For the past week, I’ve had the pleasure of showing off parts of our beautiful country to a visitor from the land Down Under. I never tire of sharing my favorite places, roads, and foods with people who want to get a real feel for the US – away from the interstates and chain restaurants. This trip was particularly fun, because I was hosting a friend I met when I first went to Australia in August 2009.
If you’re a longtime p2P fan, you’ll know that I attended Showcase AU that year as a guest speaker, and I mostly went to meet a group of women I had met on Facebook. You may recognize some of them – Shelley Alexander, Kerrianne Hobbs, Janice Gilhooley, and Jenny MacKay – but the bonus was that I also met MANY more lovely Australians on the same trip. Justine Forrest was one of them, and one of her downline (and convention roommate) was Megan Marshall. When Megan contacted me earlier this year about her upcoming month-long trip to the States, it was a no-brainer for me – of course I would love to get her trip off to a good start!
Megan is a HUGE country music fan, so Nashville, Tennessee, was high on her list of places to see. It just happens that most of my extended family lives in Tennessee, and it’s where I went to school, and Nashville is only two hours from my home town. Being a music lover, I knew Megan would love Austin, TX, too – just down the road from me. I made a quick phone call to Pixie Mary Browder, and she readily agreed to pick Megan up in Dallas (DFW is the easiest place to fly to from Australia!) and bring her to Austin. I met them there and we three spent a day exploring ‘weird’ Austin. Bonus for me – we got to have dinner with my daughter and her husband! From there, Mary went home and Megan and I came back to Tiki for a day of R&R and a trip to NASA, then we set off for Nashville and the Grand Ole Opry.
Turns out Megan is also a history buff who knows way more about US history than most Americans – very impressive!! We got off the beaten path as soon as we could, and took the scenic route on a portion of the Natchez Trace. We toured Elvis’s birthplace in Tupelo, Mississippi, and then we stopped by the now-peaceful Shiloh National Battleground. After two days on the road, we rolled into the Loveless Cafe on the outskirts of Nashville for some biscuits and Southern cooking. The next day we visited one of my Galveston friends and met her new grandchildren (in Nashville) and then Megan was ready for her big night at the Opry. My niece-in-law Laura was able to get Megan a backstage pass for the Opry, so it could not get much better!! While Megan was in heaven, I got to have dinner with Laura and her husband (my nephew) Kevin. So fun to catch up!!
On Wednesday, we got up early and drove through a HUGE rainstorm to my hometown of Paducah, KY, where we toured the riverfront and the National Quilt Museum, then had lunch with some of my good friends. After a quick tour of my childhood haunts, we were on the road to Sikeston, Missouri, where I would leave Megan… She will be spending a few days there enjoying the Bootheel Rodeo, then she is off for more exploring. It was so much fun having her in the car with me – we had quite a teary goodbye! But off I went to Memphis, where I got to see my sister and my niece. Now I am back in Texas and almost home…
So why I am sharing all of this with you? Because I love the power of community among scrapbookers! I love having friends on continents all over the world, and I love that we are able to stay connected and even meet in person, and that we have a way to document our fun times together. Whether you travel or stay home, whether you are with your family or with friends or all on your own, you have a story to tell – and to share!
Thanks for sharing your stories, families, friends, travels, and lives with us and with other pixels2Pages fans!
Content by Cottage Arts: Bon Voyage Elements Pak, Painted Sea Page Pak, Off the Beaten Path 3 Paper Pak, Paint It Red Page Pak
Blueprint: Big Day Out by p2P