Apparently, three days and three nights is the maximum amount of time I am able to spend with my family in Tennessee without getting into any arguments. Which means I am now back home and able to reflect on the nice things I did while up in Tennessee:

[357/365] I only turned around where the trail was flooded..There were a family of geese.
The creek was high..I saw an abandoned putt-putt course.
Funny signage from the Greenbelt in my hometown, where I ran this morning.I went for a wonderful run on the Kingsport Greenbelt, a paved trail in my hometown that connects different parks and neighborhoods, and is long and flat and pretty. It’s one of the few flat places to run there, actually, as my town is in a very hilly/mountainous part of Tennessee. It had been so rainy that the creek was really high and parts of the trail were flooded out, but I managed to see some lovely sights, meet a family of geese, discover an abandoned putt-putt course, and enjoy the signage that reminded me distinctly of something you’d see in the parks of Pawnee, Indiana. (Seriously, if you’re not watching Parks and Rec, get on that now.)

Dinner!I also left on a good note after Christmas dinner, which my brother and I cooked and which came out wonderfully if I do say so myself. I forgot until after eating that marshmallows are not vegetarian (they contain gelatin) and I should have skipped them, but I guess I am not perfect. The gift exchange went well and I think everybody was happy with what I chose for them.

Driving off into the Sunset (Sunday)I had been planning to stay over until Monday morning and then drive home in the daylight, but I decided to leave after dinner on Sunday. I still made it back home by 10:30 pm even though I left right as the sun was sinking low. A road trip in the dark is not my favorite, but I tried to enjoy the quiet roads and the prospect of my own couch and bed awaiting me.

Scenes from my Drive. Blurg.It was much better than the trip up there a few days before, which had involved over three hours of driving through a blinding, furious, torrential downpour that actually followed me northeast on interstates 40 and 81. How rude.

Egon and I were both pretty exhausted after the stresses of travel, and we slept in until almost 11:00 yesterday morning. It was glorious, as I’m sure I don’t need to tell you. Today has felt pretty self-indulgent, too: I started out with Body Pump class at the gym and then a quick run. Nothing better than doing something good for yourself first thing in the morning, whether that’s much needed sleep or a workout: each one has its own time. Body Pump, if you don’t know, is a group strength training class where you do a routine of weight-lifting moves set to music. Normally I love this because the music, instructor, and other people in class are all very motivating. I don’t need much motivation to do cardio as I just plain love running and biking — but when it comes to weights, I need all the help I can get, so this is a great option for me. But can I just mention that it drives me absolutely insane when the instructor and/or the other class members can’t keep time with the beat correctly? As a former marching band nerd, I take offense at any human’s inability to work within a 4/4 time signature. BUT ANYWAY.

Continuing my self-indulgent day, I watched some Vampire Diaries (I’m just getting started with season three), read a bit, and then went TV shopping. I’m buying a flat screen HDTV after getting to use W’s for a long time and seeing how much better it is than my old, crappy, 19″ tube. It is seriously nice, y’all. He’s been generous enough to leave his TV over at my place since Egon came home from the hospital and had to be crated 24/7 — we just stayed here all the time and it was better to have the nicer TV for a lot of reasons. The ability to play BluRays and stream Netflix, Hulu, and Amazon is, in a word, awesome. But I need to give it back to him soon, so I’ve been shopping around for my own smaller version. Thanks to a couple of gift cards and some money I received, I was able to get a 37″ model (which I got a great deal on because I ordered it online). It feels quite silly and materialistic indeed to be getting myself something so, well, excessive, but I think the enjoyment will be entirely worth it. It should arrive the week of January 2. Hooray!

So how was your Holiday weekend? Do you have any incredibly indulgent gifts about which to boast? Shocking tales of family conflict? Please do tell!

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