Well, barely survived... I'm still recovering. This weekend was a complete blast! We got to Detroit in the wee hours of the morning and checked into the hotel. Those 3 hours in the car flew by with all the girl talk keeping us entertained. The next morning (well actually just a few hours later but we were trying to delude ourselves into thinking we had gotten some sleep) it was rise and shine to meet Catherine who had arrived the night before. She was all smiles as she greeted these complete strangers with hugs all around! She has a very warm and friendly personality. And what a hoot! Who knew those Canadians had such a sense of humor?! Us "southerners" fell in love with her accent. She's very soft spoken and that accent made her sound so regal and sophisticated. Like she should be taking tea in the garden and gingerly sipping it with her pinky finger high in the air like a proper lady. We teased her relentlessly all weekend but she was a great sport!
Each morning before we'd head out, we had to check the blogs. I mean it was referral time people! We didn't want to miss anything. Stacy was a sweetie too! She tried to convince us that she was shy but we weren't buying it. We do have to give her some props though. Connie and I don't live far from each other and have hung out on several occasions but Stacy had never met either one of us. She completely stepped out of her comfort zone, took a huge leap of faith, and hopped in the car with 2 perfect strangers who then drove her across the state line. Didn't we learn in kindergarten that this was a bad thing? We discussed later on in the weekend her slight apprehension about what would've happened if she didn't like us. She would've been trapped in Detroit without a way to get home! This had never even occured to Connie and I... because quite frankly we're so freakin' cool we knew there was no way she wouldn't like us. LOL! But seriously, Stacy, we're so glad you decided to take the risk cuz you're pretty awesome and we wouldn't have had near as much fun if you hadn't been there. Connie and I are both a little wild and crazy but Catherine and Stacy are more reserved. We did our best to corrupt them as much as possible and surprisingly enough, it didn't take much peer pressure. Don't worry gals... the secrets are just between us! :)
This is Boone. He became our mascot early into the adventure. He has a secret blog addiction also. Or maybe he just thought Tess was a cutie! He couldn't keep his eyes off of her. It was comical to see 4 grown women carrying around a stuffed dog everywhere and photographing him along the way. Boone decided he wanted to check out IKEA. (Or "icky" as us southerners decided to pronounce it with a down-in-the-holler accent and all. Okay I guess ya had to be there for it to be funny.) Connie and I had never been to this place. We were curious what all the fuss was about since we've heard other bloggers rave about it (yeah... you know who you are). It was pretty cool!! Why don't they have these in Ohi-er?
Did you know you can get breakfast there for 99 cents? They have their own cafeteria. At a home furnishings store. Seriously! Here we are starting out with some nutrition for our power shopping day ahead. And this was Day 2. We'd already hit the outlet mall the day before, mind you.
We had to photograph this just to document the only time in recorded history that Connie, the self confessed power shopper, had ever exited a store without making a purchase. We thought maybe she wasn't feeling well. Especially since this was a Babies-R-Us store!
Thanks to our lovely waiter at the Olive Garden for snapping one of the few pics of all four of us. Little did he know when he agreed to do it that we had 3 different cameras! Catherine informed us that they don't have these restaurants anymore in Canada so she was very happy with our dinner selection. Connie was trying to blend in with the locals. Check out the sweatshirt.
Boone is definitely a party animal. For some reason, our margaritas were served in a martini glass. Err.... I mean HIS margarita. There was way too much food, chocolate and margarita consumption later that night back at our hotel room pajama party. Unfortunately, the queen mum, I mean Catherine, had to leave early to make it to work on Monday. Boone almost had her talked into calling in sick (he was such a bad influence) but the responsible part of her brain took control and she headed for the border. Back at the slumber party, I learned something new about Connie. I had never seen someone laugh so hard that they cry. No ....I mean like scrunch your face up like what Oprah calls the "ugly cry" and SOB with real tears streaming down her face. The noise that came from the depths of her soul wasn't even a laugh anymore but serious sobbing. I almost gave her a hug cuz I thought she was upset. But that's just her uncontrollable I'm-about-to-pee my-pants-cuz-I'm-hysterically-laughing LAUGH! Never seen anything like it. I so wish I could get it on tape somehow. It sent Stacy and I over the edge laughing so hard our stomachs hurt. You girls in Florida gotta get her going and try to find that laugh. You won't believe it either.
Okay so if you have already read Catherine or Connie's blog there might have been a little mention of my penguin addiction... uhh I mean... collection. Everybody has something, right? I happen to dig penguins. Don't ask me why. I just do. So this is my penguin haul. I do have a "few" pairs of penguin pj's for Mia stashed away at home and couldn't resist these as well. Plus I found some other stuff, too. By the end of the trip I had the other gals picking up everything penguin related to show me. Good lookin' out ladies!
Alright a little explaination is in order for those that have read Connie's blog post about the ride home. She did get pulled over by this very hot, very young state trooper with a gorgeous smile and eyes the color of...... oh wait... where was I? Sorry I got a little distracted and lost my train of thought. Anyway, it seems Connie had failed to renew her license plates and they were a little expired. Since March!! So when Trooper Hottie said he was going to have to write her a citation I simply asked if maybe a warning would suffice. I then casually mentioned that I was also a police officer and, as such, could vouch for her normally very responsible nature and how this certainly was just an oversight on her part that she would take care of first thing in the morning. He realized that on the scope of criminal behavior this was a pretty minor infraction and so then decided that a warning was a good enough alternative. Thanks Trooper Hottie! We made it back to my house safely, after we convinced Connie that the low fuel light was not a dare just to see how much further you could drive without gas-ing up. After an amazingly fun, gut-busting hysterical belly laughing (or crying depending on who you are) kind of weekend with the chicks I didn't think it could get any better. (Well, maybe only if Trooper Hottie had offered his phone number. Sorry, I got distracted again!) But look what was waiting for me in the mail box. My Brown Envelope! I was starting to worry cuz some other folks logged in after me had gotten theirs already. But now I feel much more official. Like this might actually happen someday!
Girls, I had a great time! I was even just a tiny bit surprised at how well we all got along. I mean I knew we would but it was like we were old friends, not folks who had just met. There were never any awkward silences. We all clicked instantly. There was lots of girl talk and some secrets shared. It's astonishing how different we all are yet we have so much in common. Before the weekend had ended we all made a pinky swear to meet up again before our girls get home and then have another reunion after we're all finally moms. Can't wait for that crazy weekend! I'm really looking forward to following along as we all get our referrals. I'm the last one of us logged in so I'll get lots of good advice before my turn comes up. Now Mia will have 3 little Chinese "cousins" and a few extra "aunties". Check out Catherine and Connie's blogs for other pics. Some of them were the same so I didn't double post them here. Stacy hasn't posted about the wild weekend yet (she probably is still recuperating) but check out her blog when she does for her perspective on how things went.