Sunday, June 30, 2019

Settling in (Nashville Part 4)

Over the next few days we started to really settle in at the apartment... 

Friday, June 7th

After our long day out of the CMA Fest, Elissa, Rick and I slept in.  It was raining and none of us were too keen on getting up really early.  Instead of testing out Elissa's bus route at 6:00 am, Rick and Elissa opted for the 10:00 bus instead.  She wanted to do it once while we were there so she knew what she needed to do.  Rick then drove behind her in the rental car so he could pick her up once she reached the zoo.  After testing the bus route, they ended up going to run a few errands while they were out.  

While Rick and Elissa were gone, I relaxed at the apartment.  I opened the shades and watched a squirrel running around in the back yard after the rain stopped.  I could hear the birds chirping.  Elissa's apartment is right on the end of the building and next to the woods so it's very quiet and peaceful.  I enjoyed nature for a bit before getting up to take a shower and get dressed in my comfy hang out clothes.

When they came back, we decided to hang out at the apartment for the rest of the afternoon.  Elissa poked around putting things away and organizing.  Rick worked on a few things on his computer.  I got my new laptop out so I could get caught up on a few Happily Ever Hatter messages and other business stuff.

Later on, we all got dressed and ready for dinner.  One of Eliot's and my good friends, BJ, has a friend named Sara that lives outside of Nashville.  Ironically, she's only a few miles from where Elissa is living for the summer.  He got Elissa in touch with his friend Sara and the girls made plans to have dinner while we were there.

Elissa, Rick and I met Sara and her Dad at a little Italian restaurant called Villalba near the Taco Bell we'd gone to the other day.  The food was amazing.  I had a delicious ravioli.  We had a great time with them.  We all talked and laughed as if we'd known each other for ages.  Before we knew it, about two hours had passed before we finally said our goodbyes and left the restaurant.

The three of us drove back to the apartment where we went back into chill mode.  We watched a little television.  I did a few more business things on my computer and Elissa worked on her Galapagos journal before we all went to bed for the night.

Saturday, June 8th

Saturday was Rick's last day in Nashville.  His flight left mid-afternoon so we decided to get up early to tackle the last things we needed to before he left.  First, we went to the zoo to add Elissa to the membership card.  Then, we went for one last shopping trip to both the Dollar Tree and Walmart to pick up the last things we had added to our apartment list.  While at Walmart, I discovered the Nashville merchandise and left with a few stickers and new spirit jerseys for myself and Eliot.

After that, we headed to the Nashville airport.  We parked in the parking garage and headed inside.  Rick had to add me to the Hertz rental car agreement since he got the car before Eliot and I arrived in Nashville.  I signed the rental paperwork for our brand new GMC Acadia, then he handed the keys to the car off to me.

Elissa and I said goodbye and he made his way up the escalator to check in for this flight back to California.  It was hard to part ways with him there.  I knew Elissa was a little anxious, and honestly, I was a bit too.  I'd been riding in the front seat so I had a pretty good idea of the area, but it was still going to be an adventure.  We plugged her address back into the GPS just in case, and we made our way back home. 

Once we got there, we decided to stay there the rest of the day.  I got something to eat and we settled in.  Elissa opened up the window shades to her first floor patio and before we knew it, we had a visitor.  A black cat was walking across her patio.  She opened the door and pet him through the screen- afraid he might come inside if we moved it.  A few minutes later, we met Elissa's next door neighbor, the owner of the cat.  We talked with him for a minute or two before he and the kitty returned home.

We eventually decided that we needed to do laundry again and it made sense to do it while we were at the apartment complex anyways.  Elissa and I changed into our bathing suits, gathered up our laundry and drove down to the front office area.  We put our clothes, towels and bedding into two washers and headed to the pool.

We went to the pool next to her fitness center and when we got there it was empty.  We eventually ended up sharing it with three teenage girls, but it was pretty quiet down there otherwise.  I was surprised no one was in the pool or fitness center considering that it was a Saturday.  The apartment complex had a gorgeous fitness facility and I was really impressed with the pool area.  It had a nice grill, a seating area and plenty of space to entertain.  There was also a little rock fountain feature.

