Our roadtrip to Atlanta began on Thursday, August 13, with an unexpected trip to the auto repair shop in Tomball. First, we rented a U-Haul trailer and loaded it up with the boxes Amy had left here and her mattress and box springs. Once everything was loaded and ready to go, we headed out of Houston on Hwy. 249, with Fletcher driving the '97 Suburban and me driving the Ford Taurus that we were taking to Amy. We didn't get very far when the red "check engine" light came on in the Suburban. That's when Fletcher called his friends at Michel Auto Cares in Tomball. They agreed to take a look at it, so we made a u-turn and headed back to Tomball. About an hour and a half later, and with all new spark plugs and a prayer, we began our journey once again. We were driving to Ruston to spend the night before leaving for Atlanta the next day.
When we arrived in Ruston, Mother had dinner waiting for us. We spent the night, and then we got up early to spend the day traveling to Atlanta, which is about a 10 hour trip from Ruston, LA. Mother and Daddy were going with us, and Tommy (our dog) was also going with us. Now, when you travel in August with a pet, you cannot leave him in the car or else he would die of a heat stroke in about 10 minutes, so we planned to have a picnic on the way for lunch. Our picnic happened at the Alabama state line rest stop as we were entering Alabama. And in keeping with tradition, the picnic included ants. Tommy had a great time on the picnic, which of course was all about him.
The drive to Atlanta was pleasant due to the nice weather. It was a beautiful summer day, the roads weren't too busy, the scenery through Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, and Georgia was peaceful and serene. We arrived in Atlanta around 6:00pm eastern time (crossed into the eastern time zone as we entered Georgia on I-20). We located our hotel in Sandy Springs, which was a Residence Inn (once again we had to find a "dog-friendly" place) unloaded the car, then set out to find a place for dinner. We ended up eating at Ruby Tuesdays which is just across the street from Lenox Square Mall, so after dinner with about an hour left to shop, we headed over to the mall. Oh, I forgot to tell you, Fletcher and I had left our "hanging clothes" in Houston, so we needed a couple of shirts to wear on the trip. At first I was pretty upset about this, but once I realize what a good excuse this would be for shopping, then it kind of worked out in a good way.
The Lenox Square Mall is a wonderful place to shop! It's very nice, more of a "high end" mall with some different stores than we usually go to here, so we made plans to return there tomorrow morning before Amy's plane arrived. After a quick shopping spree, we returned to our hotel which was very nice and spacious for 4 people and one small dog, then we went to bed.
The next day, August 15 was the day for Amy to return from her training in Jersey City, New Jersey to begin her new job in Atlanta, and move in to her new apartment! Fletcher went to pick her up at the airport, while mother and I finished our shopping at the Lenox Square Mall. Daddy stayed at the hotel with Tommy. Once Fletcher had picked up Amy at the airport, they went together to her new apartment where she signed her lease, got the keys, and took a quick look at the apartment before we started unloading the U-Haul. They picked us up at the mall, and then we picked up some lunch on the way back to the hotel. After lunch we all went over to the apartment and helped unload the U-Haul. We set up Amy's bed and helped put sheets and a blanket on it.
Once everything was unloaded we celebrated Amy's birthday together at her apartment. Then we went to Sam's Club where Amy bought her first flat screen TV. We brought it back to her apartment, and then we went out to dinner together at On the Border Mexican Restaurant. By the time we finished eating it was around 8pm, so we all went back over to the hotel visited there for a little while, then Amy went to her apartment to spend her first night in her new home, and we slept at the hotel.
The next morning, Amy came over to have the "American" breakfast with us at the Residence Inn in Sandy Springs and when we finished we packed up, gave Amy hugs and kisses and we headed back to Ruston and Amy went to her apartment. It was hard for us to leave her there, but we know this is what she has been working toward and she was ready to get started with her new life in Atlanta.
We still miss her, but we talk to her every once in a while, and everything seems to be going well for her. Maybe we can make another trip to Atlanta to see her again soon. On that Sunday, August 16, we drove back to Ruston, spent the night, then headed back to Houston the next day, August 17, with our youngest daughter now a grown-up adult living and working in Atlanta, GA.