Thursday, July 5, 2012

a spontaneous Fourth

I mentioned yesterday that we had no plans for the Fourth. We planned to just play it by ear, which in Matt-and-Erika-world generally means "hang around your own house, maybe go hang out with in-town family or trusty friends, and generally do nothing exciting enough to merit blogging about or remembering in the future." You see, a love of spontaneity is not something I we possess. I'm a planner. A detail-figure-outer. And doing things spontaneously does not allow for much planning or figuring out of details.

But lo and behold, when we awoke yesterday morning...something came over us.

It started out innocently enough, with a delicious breakfast of French toast, bacon, and cantaloupe:
We were discussing where to get our swimming fix, since that is obviously a crucial part of surviving July celebrating our country's independence. Our default is to hit up the pool at Matt's parents' house, which we do several times a week. But July 4 seemed to call for something a little more special, it seemed. 

I wish we could swim in a river, I lamented. And within 20 minutes-- I kid you not!!-- we had brainstormed, researched, and started packing for a super-fun day trip to nearby (1.5 hours away) Helen, Georgia-- a kitschy little faux-German tourist trap situated right on the Chattahoochee River...a city brimming with tube-rental places, which was our plan. RIVER TUBING!! What a perfect way to celebrate the 4th!! 

We threw on our bathing suits, grabbed some cash, and left town. JUST LIKE THAT. No packing lists. No idea where we would eat. No reservation for parking. WE JUST LEFT, trusting that the GPS on my phone would get us where we needed to go and that we could figure the rest out later. That, my friends is spontaneous. Me!! Spontaneous!! A Fourth of July miracle, to be sure.

Hello, teeny tiny anthill-sized Georgia mountains!! How lovely you are!

We didn't get any pictures of us actually tubing...hello, phone + water = no bueno. Just imagine the entire population of Georgia (100 zillion, appx.), each person on their own neon float, sharing one tiny, low-water-level river. Seriously. I can't imagine that there were any people left ANYWHERE ELSE IN THE STATE. Apparently our idea ("let's go tubing in Helen on the 4th of July!!!") wasn't a unique one. Eh, whatever. It was still fun.

Afterwards we satiated our ravenous appetites (sitting on a river does that to ya) with a visit to a hot dog restaurant. I went for the Chicago-style 'dog (ahem, with Cool Ranch Doritos and rootbeer. YUMMY!!!). I've never been to Chicago, but based on how much I enjoy their hotdogs, I think I'd really like the place.

We walked around Helen for just a few minutes (my foot is still a little painful, so I have to keep walking to a minimum)...but it was hot enough that we quickly decided we deserved some ice cream from (yet another) faux-German ice cream "shoppe."


 We also discovered a crafty little flag-painted-pallet while walking around. And took the opportunity to get yet some more pictures of ourselves. :)

We eventually made it back home and spent some time planting flowers before we fired up the grill (4th of July requirement) for dinner: bacon-wrapped steak, grilled corn with chili, garlic, and lime butter, and smashed tri-color potatoes.

All in all, the day was a spontaneous and delightful one. Sorry for the obnoxious play-by-play, but I felt the need to document it thoroughly so that in the future, when I have a panic attack at the idea of doing something not-really-planned...maybe I'll remember that spontaneity can be fun and worth giving a whirl.

Note: NOT fun and delightful? My neighbors' decision to drive to South Carolina to get the "good" fireworks (the kind that are illegal in Georgia) to shoot off all. night. long. I appreciated the heads-up at 7 that they planned to have a little 'show' at 9:30, I alternated between being annoyed and being concerned that my house is going to blow up. Or that Lola is going to go insane.

Hope you had a great holiday and can survive the remainder of the work-week. Today was supposed to be my specialists' appointment, but...alas, I find myself at work. Not bitter at all. But after 5, I'll be free for the weekend, so I'll just focus on that...and the fact that there are a limited number of workdays left until vacation!!!!!!!! Weeeeeeeee!!!!


  1. Just so you know, there are some GREAT rivers where you can go tubing in Texas- just something to consider next time you're itching for a (slightly longer) road trip :)

  2. Looks like fun! I'm not spontaneous either. Brandon can drop everything on a moments notice to do something totally fun and random but I get stressed. boooo. Need to work on this cause your day looked like a blast.

  3. I am proud of your spontaneity! I'm sure you had more fun than you would have at my lame ol' party anyway ;)

  4. That looks like an awesome day!

    And yeah, we're not a big fan of fireworks over here either.

  5. Wow! I admire your ability to be so spontaneous (I am terrible at that!)! The spontaneity looks like it was a huge success...Do you see more days like this in your future?

  6. So fun! We went tubing last weekend and now I want to go everyday. Spontaneity leads to lots of fun adventures; can't wait to hear about all the fun you have on your upcoming excursion! And now I'm craving bacon wrapped steak. Yum!

  7. I used to LOVE to go rafting in Helen! I think that's a great way to spend the 4th! And I am also in love with that pallet. It would be super fun outside on a patio if you had a blank wall.


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