Monday, March 2, 2015

Houston, We Have Landed: Saturdays Sinnings

This morning we were awake long before the 7:35 alarm on my phone went off. What with the emotional send off of my kids the day before, and the week of not sleeping leading up to said departure,  I had guessed that I'd be up long before that with the time changes and indeed, after promptly passing out, I had a few tosses in the night, but for the most part I slept solidly. Every time I woke up I was drenched in sweat from the weight of the deliciously warm down blanket, but with no one to share the bed with, I didn't allow that to keep me from falling back asleep!
I love the Hilton hotel lines, and our Doubletree suite featured all the beautiful granite countertops and dark wood furnishings that we see on our trips to Bellevue each November. What a lovely experience to be in such a familiar setting with someone in whose company I completely thrive in.
Our plane ride here was a perfect example of one of the many character traits I love about my friend. Despite my having been awake for nearly 40 of the last 48 hours, I could never let my eyes close because I was simply enjoying our conversation too much. She is an experienced world traveler, certified scuba girl, and has a way of telling each story that includes beautiful details that paints vivid pictures in my mind of the many places she's traveled to. Tales of encounters with people of all sorts bring tears of laughter to my eyes, as well as the occasional throwing up of hands in the air as we exclaim, "some people!"
Our driver John picked us up with a few others from the airport and told us all about the amenities of the hotel, including that we'd be receiving a warm cookie upon check-in... now, most of my friends know how much I love cookies. So how much did I love hearing that info previously from my DF, then seeing a giant 3 foot cookie emblazoned on the side of the shuttle van, followed by John's announcement? Well, almost as much as I appreciated the actual consumption of promised warm melted chocolate oatmeal cookie happiness!
I discovered two of our fellow passengers would be joining us not just on the cruise but in the conference room cropping the week away as well! Nancy and Lani are from the beautifully forested seaside area of Sequim, WA. Their friendliness brought to mind the realization that although most scrap bookers are very friendly, not all are interested in more than just the casual, " Hi there, where are you from, what are you working on, can I borrow your scissors!" These two treated me to the casual greeting, a follow-up hallway shout out, elevator conversation... wow, what a difference they made to the beginning of our adventure! I commented to D that its the first time I've met croppers who seemed interested in a lasting friendship. Of course I'm drawn to friendlies so I'm really looking forward to spending more time with them.
After cookie consumption destination: long looked forward to wine shopping! A quick Google search showed some intriguing options, including a place boasting the best fried chicken (and wine), the Wine Dive. At fifteen taxi-driven miles, it was a little farther away than we had planned, but a call to the front desk informed us that there was a liquor store within walking distance. It didn't take us but a minute to head over to peruse and purchase a few bottles of vino for our cruise, and a penny from heaven even fell onto our path over.  We do so love angelic approval! After our initial sticker shock at seeing the Cupcake brand on the top shelf for about $26/bottle. What?! I can get that at our local Fred Meyers for the low price of about $12... so that was a no go. A Heavenly Sweet Riesling, and a Stark Raving Muscato will perfectly compliment our dinners. Can we say, no corking fee?
Going to pay for our selections, D asked me if I'd like to purchase any Pu**y (rhymes with Wussy) ... um, no, not really! It's actually an energy drink lol. And the cashier informed us that it's locally sourced, all natural, pink, and sold out, BUTT (get it?) there's a shipment on it's way! Apparently it's a pretty hot commodity (go figure) and they sell out frequently.
With hilarity at the retelling of this story already setting our gigglers off, D turns to me and says, did you see they have miniature Bailey's, and Kahlua in there? Well, yes, I did actually, but hadn't thought to mention it to her because frankly I didn't want to scare her off our decade+ friendship by exhibiting my ability for mass consumption of all things inebriating! At the slightly hesitantly suggested idea of including some in our coffee, I headed right back in to grab a couple "creamers."
The cashier again regaled us with a new beverage consumption opportunity; this time she told us that not only could she sell us alcohol in a plastic bag (for getting past cruise security), but empty shampoo bottles for the same purpose. It just goes to show, where there's a will, there's a way! I was pretty proud of myself, not just for resisting the urge to fill my purse with plastic bagged liquors samples, but also the ability to corrupt my friend so quickly lol.  
Brown bagging it down the boulevard; another first for us! Decided to dine  in the hotel bar on some savory southwest chili, and a glass of vino to celebrate the start of what is sure to be a most memorable week. Our long awaited cropping cruise that we're finally going on... so surreal and yet fabulously real, and just beginning, oh boy. 

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