Saturday, April 25, 2009

We're home, safe and sound

So glad to be home, but had such a good time on the trip! We tried to make it home last night, but by the time we got to Nashville, my body was needing a break from car travel. We ended up staying in Nashville.

For fun, we went to the OpryLand Hotel and walked around, had dinner and a snack. That hotel is AMAZING!! Definitely a must-see for anyone visiting Nashville, even if you don't stay actually at the hotel. You can valet your car for only $3 more than self-park and enjoy. The place is just enormous. I was so impressed I was able to walk through all the areas without having problems. Here is a photo we took with my iPhone - it was late at night, so no light coming through the glass ceiling, but you get an idea - click on the photo to make it larger.

This was ONE area of the hotel - full of gorgeous, real plants, waterfalls. So romantic!! Here is some info I just found - the Opryland Hotel Indoor Garden and Conservatory (click on the link for more info):

Relax among the serene beauty of three nationally acclaimed indoor gardens: The Conservatory, The Cascades, and The Delta. The Conservatory covers two acres and is devoted solely to tropical plants. The Cascades also covers two acres and features waterfalls cascading into a 12,500 square-foot indoor lake. The Delta covers 4.5 acres and features restaurants, shops and a fountain that sends out jets of water 85 feet into the air. A breathtaking river runs through it with passenger-carrying boats. Admission: Free.

Just those 3 areas cover 8.5 acres!! I told you it was a huge place! Look at the floor plan!! (Click it to make it larger.)

We got up this morning and of course, had to eat at Maggiano's Little Italy near downtown Nashville again before leaving town. We had the waitress take a photo of us, again with my iPhone, so not the best quality.

I had the Gnocchi with Tomato Vodka sauce and Andy had the Lobster Fettucine, AGAIN. We find something we like and don't stray! lol We definitely plan on making more trips to Nashville - so much to do, and only 3-4 hours away (depending on how much we have to stop for me! lol)

It is official - I am a NEW woman with my spinal cord stimulator!! This trip was just amazing - over 20 total hours of car driving, going up a mountain, walking around 5 Costco's, some Sam's club (large stores), other miscellaneous stores, walking for blocks in downtown Nashville, dancing at the WildHorse Saloon, staying in different beds, not having my "chair" - where I normally rest and get myself back up to speed when I'm really hurting..........none of that mattered. We did stop frequently to "walk me" as the guys like to refer to it, and that does help my muscles not spasm, but it has been over 3 years since I've been able to do even a portion of the things we did on this trip and not die later. I didn't have one night where I was dying of pain, which was truly not only amazing and a blessing, but an answered prayer.

Prior to January 5th, 2009 and the implant of my SCS (spinal cord stimulator - to treat my permanent S1 nerve damage), I could go 20 - 45 minutes TOPS before I would need to recline, lay down, rest in some capacity (which has included laying down on floors of stores, back of the van, etc.) When my nerves were done, they were D O N E - stick a fork in them, DONE. The nerve flares would be unbearable. Not anymore. If I start to get twinges........I just whip out my remote control, put the paddle on my hip over the implanted pulse generator (IPG) and turn myself either up, down, to another program, etc. and wait for the lovely, comforting "buzzing" to block those pain signals. The best way to describe how it feels is this - if you have ever sat in a massage chair, perhaps at a salon or in a store, instead of sitting on one of those, I AM the massage chair. My legs, from hips to toes, are buzzing, massaging.........that is the sensation I feel. One of these days, I will get a proper post on here with details and photos!

OH, and shock of the night - Andy and I unpacked. Yes, you read that right - I helped unpack!!! I didn't have to hit the chair and try to recover. Anyhoo.........we get unpacked, rest for a bit and Ryan talks us in to going to a movie. Unfortunately, the movie we wanted to see was sold out, so we came back home. Andy decides to go out and mow the lawn, practically in the dark. He gets done, I go outside to help filter the grass out of the pool water and in the water he goes. He stands there with just his feet wet for a few minutes, and trust me, it's COLD. I had already put ONE foot in the water and that was ENOUGH. Minutes later, he dives in. Andy went swimming at 9PM in the cold pool water!!!!! Unbelievable. He just couldn't take it any longer, I guess. lol He felt so refreshed, and I'm sure he'll be swimming tomorrow in the sunlight and warmer water. Crazy guy!!

Ahhhhhhhh, glad to be home and see the boys (and "girls"/dogs), and for Andy - his pool. And I have to give props to the boys - the house was clean, laundry done, kitchen sink empty - amazing!! The "girls" were crazy excited to see us. The boys? Well, Ryan was! lol Holt didn't even come down stairs forever. They are just all grown up and don't need us anymore........sniff sniff.

Have a great day!

Cheri Share/Bookmark

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