Monday, December 7, 2009

Good 'Ole Rocky Top

Robert had all of Evan's orange clothing packed in our suitcase faster than you could say "volunteer" in preparation for our trip to Tennessee this past weekend.

The circumstances for our trip were a bit grim, but we were still happy to be going back for a visit. Robert's dad has been in the hospital with various issues, mostly kidney related. His overall condition, however, made a turn for the better as we were leaving on Sunday. The hope is that he will be home for the holidays and able to spend time with his family in a more comfortable, relaxing environment - free of scratchy sheets, bland food and backless gowns. He may miss the sponge baths from his young nurses, but his wife, Kathy, is a fan of Halloween - we'll send her a pair of scrubs in the mail.

We stayed with Robert's mom and step-dad and were able to visit with Granny (Robert's grandmother). Granny was another significant reason for our visit. She is 94 years old, but has recently been diagnosed with vascular dimentia. Over the past few months Dixie and Phil have noticed a decline in her physical mobility and have also noticed signs of memory loss. The doctors have reported that she will never suffer from severe dimentia because the vascular condition will take a toll before she ever reaches that point. We were told that Granny may only have a year left to spend with us - and it's unknown if she will even be truly "present" for the majority of that time. Almost a century old and it's still heartbreaking to think about her leaving us.

(I failed to mention that Evan was terrified of Granny)

Evan with Grandma and Grandpa Bopp

On a lighter note, the trip provided Evan with a lot of "firsts." This was his first trip to Daddy's old stomping ground. Robert recounted his past life to Evan in the car - "this is where I used to play ball" or "this is where my first girlfriend lived" or even better "this is where I drank my first beer" - as if he was really able to process the words. If Evan was a few years older he probably would've been rolling his eyes. I know I was. (You know I love you, babe.)

Saturday morning we woke up to a white, winter wonderland. I don't know what was more exciting - the fact that Evan would be able to see snow or that I was able to see snow. We bundled up as much as we could in our pseudo winter clothing and danced around in the few inches of powder on the ground. Evan was shrieking as he ran across the back lawn. Twenty minutes into our play time he began to cry because his hands were so cold. We attempted bringing him inside, but he fought that pretty hard. He didn't quite understand that the weather was the reason for his discomfort. Otherwise he would have gladly gone inside to thaw out for a little bit. We made several trips out that morning before the snow disappeared. It really was an amazing treat.

And the last of Evans' "firsts" was the notorious experience of Chuck E. Cheese. We attended J.J's 2nd birthday party (Kathy's grandson) along with, what seemed like, a million other children. I was a little worried about how Evan would react to such a chaotic scene, but to my surprise, he was THRILLED. I lost five pounds trying to keep up with him. He ran all over that place screaming as he spotted all the life-size cars and trucks. I'm waiting for him to come down with some kind of sickness after kissing every single character he could get his little lips on. It was pure amusement. He stood at the stage up front and danced with the keyboard playing dog and the singing chicken and made sure to clap when they finished each set. He rode an animatronic horse that jumped hurdles and rode around with Handy Manny in his truck. Handy Manny was a victim of Evan's smooching obsession. All the excitement really worked up Evan's appetite because he polished off three pieces of pizza and a piece of cake before we had to forcibly make him leave. We had an excellent time there.

Our weekend was plentiful and we were grateful for the time spent. We had such a good time I was even able to stomach Carolina's loss to Kentucky. We look forward to going back really soon.

1 comment:

Sarah said...

The picture of him kissing the character made me laugh, the fact that he ate 3 slices of pizza and a piece of cake was a close 2nd on the comedy meter.