Special thanks to Leontine from Leontine's Book Realm for the super header.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

It was a birthday party!!!!

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.

This is Bogart. Bogart has been travelling the world for nearly two years now. We send him from home to home, take pictures and post them. He's been to Europe a couple of times, on a cruise and everywhere from Baltimore to San Diego. So of course Bogart was very popular and even got to ride a stone chicken. What more could a stuffed frog want?

This is the whole gang. We had people from Alabama (2), San Diego, St. Louis, Baltimore, Winston-Salem, Richmond, Delaware, Denver, Chicago and Canada of course. :-) We ranged in age from 33 to 54.

The birthday girl was a crazy woman with the Blackberry. Even in the pool she couldn't give it up. Sigh. But she never dropped it.

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

We usually ate dinner on the patio. You can see the sunburned face there.

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.


Average Reader said...

Fun! And great photos! Thanks for sharing. :)

Tam said...

It was a fun time Val. They're already planning 2012. I'm a planner but that's a bit much for me. LOL I have another vacation in 3 weeks I need to plan for first.

K. Z. Snow said...

WOW! Just read both your posts back-to-back, and they made my day. What wonderful Internet friends you've made! And that house in Virginia along with its setting are gorgeous!

I love hearing about happy get-togethers. (Can! you! tell?! *g*) And you are just so flippin' cute in those photos! (I'm assuming that's you.)

Thanks so much for this vicarious vacation. I needed it.

Tam said...

Glad to help KZ. Cute? Not sure that's the word I'd use. Lumpy perhaps. LOL

I do have some super internet friends. You are counted in there, we just haven't met yet. ;-)

Janna said...

Wonderful post! I loved the pics, looks like a nice place, even when it was in the middle of nowhere. ;) I'm glad you had a great time!

Tam said...

For just relaxing and doing nothing it was a perfect location Janna. I felt a bit badly for those who had never been to the DC area before because the only things they saw were the forest and the airport, but it was just too far to drive much.

Chris said...

Thanks for sharing your pictures! Looks like an absolute blast. :)

Tam said...

Your welcome Chris. It was fun in the extreme. Real life and work is a bit of a downer.

K. Z. Snow said...

Oh, and don't let your writing projects lapse. Use it or lose it, baby. ;-)

Tam said...

I'm more of a write write write .... lapse lapse lapse style of author KZ. LOL Discipline is not my middle name. Although I have to do that thing for Wave's contest. Sigh. It sucks but it's nearly finished. 3000 words is impossible. For me anyway.

Kris said...

From your posts yesterday and today, Tam, it looks as though you had an awesome time with your friends. That is just terrific and makes me look forward even more to meeting you all in October. :)

Jenre said...

I'm glad you had such a great time and the house looks gorgeous. I've actually been to Virginia and it's such a beautiful part of the world.

Tam said...

I'm looking forward to it too Kris. At least I won't have that toasted sunburned look in October. Ugh.

It was beautiful Jen. So green and lush.

Polt said...

Does look like fun! Glad you had a fun time. And yes, meeting online friends IRL is totally advisable and totally awesome! :)


Tam said...

We had a blast, but now I need a vacation to recover. :-)

Lily said...

I hate humidity but it's unfortunately a fact of life here in Florida. Temps in the high 90s and 100% humidity make me Thank God for the great 'central air' invention.

Thanks for sharing the pics! Looks like your vacation was awesome. It must be great to get together with your internet friends. And you have the upcoming Con to look forward to meeting more. You lucky woman, I'm so jealous! ;)

Tam said...

My body has gone into a state of shock Lily. It's only 54F here this morning (11C) and our high today is only going to be 64F (19C). Brrrr. I nearly froze yesterday. LOL It's going to heat up again early next week but it's definitely a change from Virginia.

Tracy said...

Such great pictures, Tam. It looks and sounds like you had a wonderful time. The scenery is gorgeous and so green!

So what did your daughter say when you gave her the laptop?

Tam said...

At first she didn't seem too thrilled like "What the hell did you buy that for?" but then she started transferring stuff over to it. LOL I think she'll appreciate it when she can take it to her Dad's with her.