This past weekend, my fiance and I hosted her parents who were visiting from Maryland for the first time since she moved down to Chattanooga one year ago. It was an exciting time, especially for her. I get along well with her parents, and they seem to like me too, so it was good to see them also.
They flew into Atlanta and drove up from there. They stayed at the Mayor’s Mansion Inn Bed & Breakfast near the UTC campus. It was quite plush. I was pretty impressed with the place. Nice B&B. As Gretchen worked all day Friday, and I was busy too, and as her parents had had a long travel day, we decided just to have dinner out Friday night. We went to the Terminal Brewhouse, where we had sandwiches and microbrews. I had a nice dark oatmeal stout. It was quite good. Afterwards, we walked next door to the Chattanooga Choo Choo and wandered around before returning to the B&B for an early bedtime.
Saturday morning, we brought them to our house so they can see where we live. They seemed to like our house and our neighborhood pretty well. They also got along with their new “grandcats,” Henry and Toby. We ate lunch at our house and then we headed out. Our first stop was the Georgia Winery. They give you eight free tastings, so Gretchen and I loaded up. Unfortunately, her parents didn’t seem too impressed. They use a muscadine grape to make their wines and it’s quite sweet, so it really wasn’t to their liking. Pity. Thus, we didn’t stay too long. We bought a bottle of wine and took off. Our next stop was Chattanooga’s famous Rock City, where you can see seven states at one time from the top of Lookout Mountain. We all had a good time there and the sights were good. We even got to see a birds of prey show complete with falcons, hawks, and an eagle. After that, it was late in the afternoon, so we took them back to their B&B and headed home to change. Why? My parents were on their way over because Saturday night, it was time for both sets of parents to meet for the first time. Xanax time. Seriously, I was pretty nervous. My parents are very religious and don’t drink, while Gretchen’s parents are not at all religious and do enjoy a beverage with their meals. I was nervous. We decided to go to a new place we’d never been before — Niko’s Southside Grille — a Greek place with a Southern flair. It was pretty nice. I had Greek fish and chips. It was so so. The cod was too dry. The Greek yogurt-based sauce was fairly decent though. Everyone got along well and both sets of parents complemented Gretchen and me as a couple, which was nice. After it was all over, we parted ways, and Gretchen and I went home and had a glass of wine.
Sunday morning, Gretchen’s parents came over to our place and we left shortly after to go visit Chester Frost Park to show them the beach Gretchen enjoys so much. We didn’t stay there too long, and soon after, we made it to Panera Bread for a light lunch. Man, was that place packed! I had a turkey and swiss sandwich. The others didn’t eat too much. After we left Panera, we stopped by Gretchen’s office to show them where she worked, and we then headed over to McKay Books, a huge used bookstore (along with CDs, DVDs, games, and more). We shopped for awhile, but I was the one who bought the most. I got eight books for $17, including two Philip K. Dick novels. It was a massive bargain! When we were done there, we parted ways to take a nap because none of us had slept well. Later that night, Gretchen and I picked her parents up and we went to The Blue Plate for dinner. Gretchen and I love that place because it’s so eclectic, and it doesn’t hurt that it’s on the Tennessee River downtown. Nice area. I had a margarita with Patron with dinner, while her parents had microbrews. When we were done, we went back to the B&B and sat on the veranda, talking. It was quite relaxing and we had a good time. That is, until the mosquitoes started swarming. We then said hasty goodbyes and we went home, thankful for a good weekend. Yesterday morning, her parents drove back down to Atlanta and flew back to Baltimore. A good time was had by all. We probably won’t see them again until the wedding, which we’re hoping will be next April. It was nice for them to see Gretchen in her new life, her new environment, what she does and where she does it. Now we’re all on the same page when we’re talking. It’s a good thing.