So here we go. On March 14th, around 4am, my dad loaded up the car and drove my mom and me to the Memphis airport. We were packed, anxious, and ready to spend what we knew would be an amazing Spring Break in Punta Cana. My dad was not so excited about the trip, considering he was being left at home. (Sorry about that, dad) But I was very excited about this opportunity to spend a week with my mom just relaxing and making some unique memories together. After a rather long, tiring day of airport security, flight attendant safety speeches (which are less than comforting, by the way), and conversations with strangers, we arrived at our new home for the next week. I knew it was a good sign when we pulled up to our resort and were greeted with chilled hand towels and a bellhop who took our luggage and said, “Let me carry your bags for you. While you are here, you do no work. Only relax.” Things got even better when we got to our room and I saw that we were given fancy bathrobes and matching slippers. At this point, I really felt like I was in a movie. As you can tell, it doesn’t take much to get me excited. It’s the little things, people! We opted for a quiet, room-service dinner that night, and fell asleep without too much excitement after dinner.
Most of our days followed the same pattern as our first day. We would wake up and go to breakfast around 8 each morning (I know deep down my mom really appreciated me not letting her ever sleep the day away!), and then spend the day by the pool. The only difference from the first day, was we spent the rest of the week under these nice little huts! As my Dominican boyfriend told me, “You’re skin is too soft for our sun. The first day I saw you, you were so white. Too white for our sun.” Thanks for the confidence boost, Chelly!
I think you can tell by this picture on our last day how relaxed we were.
And after a week back at school, I came back home again. Considering I came home only once last Spring, being home 3 weekends in a row was a new thing for me. But when you get the chance to go see Brantley Gilbert in concert, you have to go! Even if you’ve already spent two weekends at home. As if Brantley Gilbert wasn’t enough, I found out my high school was having a tennis match on Saturday as well. I couldn’t have picked a better weekend to be home! Being the planner that I am, I had mentally scheduled in everything I wanted to do, and the first thing on my list was get donuts from Shipley’s. In high school, my dad and I would go get donuts every Friday before school, so I usually have a killer craving for them when I come home. So Saturday morning rolled around, and I was more than ready for some donuts. I guess my mom was taking advantage of not having me in the same room to wake her up early, because she opted to sleep in while we went to Shipley’s.
There’s just something about sitting in a donut shop talking about life that’s good for the soul. It’s so good for the soul, it counterbalances the fact that you’re consuming way more calories than you know you should. We sat and talked about school and life and reminisced on old memories until it was time to head for the tennis courts. As we were getting close to the parking lot, we realized it was probably a bad sign when we didn’t see any cars. After a little investigation, we discovered the match had been canceled because of the weather. Well, since that was the extent of my plans for the day, we now had time to spend and no where in mind to go. My dad mentioned that he needed some stuff from GNC, so we headed towards the mall. After walking around the mall for a little while, and then deciding it was a little too cold and windy to ride bikes, we decided to take care of some more errands.
My first errand of choice was Hobby Lobby. We walked around and read all the funny quotes on canvases and metal art that we could find, debated on buying us a bag of Robin Eggs easter candy (we made the mature decision to pass), bought a few things we had found, and then moved on to our next stop. From there, we went to PetSmart (anyone else mesmerized by the fact that it makes sense as PetSmart or PetsMart? How cool is that?!) and saw a rather well-fed basset hound and a very aged, also well-fed, dachshund. Both of which were equally adorable. We also went and looked at Elizabeth Claire’s and the Corner Shoe Store. What more can you ask for than a dad who pretends to enjoy shopping at girly stores with you? About this time we were starting to get ready for lunch. We threw around a few different ideas and then settled on eating at Romie’s Grocery.
After being seated, and finding out the meat of the day was fried shrimp, we realized we had picked the wrong place for lunch. For a few minutes my dad and I were both acting like this was exactly where we wanted to eat, since we genuinely thought it was what the other wanted. After catching on to the fact that my dad really didn’t want fried shrimp, I felt it was safe to say I really didn’t want it either, but I wasn’t going to be the one to tell them we were leaving after only drinking a glass of water. So we walked to the hostess stand and tried to politely tell them we were leaving. In case you aren’t aware, this creates a very awkward situation for both parties. But what is life without some awkward moments, right? So we both walked out laughing, which probably made us look pretty suspicious.
Our next pick was Cracker Barrel, because you can never go wrong with Cracker Barrel. But after talking about Diners, Drive-ins, and Dives on our way to Cracker Barrel, my dad decided he should take me to a new restaurant in town called Steele’s Dive. And I am SO glad he did! If you haven’t eaten at Steele’s Dive yet, you really need to check it out. The food was some of the best I have had in Tupelo. After finishing my meal, my dad mentions that everyone says they have the best desserts in town. Now, if you know me, you know that dessert is my favorite meal. But as he says this, I’m thinking, “I basically had dessert for breakfast this morning. Donuts and dessert in the same day is not the best idea.” So usually, I would pass, but our waitress told me several times that I REALLY needed to try the chocolate chip bread pudding. Well, I am not a big bread pudding fan, so I figured it couldn’t hurt to try. I probably wouldn’t like it, so I wouldn’t end up eating much of it. Win win. Boy was I wrong. This chocolate chip bread pudding was like chocolate cobbler on steroids. I would venture to say it probably made the list of some of the best dessert I have ever had. If you live in Tupelo, you need to go try it. Like right now. It is phenomenal. You can thank me later. I was suppose to be sharing with my dad, but I would say I ate more than half of it. But it is worth every calorie, I promise!
After lunch, I had a couple more hours before I had to start getting ready for the concert, so my dad asked if I minded just riding around for a little while. So we talked about different artists on the radio, I introduced him to some new songs, and we rode around looking at houses and landscape and talking about random things. My dad can tell you, I’m not the kind of person who usually enjoys endless hours of conversation. Usually I prefer to talk for a little while and then spend the rest of the time just listening. I like to talk when I have something to say, but idle chatter is not really my thing. But something about this day was different. I had spent all day talking, and when I heard him say it was about time to head back home so I could get ready, I was wishing we had a few more hours to ride around listening to music and talking. It’s one of those days that seems pretty insignificant, but one that you know you’ll remember. Nothing big or out of the ordinary really happened, but it still felt different. Something about it was special. And I would say it was one of the best days that me and my dad have shared together, just the two of us. That Saturday taught me something. It’s something I think I’ve always been aware of, but on that day, it hit me like a ton of bricks.
You don’t have to grab a passport, board a plane, and fly to a Caribbean resort to feel like you’ve spent a day in paradise. Sometimes riding back roads, listening to the radio, and getting lost in conversation is all you need to feel renewed and reenergized. And if you get the chance to eat donuts and bread pudding in the same day, by all means take advantage of it. It’s good for the soul, remember?