Tuesday, January 14, 2014

holiday travels

Ryan and I travelled over the last several weeks to some pretty special places. The week before Christmas we headed to Decatur, Alabama, home of the best holiday decorations and my favorite grandparents! Both of my parents grew up there, so it's great to be able to see all my grandparents when we visit. While visiting my grandparents, we made two day trips... one to Nashville, TN and one to Auburn, AL.

Nashville, or Nash-vegas, is the center of country music excitement and home of the Nashville Predators hockey team. Dating a Chicago sports fan has automatically made me more interested in Chicago teams winning. When we been dating for only a short time, Ryan's sisters fitted me out in Cubs, Blackhawks and Bears shirts. Furthermore, actually becoming a Chicago Blackhawks fan was easy for me, seeing as last year they won the Stanley Cup. Needless to say, the Blackhawks were in Nashville on Dec. 17, so we made the trip. We LOVED driving and walking around the city on a not-so-busy Tuesday afternoon. Predator fans have some annoying chants, but the Blackhawks shut them up with a W! Go Hawks!

Our second trip was a surprise visit to Auburn University. On Friday, Dec. 20, Ryan got me in the car  with Starbucks and Jimmy Johns) to go on an adventure. He wouldn't answer any of my questions or let me help navigate. There are no signs as you drive to Auburn, so I didn't even know we were going there until we were 5 miles away. Little did I know, Ryan had spent the last 10 days planning out the details of a memorable flight over Auburn University to ask me to marry him! I could not believe it, we were engaged!! Ryan planned everything to a tee. Afterwards, we walked around Auburn, got lemonade at Toomer's Corner, called our relatives & friends and he told me all the planning he had been doing! I loved every minute of it.

I still cannot stop staring at the ring! 

My parents and sister joined us in Decatur, AL for Christmas, which continued the family tradition. Although I don't know how our plans will pan out for the holidays in the years to come, for me, I will always yearn for Christmas to be just as special as it has always been in Alabama.
Wrigley waiting for Santa under my grandparents' angel tree
Our travels didn't stop there.... a few days after Christmas, we met my brother and his family in Arlington, VA. We haven't spent the holiday season with them in a long time (since they've been overseas), so it was great to share time with them.
Amanda, me, Ryan, Diana Grace, Mom, Jenny, Rebecca Leigh, Justin and Dad