Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Birthday Road Trip

Really wish I could take credit for this image...but alas, it comes from here.

As I mentioned in the last post, the fiance gave me an amazing surprise for my birthday a couple weeks ago: tickets to watch my favorite baseball team, the Atlanta Braves, in action. Considering we live in Central Florida, we can't exactly just go to a Braves' game. So, we made a weekend trip out of it!

It started first thing Friday morning. The fiance had taken the day off of work, and had driven down to my place the night before. He woke up early (may I remind you - it was his day off) and drove me to work. Then he came back to the apartment, got the car ready for the trip, and then took a nap in preparation for the long drive. I, on the other hand, had a full day of teaching. Unfortunately, I got one of my lovely migraines around lunch time, and it decided it wanted to hang around for a couple hours. Thankfully, the fiance (have I mentioned that I love this guy?? cause I do!) brought me an ice pack when he came and picked me up. Needless to say, for the first 2 hours of driving, I was out of commission trying to nurse away my migraine. We saved money on this trip by staying with the fiance's brother who lives in Kennesaw, a little north of Atlanta.

Saturday morning we woke up and were treated to a tour of my future brother-in-law's work site. Let me just say that this was the most unique "office tour" I've ever gotten. He works at the Marietta plant of Lockheed Martin.

Before we could even go inside, we had to get security clearance to enter the property! I don't know why I was surprised by that... I mean the plant is connected to an US Air Force base. Then we drove around the property a little bit and got to see the air strips. Then we went into the HUGE warehouse. Sadly, due to confidentiality issues, we were not allowed to take pictures of anything once we were inside. However, we got to see 2 different military planes going through the production line. The first was the F-22 Raptor.

Let's just say the fiance had a really hard time keeping the drool inside his mouth. Funny story: we couldn't figure out which door we needed to enter into to get to the warehouse. So we saw these doors that said "IN" and "OUT" on the outside that didn't require a proxy-card entrance (like every other set of doors). Turns out those doors led to the F-22 production area which is highly off-limits. Oops!

The next aircraft we were able to see a little more up close was this behemoth:

The C-130 Hercules is a cargo plane utilized by the military to transport goods and troops. And let me tell you, this thing was insanely large! The wing span alone measures nearly 133 ft! That's insanity! Then we got to go upstairs and see the brother-in-law's cubicle (by the way, he's an engineer who works on the electrical components of the C-130).

After the tour, we went to lunch at the Marietta Diner. And let's just say that you can't take the men in my fiance's family anywhere...

In the words of the brother-in-law: "It's not the type of place you go to for the service; you go there simply for the food." Every time we have visited the diner, it seems as we get a waiter/waitress with something stuck up their you-know-what. But, as always, the food is amazing! And the portion sizes are gigantic!

See what I mean? They literally serve the food on serving platters. I forget exactly what the meal is called, but I got one of the appetizer samplers that included french fries, mozzarella sticks, chicken fingers, and buffalo wings. You might notice that there are some onion rings and some fried clam strips tucked underneath them, and the chicken strips are on a separate plate that's been cut off in the picture (upper right corner). Yeah, well... remember what I said about the service? They put in the wrong order and brought out the other appetizer sampler plate offered on their menu. But, they did apologize and corrected it pretty quickly. As we were checking out, I couldn't keep my eyes off of this:

They all looked sooo good! So we all made plans to go back later on after the baseball game and enjoy some dessert! After lunch we went back to the brother-in-laws and relaxed. There might have been a nap thrown in there as well. There might have also been a bit of cat-lovin' thrown into the mix as well.

Then it was off to Atlanta to watch some baseball action! The only thing standing in our way was the awful traffic.

But once we finally got into the park, we had a blast! The Braves were playing the Chicago Cubs in the second game out of their 3-day series. Needless to say, the park was a little crowded.Unfortunately the Braves lost 8-3, but I didn't care. It was still an awesome birthday gift! Here's our pics from the night:

Amazing view from our seats!

My all-time favorite player, #10 Chipper Jones :)

You can't go to a ball game without getting a hot dog!

As I mentioned before, the plan after the game was to go back to the diner and grab some dessert. And let me tell you, it was delicious!!

The future hubby got one of their new desserts: the Mouse Cake. Let's just say it had a TON of chocolate!

I've only recently fell in love with cheesecake. And let me just say that this one did not disappoint. I ordered the Butterfinger Cheesecake. There are seriously no words to describe how amazingly yummy this thing was!

The next day was Sunday, which meant it was time to hit the road again and head on home. On the way, we stopped by my cousin Jaime's house in Middle Georgia. He and his fiance (who are getting married just 8 days before we are!) just welcomed their second child into the world in early July. It was my first opportunity to get to see him. I just wish we could have spent more than an hour with them before having to continue on our way. I can't wait until Jacob's wedding (Jaime's little brother, and obviously another cousin of mine) in October so I can see that little munchkin again. Maybe then I'll have some pictures of the little cutie to share with you guys.

So, that was the wonderful birthday weekend. It was a nice getaway from the hussle and bussle of everyday life. I'm looking forward to our next road trip - I feel like the fiance and I get in a lot of quality time while being on the road.

Dan - Thank you again for the trip! It truly was the best birthday gift I've recieved in a really long time. You are so thoughtful and considerate to plan a trip revolving around the things I love. I only hope that I can one day plan an equally amazing surprise for you one of these days. I love you!

Any one else taking a road trip to soak up those last moments of summer? Anyone out there share my love for baseball? Maybe you could share the most thoughtful gift you've recieved?

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