There is absolutely no reason to go back and taint the amazing memories I have. So, I guess the next time Tim wants to take me on a once in a lifetime trip, he’ll just have to do his research and make sure they know their food. You think there’s any good Mexican restaurants in Paris???