We spent the weekend in Franklin and Nashville with our besties, David, Sharliss and KJ. We got there Friday night and were treated to a steak dinner complete with bakers, salad and this most amazing cheese sauce all to the tune of some funky yet festive music. They even put Cole Kitty out so Mike wouldn't sneeze his head off.Doesn't Katherine look great?! She just finished her last big chemo, HURRAY!
Sharliss made us an amazing breakfast on Saturday morning, pancakes, bacon, sausage and an egg any way you like it. We then headed to Dickens Christmas where the whole town of Franklin is transformed into a Victorian village. We saw a hand bell choir, lots of other choirs, got a Starbuck's Caramel Cider which is just about the best thing ever, met up with the Manns and had a horse drawn carriage ride around historic Franklin. Laughing all the way. But, the laughter was only beginning. We said farewell to the Manns and headed to the Leiper's Fork annual Christmas parade. Mike and I have decided that we will never miss this parade again. David and Sharliss have been telling us it was awesome, now we know it is true. A gorgeous drive through rural Tennessee took us to Main Street lined with townspeople from near and far. The kids were poised on the edge of the street with their bags ready. They knew what was coming. I did not.
First off, the Grand Marshall was Naomi Judd. The real Naomi Judd. In a horse drawn carriage, no less. Next came a Scottish bagpipe and drum marching band, beautiful. And, don't worry, there was a human snowglobe. Yes, a human snowglobe which consisted of this guy in the back of a flatbed Ford inside a big plastic bubble full of blowing snow singing his heart out. Except that the snow wasn't blowing right so he would pick up handfulls and throw it in the air. There was a busty blonde bail bondswoman float and a septic tank pumper truck tossing Tootsie Rolls. Get it?
Mike's favorite was the huge trailer with nothing but a tiny dog dressed up like Santa waving a banner that said, "Less is More." At one point I turned to David and said, "Where am I?" That was about the time grandpaw drove up on his lawn mower wearing angel wings made from real feathers. There were several more lawn mowers and quite a few tractors. Even more antique cars with various politicians. Some convertibles with Queens of something or other. And everybody was throwing candy to the kids the whole time. The parade was at least a mile long. We could see down into the valley where they were staging the floats and we left before we even saw half of them.
We all retired for the rest of the afternoon to rest before dinner which was in downtown Nashville on music row at Merchant's Grill. We met an undercover sensei at the bar while we waited for our table. After a huge dinner we said a tearful goodnight to Katherine, Sharliss and David and checked into the Loew's for the night.I know I'm forgetting stuff. But, I can't remember it all. Some of it is a bit blurry. All I know is that we are back home. And missing our precious friends. Love you Arnolds!