I think the fomatting on this post sucks but I didn't want to re-upload, so my apologies.
My friend Wende had her 40th birthday this year and we decided that those of us who have been posting for about 7 years together on a board would get together to have a celebration. She rented a huge house in Flint Hill, Virginia and eleven of us managed to make it. We sorely missed the seven or so others who weren't able to make if for a variety of reasons.
We drank, we ate and god we laughed. No one really got drunk but it was just a continual all day kind of thing. And to make enough margaritas for 13 people (two of Wende's friends joined us) you need a LOT of alcohol. So it looked pretty frightening but wasn't that bad. Some stayed up until nearly 5:00 one morning but I'm way to old for that. I think 2:00 was my limit. We spent most of our time laying around or in the pool and then going inside to check the internet and read. EVERYONE had a book in their hand at some point and even though the house had no internet (WTF?) someone's husband let her bring the mi-fi so we could get on-line. I hope his bill isn't TOO outrageous. We tried to be good.
Even though it was freaking hot, most nights we had a fire down in the fireplace by the pool and sat and laughed and talked and got goofy. I missed the bra slinging incident of the 5:00 in the morning event. LOL
Here we all are madly on-line with the mi-fi. It worked like a charm. Not sure why Paulina is wearing the tiara. LOL
This is looking from the patio down to the pool. Unfortunately there was no stairway or path so you just had to skitter down the hill and then drag you ass back up. But it was beautiful and that big tree in the corner always had shade for us with the ghostly white skin and the water was very warm.
Looking back up toward the house you can see it was pretty steep and you can see the top of the fireplace on the right where we had our fires at night. (After we found 7-11 and wood.)
This is just the view from near the house. You can see the mountains in the distance but it was so humid it was always very hazy.
The place we stayed used to be a working vineyard but now we're not sure what they do with the grapes but there were still a few vines around and the maintenance guys were working on them. They said they are not having them next year though.
Some people went for a walk and found the "river". The trees are SO lush there. The road we had to take to get to the house sometimes had trees meeting over the top so it was like a tunnel. Just thick and green everywhere.
You can see how green it is here.
It really was beautiful all the way down. Quite different than where I live or even Manitoba where I used to. Also if someone said to me "Is Pennsylvania hilly?" I would have said "No. Flat." Wrong. LOL And just the lushness of the greenery is beautiful. It was HOT, the first night I opened the window in the den where I was sleeping and it felt like someone had a dryer vent hooked up and blowing in the window. Whew. We get some humidity up here but not quite that level. Friday ended up being less humid but the house was air conditioned so if you got too hot you just went inside for a while. We divided up the cooking chores, with a couple of each taking a night and lunches and breakfasts were sort of free-for-alls. I did BBQed chicken and veggies in foil the second night so then I got to sit back and relax and have other cook for us. We were there four nights most people.
As I said we were FAR from anywhere. We thought about going to Monticello or Mount Vernon but they were a good 90 minutes away. I drove to the airport a few times to pick people up and that was 45-60 min. We had a small town about 25 min. away with the grocery store, liquor store and 7-11 so that was our main destination as every day we had to buy food since our fridge was jammed to the limit. But it was nice to just relax and get to know everyone in real life. We know everything about everybody from the board but getting to hear voices and really see personalities come through was nice. And I think those with small kids GREATLY enjoyed the time with no responsibilities, no getting up at 4:30 to deal with them, napping when you want, just looking after yourself. A few "I miss you" phone calls but if I hadn't phoned mine I don't think she would have contacted me. LOL Oh how it changes when they get older. She was pretty much glued to me last night when I got home though. I did miss the earthquake here, which was not that big of a deal but there was some damage, so the biggest one since I've moved here.
I actually bought the kidlet a lap top. Sigh. A small Dell, bigger than a netbook, smaller than a lap top. We need another one for vacation this summer and it was cheaper there than here. But I got it at Best Buy so hopefully if something goes squirrelly they can help us.
We are planning now for two years from now. Something on/near the west coast because some of the ladies couldn't afford the air fare, so maybe Vegas or San Diego. We've had a couple of offers. Something fun to look forward to. I highly recommend meeting your on-line friends in real life. I actually got a bit teary when we left Sunday. I was sad to leave everyone, we all got along, no whining and sure I'm sure some of us likely drove the others a bit nuts at times, it was an amazing time.