Weekend Getaway to Alabama

My oldest son turned 30 this past Monday.  I can hardly believe it.  I was 30 when I had him.  He and his brother (who is three years younger) both went to the same college in Alabama.  They studied hard, became engineers, and fell in love with their little college town of Huntsville, AL.  They found jobs there and stayed.  I’m glad they’re happy there as I like Huntsville too.  But I guess I thought they would always come back home after college.  Like I did.  Instead, they’re 130 miles away from home and we don’t see them nearly as often as we’d like.  Occasionally, my husband and I will make the almost 2 1/2 hour drive to go visit them.  We went this past weekend bearing birthday cake.  We hadn’t seen them since July 20th, when they both came home for their grandmother’s 90th birthday celebration.  I miss those boys.  You may be thinking that 130 miles is really not all that far, and it’s not really,  but it’s far enough for me.  I went to a college in the same state but a different city.  It was only 40 miles away from home and about a 45 minute drive.  I was a homebody and  I wanted to go NO further away than that.  I didn’t have a car and I felt like I may as well been 1,000 miles away from home instead of 40.  I was homesick the entire four years.  I never adapted well to college life or got over my homesickness.  I wish I had.

We had a nice visit with both sons.  Saturday night we took our two sons and our daughter-in-law out for a birthday celebration dinner (he chose Logan’s).  Then we headed back to our oldest son’s house for birthday cake and ice cream.

When my husband and I go to Huntsville, we always stay at the Marriott which is on the property of the U.S. Space and Rocket Center.  We’ve always liked staying there but it’s in the middle of being renovated now.  It’s gone carpetless and has the laminate gray flooring that seems to be ever so popular now and I see everywhere I go.  It looks like wood planks (easier to clean than carpet I’m sure).  All the bedding is white (easier to bleach I guess).  There were no pictures on the walls – just a mural above the bed.  There’s no longer any night stand tables and now there are just floating shelves that come out of the wall.  No table lamps by the beds but lights that are suspended from metal poles on the ceiling.  The sinks were elevated bowls and there are no tubs now, just walk in glass showers.  The rooms were clean but looked a little drab and needed some color in my opinion.  I thought of an old friend I met at church many, many years ago who told me her mother used to say that every room in your house needs a splash of the color red.  She said even if it’s just one single rose, have a little red in every room.  I think there’s something to that.

Anyway, they put us up on the 6th floor and we enjoyed our view of the rockets at the Space and Rocket Center.  There was a time when our boys were really into space and we read tons of books about space.  Both boys attended Space Camp here many years ago and so it brought back happy memories of that.  They were in heaven. That view from our hotel room reminded me of why our kids both ended up in college in Huntsville.

The view from our hotel room balcony

My husband and I joke when we’re in Huntsville, that if you get lost while driving there, that all you have to do is look for the Saturn V replica and it will guide you home.  Ask us how we know.  I call it Huntsville’s guiding beacon.  Just look for the rocket and drive towards it and you’ll find your way.  The rockets are undergoing major cosmetic renovations after 50 years and we noticed that the monstrous Saturn V replica was not lit Saturday night when we were driving from our son’s house to the hotel.  Huntsville’s guiding beacon was not doing its job!  I’m guessing it had something to do with the renovations.  The red flashing lights warning airplanes were functioning but the rocket itself was not bathed in its glorious white light and so our view at night from that hotel balcony that we looked forward to, was not to be.  We enjoyed the view during the day though.

Anyway, our trip was very short but it was good seeing our progeny.  We didn’t really have anything planned to do on this trip since it was such a short visit.  Our goal was just to spend some time with our boys and celebrate our oldest son turning 30.  My husband and oldest son attempted to repair some electrical problems at his house, so there was a trip to Home Depot while we were there ( I don’t think we ever go to Huntsville without making a trip to Home Depot or Lowes).  He had a lightning strike several weeks back that fried his TV, his cable box, his garage door, and X-Box that he watches movies on.  He’s still finding things that are messed up from that lightning strike.

Like I said, I miss those boys.  My mother doesn’t realize how lucky she was that all three of her children came back home after college and all lived close to her.  She always told me that girls tend to stay closer to home than boys.  I know that’s not always the case.  Hubby and I stopped at three different antique stores on the drive home.  I came away with a teal green candy dish, a blue crackle glass bud vase and a beautiful cobalt blue bottle.

This week, we’re enduring a heat wave (though actually this summer has seemed like one long heat wave).  All week long, our temps will be in the upper 90s with heat indexes in the triple digits.  The heat index as I type this is 104 and supposed to get up to 105.  It’s miserably hot out there.  I heard a meteorologist say that we might break some weather records this week and that our July weather is continuing on through September.  No sign of fall here yet!

Stay cool.


About Gail

I am a wife, mother, sister, aunt, friend, veterinarian, and wanna be writer. I love nature and animals of all kinds, music, cooking, and spending time with my family.
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