Day One. We left SC, headed for MN with an overnighter in any hotel we could find. We found a reasonable one that allowed pups (we had Romeo with us) and stayed the night. It was definitely cheaper than it was "pretty" and I might even bet someone that there was poo smeared on the wall behind one of the end tables. Who knows, it could've been chocolate, right?
Day Two. Back on the road. Of course, the trip took longer than planned.. Romeo needing bathroom breaks, nasty traffic and detours. We did have some good laughs, as we nicknamed people in the cars in passing. We kept seeing this one bald woman driving next to us, who we could swear had a hospital gown on! She gave me the 'stink eye' as we passed her somewhere near Chicago - We kept calling her "The Asylum Escapee". My silly family greeted us, as we rolled in. We ate some 'Jack's' frozen pizza and watched LOST.
Day Three. Big Tiki Luau for my dad in my parent's backyard, for his 50th. It was a challenge keeping him occupied, but thanks to my brother and my sister Vanessa, his surprise was a success! We luau'd all night, watched my parents sing karaoke with their friends and ate some amazing food.
Day Four. A trip to the Mall of America for some shopping and lunch with my sister, Vanessa. Later, we headed to see my best friends/college roomies, Mulder (and her husband) and Jade (and her BF) for a BBQ. We girls pretty much laughed and talked the whole time, while our men watched us and the game on TV.. What a fabulous night!
Day Five. We woke up to a nightmare. Apparently my job screwed up with my paycheck, and not only did my paycheck not go into my account, but our Rent check came out 7 days early - despite post-dating the check. Can they even do that?! We were annihilated with overdraft charges. We tried calling our leasing office and bank, and of course no one would help. Aside from our financial mess, we were planning to go to the State Fair with Stacie & Dan all day. It was so great to catch up and spend the day with them, laughing and stuffing our faces with State Fair food! Later that night, we introduced them to our latest obsession: LOST. Romeo met their big golden retreiver, Cuba and they played and danced!
Day Six. My mom, my sisters and I got ready for a day out, dedicated to Vanessa's wedding dress shopping and lunch. We had such a fun time, as she tried different dresses on and we all made our comments. When she finally found The Dress, it was obvious, because we call cried. We went to Punch Pizza on Grande Ave. for lunch, and Lanae admitted that "spinach isn't so bad". I was able to see Stacie again, since we stopped by the cute bridal boutique she works at. Later that night, I was having a really difficult (and quite emotional) time regarding our whole nightmare with our bank and the fact that no one would help us sort the situation out. NOTHING is worse than a financial mix-up - that's not even our fault - when we are a million miles away from home and have no power to sort it out. Finally, I got it together and the whole fam headed to the Drive-In for movies and more laughing. To top off the night, we jumped in the hottub and laughed some more, despite our continued nightmare with our bank.
Day Seven. Back to the State Fair with my mom and Vanessa. We stopped by the cute diner Lanae worked at during the Fair, and she was able to meet up with us later in the afternoon. My Dad and brother met up in the evening for more face-stuffing of food, live music and rides. It was a great day.
Day Eight. Back on the road, headed for Wisconsin to see more family (Justin's). The 6-hour drive wasn't too bad. Once we arrived, we had to discreetly get Justin's parents over to a friend's home where a surprise 30th Wedding Anniversary party was waiting for them. It was so nice to see more family and old friends!! Still fighting the nightmare with our bank and leasing office.
Day Nine. Spent time with the fam, amazing lunch at Culver's and a needed stop at Swiss Colony to stock up on our Wisconsin cheese. Oh man, yum. Later on, Marta, my best friend from college, came to pick me up and we had some de-LISH pizza from a yummy place, downtown Galena. It was really great to catch up and spend time with her daughter, Georgia who I hadn't seen in almost a year! We laughed our faces off, took lots of pictures and hung out as late as we could, until it was time for me to head back.
Day Ten. Time to head back to SC. Not even a few hours on the road, and we get a flat tire. The best part? It was Memorial Day, AND a Sunday, so everywhere was closed. The place we did find, Farm N' Fleet (augh.) wanted to charge an arm and a leg for a tire. We had no choice. I had a nervous breakdown in a lawnchair display in the middle of the flourescent-lit, barn-ish building, with the sound of screaming children and ignorant parents blaring throughout the aisles. If I didn't have God in my life, I don't know what I might have done that day. By that time, anything else that would go wrong, was just typical, so it didn't even really phase us. At least now, we can look on those stressful (yet wonderful) days and Just Laugh.
The whole moral of this story, was to explain how Stacie and I became best friends all over again on top of our already best friendship! I just feel so blessed to have known her for 13 years. She married a great guy that I've actually known since 5th grade and it's been really incredible getting to know her all over again. We've always been best friends. Since I moved to SC, our keeping-in-touch skills were good (instead of great) and we would only talk on the phone maybe once every week or two. It's tough! Lives change and get super busy. Well, this past summer, our day at the Fair and our newfound, mutual obsession for LOST has seriously been a fun way to get us talking again. In fact, Stacie is responsible for me starting this very blog. Since our trip this summer, I think we have talked (or texted) atleast once a day. This makes me smile.
[With Stacie, on my Wedding Day - October 25, 2008]
So as for my package, Stacie sent back our LOST seasons 1 and 2 dvds we lent them, along with some other little goodies! She sent me a bottle of Twilight Woods body cream from Bath & Body Works which I seem to be putting more on every hour because I'm in LOVE with it. I also got the soundtrack from 500 Days of Summer and the new Skillet album we've been dying to hear. Thanks again, Stacie!!
[Another thing Stacie and I have shared a mutual love for is (you guess it!) Twilight and I'm waiting for her to get the third book so we can start reading it together..]
Augh, I miss Stacie and I miss all of my best friends from back home.. Mulder, Jade, Misty.. Even friends from High School that I rarely talk to, I miss. Especially, Marta in Illinois.. It sucks. Life here just isn't the same without them. I guess it makes our time even more excited when I DO get to see them when we visit home, but I'd rather see them everyday.
Some of my favorite verses Stacie shared with me, I will share with you. I was really encouraged and hope you are too..
Proverbs 2:6-8 -- "For the Lord gives wisdom and from His mouth came knowledge and understanding. He holds victory in store for the upright, He is a shield for those whose walk is blameless, for He guards the course of the just and protects the way of His faithful ones."
What I'm Listening To: