Wow. What an amazing woman she is. Warm, genuine, loving, sweet, generous all rolled into one. There aren't enough adjectives to describe her. What a time we had.
Part 1: The trip to Pennsylvania
I’ll start with my trip down on Friday morning, May 20th. I left about 5:30 am because I couldn’t sleep. Hooked up the GPS and headed out. Jill is the voice on my GPS and she told me where to go throughout the trip. I also told her off a few times and told her where she could go! When I didn’t go in the direction she wanted me to, she didn’t get pissed or anything. She just kept recalculating.
My first stop was at the US/Canada border. The US Border guard was a lady. I passed her my passport and here is how the conversation went:
Guard: Where are you going?
Me: To visit a friend. (notice I hadn't mentioned the sex of the friend)
Guard: And how do you know this person?
OK stop right there. I was in a bit of a panic. I couldn’t think. All sorts of thoughts were running through my mind.
- Well she’s a BOOB—nope, not gonna say that.
- Well I met her on the Internet—nope, not gonna say that (I hadn’t mentioned a “she”)
- Well she’s a Bandster—nope, not gonna say that.
So after a big pregnant pause, I said: I met her at a conference.
Guard: And when was the last time you were in the United States. God, these questions are tough. I was sure I would be thrown in jail!
Me (after thinking really hard): Oh yeah, last September when I was at a conference and met my friend!
That got me through the border and I was on my way. Turned up the music and sang my way through New York and then into Pennsylvania.
Part 2: The arrival at Barbara’s House around 3:00 pm
As I rang the doorbell, I began to think maybe she wouldn’t like me and we would have nothing to talk about. As the door opened, we stared at each other. Two little Yorkies—Sophie and Chloé—danced around barking frantically at this intruder. Then we hugged each other so tight it felt like we had known each other for our entire life.
…and didn’t stop talking until I left on Monday morning.
I think there might have been a tear or two but it was like BOOBs 2010 with 48 fewer people around.
Suffice to say, I consider Barbara to be one of my bestest friends. On Friday night, we did go out for dinner with Barbara’s daughter and son-in-law. Such a cute couple. And the crab cakes were excellent.
Part 3: Saturday dinner out at R2L in downtown Philly
We made a vlog (my first) so go see it if you like. It is a bit dark, partly because we forgot to turn on the lights. But at least it doesn’t show how bagged we were. The vlog tells most of what we did on Saturday so I won’t repeat. And yes we shared a few bottles of wine over the 3 days. We had a driver take us to the restaurant and Cindy and her hubby joined us too:
Here is a picture of that pig on a plate that Barbara ordered that was the special of the chef. You would think she didn’t have a band! But I think she only was able to eat 3 bites of that big hunk of pork:
Cindy and Ed
OMG, aren't they cute!
Cindy, I'll e-mail you the pics.
Part 4: Sunday Shopping at the Premium Outlet Stores
First thing Sunday morning, Maria dropped in to visit.
Then it was off to shop all day Sunday. I was able to get a couple of pairs of shorts, a skirt and a Coach purse at the Outlet Stores. Barbara did ok too. By that night we were both exhausted but happily so.
Part 5: Farewell
After lots of hugs and goodbyes I had to leave and spent Monday driving back to Ottawa, stopping to shop on the way. Today at work was agony. I wanted to crawl under my desk and sleep this afternoon. Funny how the body doesn’t bounce back from partying like when we were younger. But it was worth it. So much fun and laughter.
I imagine Chicago 2011 will be just like that.