Tuesday, August 24, 2010

East Coast - Part II

After all the excitement of the big anniversary party, we all settled in for some family fun. James had to return to California on Tuesday, Aug 3rd and my brother-in-law Greg drove back to Philadelphia the same night as the party... there was work to be done. My siblings had rented a townhome through Wed. Aug 4th - so that gave us a bit of extra room to have everyone together. The kids were loving it!

Everyone's pointing at Aunt Claudine who got stuck at the 'kids table'!!

Lots of wine,silver queen corn and shore tomatoes!

In case you're wondering... My BIL Greg NEVER smiles!

These guys would stay in their Grandmom's kitchen ALL DAY if we let them!

Josie adores all her cousins, but Kate is special!

All my siblings packed up on Wednesday and left the shore. My brother Chalie, wife Kim, and Kate & Jack were headed up to the Hamptons for an additional two weeks of vacation with Kim's family. Claudine returned to work in Maryland and Suzanne and her boys drove back to Philly. While in Delaware, Suzanne decided to add to her family - a rescued Airdale Terrier named Lark - to keep their AT Chauncey company! Boy, has she got her hands full!

The girls and I stayed behind with my parents for a much 'quieter' few days! During that time, we got to spend two days with my old roommate and high school classmate, Karen. We hung out at the pool with the girls and got caught up on all the news. Karen was able to join us two nights in a row for dinner - she was astounded by how much my parents had 'mellowed'. Of course, she was pleased to confide in Maddie some of our adventures (misadventures!) when we were in high school and from when we roomed together in the early '90's. (I'm trying to plot my revenge for that! :-) Josie is 100% in love with her Auntie Karen. The panda webkin that Karen gave her was quite a hit. She is named Bamboo and is the reason Josie is now restricted from computer use!

Karen nearly flipped when, a while back, she found out that my Goddaughter Katie was the girlfriend of a friend of hers - Jesse. Not long after finding this out, she ran into Jesse and Katie and greeted her by saying "OMG, you're the Baby Harper!" (cute story, I'll get to later...) Turns out Karen and Katie have run in the same circles for a few years never knowing the connection between them... ME!

That brings me to the next stop on our trip - Annapolis, MD. I lived, played and worked in Annapolis for well over a decade back in the 80's-90's. In the early - mid 80's I waited tables at a popular waterfront restaurant on Dock Street. I loved working there! The friendships I made in that place continue to this day. One of my BFFs is Nancy - we worked side -by-side there and we both 'moved on' from there around the same time. Nancy was getting married to a Marine and I was going back to college. Fast forward a few years to 1987. I was getting married and wanted Nancy by my side. But, she was pregnant and living in 29 Palms, CA. I insisted to my then-husband that part of our honeymoon HAD to be spent at the Marine base in 29 Palms. And so, it was. The four of us took a quick overnight trip up to Las Vegas. In the first casino we gambled in I turned to Nancy, rubbed her belly and said, "C'mon Baby Harper, make Aunt Michele a winner". I turned around to a slot machine, put in two quarters, pulled the arm - and all kinds of sirens blared and lights flashed! I had won a $250 payout on those two quarters! Hence, the legend of "The Baby Harper" was born. My beautiful goddaughter (Katie) was bringing me good luck before she was ever born!

Here we are, all together again: me, Maddie, Nancy, Josie and Katie. The handsome guy behind Katie is Jesse (boyfriend extraordinare to Katie, new love of Josie's life!)

My precious girls!

Once we finished lunch ( with our bellies and faces sore from so much laughing! ) Maddie took the wheel and drove the 2.5 hours to our previous hometown of F'Burg, VA. She was calm and collected making her way through the notorious DC rush hour traffic. Fantastic driver... (must have had an AWESOME teacher!). We were to spend 4 days with my friend Jamie. We arrived just in time to cheer on Jamie's daughter Emma as she collected her awards from their community swim team.

Emma and Maddie - Buds forever!

Josie and Jamie's Maria. Preschool pals/Friends Forever!

Once we got through the initial hellos and hugs, this is pretty much how the next 3 days looked:

Maria, 'little' Emma and Josie. They played HARD!!

Jamie hosted a playgroup on the day after our arrival so we were able to visit with 'Big' Maria and her girls: Riley and Hailey. We're lucky because we get to see Maria and the girls in CA too! (Dad Noah has family here!). We also managed to visit with our former neighbors (this only served to make us miss them more than ever!); our former carpool partners (Shout out to my Boi Charlie, fo shiz!) ; my former trainer/friend for life Lisa and stepson Brady. (We were fortunate to see Brady - he was shipping out for boot camp only 5 days later! We're so proud of him!); and our favorite hang-out, Chez Sunrise (home of Lori, Dave and 'little' Emma).

Our time in Virginia ended too soon. But, we had to get back to Delaware... Grandmom and PopPop were waiting to get their girls back! I'll get to that in the next post - I know my eyes feel like they are ON FIRE from all this reading & writing. Until next time...

1 comment:

  1. Looks like a GREAT trip. I am sure you soaked up every single minute of the East Coast goodness while you were there:) Your parents 50th anniversary party looks so nice . WOW- 50 years...that is really something to celebrate!!!!!