Elissa and I swam the entire time our clothes were washing.  The water was a bit cold, but once you got in it wasn't bad.  We finally checked the time and got out when it was time to switch our clothes over to the drier.  Then, we headed back to her apartment to take turns showering before going back to pick our laundry up.

That night, we did a bit of organizing.  We put our clothes away.  She put the 2015 live action Cinderella on her computer for us to watch.  While we had that on, she started to put up a few of the small decor items she had bought at the Dollar Tree.  She also hung up a few posters and pictures she had.  I hadn't seen the movie in a while so I mostly watched that.  When the movie was over, we did a few more things around the apartment before heading to bed to get ready for the next day.

Sunday, June 9th

Sunday was Eliot's 31st Birthday.  I felt a little bit guilty that I was still in Nashville and he was home all alone but he assured me that he'd have a good day.  (Truthfully, I think he was excited to have a little quiet time of his own.)  Of course, since it was Eliot's birthday that meant it was also Donald Duck's birthday.

This year was Donald's 85th anniversary and the Disney Store was celebrating by releasing an entire Donald Duck collection of merchandise.  In addition to that, they were giving out a key to the first 100 customers to make a purchase at each of their locations.  Earlier in the trip, I'd gone onto Google Maps and looked at where the Nashville Disney Store was.  Ironically, that's how I found out where the Grand Ole Opry was; the store was in the Opry Mills Mall.  When we'd gone to the mall a few days earlier on the 4th, Eliot had walked over to the Disney Store before heading to the airport so we knew it wasn't far from the Food Court.

Photo Source
Elissa and I got up early so we could go to the Disney Store to get the keys.  My brother Jeremy was also going to his local store and he said it was busy there.  Elissa and I got to the mall about 45 minutes before it opened.  She went to get us Starbucks while I stood in the unofficial line.  Thankfully, while in line, I got a text from Jeremy that he was able to get the Donald spirit jersey after someone else put one in his size back on the rack.  It was the only thing Eliot really wanted from the collection.  Elissa and I headed inside once the store opened.  It was a mad rush for the check out register, but we did both make our purchases in time to get our free Donald keys.

After, we decided to walk around the mall for a bit since we were already there.  I went into Hot Topic and ended up purchasing the Toy Story Woody vest that I'd seen online and had been admiring.  (They actually had my size so I was even able to try it on!)  I also left with 4 new Disney Princess necklaces since it was buy two, get two free!

Next, Elissa wanted to go to Rue 21, so we went there for a bit.  She tried on a bunch of clothes and got a few new pairs of shorts and some shirts.  We then wandered around for a bit longer before calling it a day.  I was pretty hungry though, so we went to Panda Express in the Food Court before heading home with our purchases.

The rest of the day, we hung out at her apartment.  We had talked about going back down to the pool.  Unfortunately, there were a bunch of thunderstorms coming through the area so it rained on and off.  Instead, I opted to take a nap since I was dead tired at this point in the trip.  I fell asleep to the sound of the rain.

An hour or so later, I got up just in time to watch Game 6 of the Stanley Cup Finals with the Bruins and Blues.  I half paid attention to the game while Elissa sat at her dining room table working on her Galapagos journal.  After the game, we watched the fireflies blinking on and off in the back yard outside of her sliding door.

Before bed, Elissa laid out her clothes for her first day of her internship.  She got her sunscreen, bug spray, lunch bag and backpack ready.  We set our alarms for 5:45 so she could be ready to leave on the 6:24 bus.  Then, we said goodnight.

I called Eliot to wish him a Happy Birthday one last time.  While on the phone, I placed the JCPenney order for our San Jose Sharks gear.  They were running a sale on their sports stuff for Father's Day so we wanted to take advantage of that to get a few new things to prepare for next season.  I also bought us a few Boston Red Sox Mickey shirts since we've talked about going to a game down in Boston this summer.  Then, we said goodnight to each other and I went to bed.  °o°

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