The last time I went on vacation, I...gave my daughter the best day of her life without even planning it.
On our big girls' trip to Atlanta, we spent Monday morning at the Atlanta Historical Museum. Oh, yeah. We Coop girls know how to par-tay!
I won't go into the details about why we went there. It's not important. What is important is that we decided to go on the two home tours that came with the admission to the museum. We first went to the old farmhouse tour, which was the usual old farmhouse tour. We then went to the grand mansion, where we expected to go on the usual grand mansion tour.
How wrong we were.
The group going on the tour was a diverse group. Buttercup and I were the only folks there under the age of 60, and of the 20 people, only four others were even from the U.S. The tour guide told us that we weren't going to get to see the rooms as they normally were, as the furniture was removed for the shooting of a movie. Everyone was real nonchalant about the movie reference, until he asked if anyone had any questions. Someone asked which movie it was, and that's when the tour got real interesting real quick.
In an off-handed way, the guide said, "The Hunger Games".
I must tell you that Buttercup is a HUGE fan of both the books and the movie. She has read the books at least 5 times and, thanks to her friend, has seen the movie at least 4 times. She has photos of the main characters in her school locker. She knows that the new movie is to hit theaters on November 22, 2013. She is on the verge of becoming obsessed.
When that guide so carelessly threw out the name of the movie, Buttercup choked. Then perked up and squeaked, "Did you just say that the next Hunger Games movie was shot right here two weeks ago?"
"Yes. They shot some dancing scenes I think."
"Jennifer Lawrence was in this house two weeks ago?"
"And Josh Hutcherson. He was here, too?"
"Who is Josh?"
That's when Buttercup came within a breath of passing out.
She just learned the biggest news of her short life, and not one person on that porch with us had any idea how big this news was. She was surrounded by middle-aged Europeans who had never even heard of the books, let alone the movie. No one was there to share in this momentous occasion except me. While I know from where she comes (I about lost my gourd on our summer vacation when we stumbled upon the actual green curtains from "Gone With the Wind") I'm not exactly the fan of "The Hunger Games" that she is. Poor girl.
The rest of the tour was just a whole lot of blah, blah, blah as far as Buttercup was concerned. She kept whispering to me, "I am walking on the same floor that Jennifer Lawrence walked," or, "Josh Hutcherson danced right where I am standing."
And Buttercup came face to face with her own morality.
Before we learned the big news of the movie shoot, the guide had told us that no photos were to be taken inside the house. We could take all the photos we wanted outside, but none inside. While we toured, I could see it in her eyes. I'd give her a look, and she'd say, "Do you know how easy it would be to just push this button and "accidentally" take a photo right now?" It was killing her. How was she supposed to show photos of the set to people back home without photos? I was very proud of her for resisting temptation and following directions while we were in the house.
I was so proud, in fact, that I helped her get around the rules when we went outside.
They said we could take all the photos we wanted outside, so we took photos through the windows. Unfortunately, the sun was shining right on the side of the house that we needed, so we had to get right up close to create some shade in order to even get something besides our own reflections. But it worked. If you are a fan, sit down. I'm about to show you the set of the party scene in President Snow's residence.
Blows your mind, doesn't it?
As soon as we got those photos out of the way, Buttercup had to immediately phone a friend. The news was just too big to keep to herself for a whole day until we got back to Indy.
When we look back at this trip, Buttercup will remember that she got to go up the biggest freestanding escalator in the world to get to the CNN studios.
She may remember that while in Atlanta, she did as the Atlantians do, and drank as much Coca-Cola as she wanted, being that we were in the city where Coke was created.
She'll remember but may not be impressed with the fact that we went to the top of the world's second largest solid mountain of granite
and had fun taking silly pictures while up there.
She probably won't remember that she learned how to make little bubbles inside of humongous bubbles.
She will remember that we went on some seriously fun roller coasters at Six Flags.
But those memories won't come close to the excitement of stumbling upon one of the sets of her favorite movie of all time.
It was a seriously big deal, y'all.
I so enjoy taking our kids on their individual trips. For a few days, Buttercup got to choose what she wanted to do without having to take her brothers' interests into account. Her personality got to shine without being tempered by her brothers' overwhelming presence.
Throughout the trip, Buttercup kept saying how much Turken would enjoy this, or Phoenix would enjoy that. The boys were never far from our minds, but thankfully they were far from our location.
We got to have some really serious girl fun without them.
Have a lovely day!