Fall 2018: Apple Picking at Hicks Orchard

Last Sunday my daughter and I spent Sunday visiting Hicks Orchard in Granville, NY with Kimmy Gibbler and her family.

Setting off.

 

Look at all those delicious apples.

My daughter loved picking apples.

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She couldn’t resist.

Beware of the apple tree monsters!

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After we went picking apples, we went to get some cider donuts.

Yum!

Played some corn hole.  Well more like threw around the bean bags.  But they still had fun.

Heading down to the corn maze.

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5 acres of fun.

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This was a map of the maze.

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We were told it takes roughly 40 minutes.  It took us 49 but we had two small children.  There was a crossword puzzle and if you got all the clues, you won a prize.  We were successful and got a large pumpkin.

Did you do any fun Fall activities last weekend?

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Today is Kimmy Gibbler’s Birthday!!!

Today is my bestie’s birthday and in honor of her birthday, I am going to share 29 reasons why I love her.

(Though there are way more than 29 reasons but I do have to get some sleep.)

1. She didn’t get offended when I called her Kimmy Gibbler. It all started because I said I wanted to curl my hair like D.J. I think I called it widow hair. I then decided since D.J. is a widow and Kimmy is her BBF, that made my friend my Kimmy Gibbler. She didn’t get offended and she proudly took on her new role with grace.

2. She likes wine, cheese and coffee.

3. And bacon. Bacon deserves it’s own line.

4. She is always up for an adventurous lunch and is always willing to try new places.

5. She likes her steak still moo-ing and that is bad-ass.

6. She can whip up a dinner like no one else. And she taught me the proper way to roast a chicken.

7. She will talk to me about poop

8. You can talk to her about anything and nothing seems to shock her.

9. She will commiserate with you about the frustrations of motherhood.

10. She reminds me that I don’t need to be the perfect Pinterest mom. Being an Amazon Prime mom suffices.

11. She didn’t judge me when I read Jodie Sweetin’s memoir.

12. She appreciates fine wine but she also isn’t above drinking wine from a box.

13. She has taught me so much about patient advocacy.

14. I am an “ideas person” and without her action orientated personality, most of my ideas would just stay ideas. She helps me stay focused.

15. She has taught me that coconut oil cures everything.

16. She taught me that it is important to drink Apple cider vinegar tea when sick, even if it tastes like crap. You will feel better.

17. She understands all my dorky and obscure historical and political references and jokes.

18. She is the only person who will fangirl politicians with me. She doesn’t mock me about my crush on Marco Rubio. Or 1990’s George Stephanopoulos.

19. She drove an hour and a half with me just to get an Amato’s sub. It was worth it. Let’s do it again.

20. She let’s you be real. No bullsh*t here.

21. She understands my weird pop culture references and makes some funny ones herself. It’s like we speak our own language.

22. She is all about being authentic. We all can benefit by being more authentic.

23. She was the first person who told me that it was okay to have feelings.

24. She once called me the “Dalai “effing” Llama”. I appreciate that she recognizes intelligence. 😁

25. She recognizes the musical genius of Bryan Adams. Next time he tours the Northeast, we are so going. Even if it’s not SPAC.

26. She is the best road trip jamming partner.

27. She is loyal. Ride or die.

28. She loves my daughter.

29. She always listens to me and takes my feelings seriously and tries to help me find a solution.

Good Vibrations Gratitude Friday #29

It’s Friday and it is time for some Good Vibrations Gratitudes.  And usually, this is a fun post giving thanks to all the good things that happened to me during the week.

But this weeks post is going to be a little different.  I hope you “bear” with me.  (See what I did there?)

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The truth is that my heart has been pretty heavy this week.

On Monday morning I heard the song Fire and Rain by James Taylor.  Obviously, I had heard the song many times before but for some reason, the song stuck out to me.

I had arrived home and saw that I had a message from my friend Charlotte.

(You met her here).  Charlotte is an old friend from high and Charlotte is not her real name.   I try not to use the names of the living in my blog so my friends get blog names.  Her name is Charlotte because that was her French Class name and we sat next to each other in French class and she got stuck with me as a friend.

The text from Charlotte had devastating news.  She had heard that a high school friend Allison had passed away.  Being the detectives that we are, we looked for clues on social media.  We had nothing definite but I felt it in the pit of my stomach.

Finally, in the evening, we saw a post from her brother confirming the news we were fearing, that she had passed away.

Allison and I were friends in high school.  I always wondered why a girl who was so cool would want to be friends with the socially awkward, hyperverbal girl with a Boston accent (I had moved from the Boston area to Maine the summer before high school).

Obviously, we graduated from high school and lost touch in college.  It was an era before Facebook.

I saw her once in the mid 2000’s.  I was at Mass at our towns Catholic Church, St. Joe’s and she was there with her father.  We ran up to each other after Mass and hugged.

And I hadn’t seen her since.  We lost contact again.

I reconnected with her on Facebook shortly after Bryon died.  She came back into my life during my darkest days and she was my biggest cheerleaders when I was trying to pick up the pieces of my life.  I could always count on her to like all my lame pictures on Instagram.  I don’t know if she realized how much her kindness affected me.

I know I was just a drop in a bucket of all the people she touched and helped but I am really going to miss her.

It just doesn’t seem fair.  A group of us high school friends started talking about taking a trip to Quebec City to recreate the shenanigans from our French IV trip in 1996.  Now when we go, she won’t be there.

I was hoping to meet up with her.  I was in her area this spring and I thought about seeing if she was around but it was a bachelorette weekend.  It was busy and I was there for my friend who was getting married.  I decided I would try to meet up with her next time.

This is a harsh reminder that we don’t always get a next time.

Today is her funeral and I am sad that I won’t be able to attend to say good-bye.  I thought about it.  It would be doable if I dropped my daughter off at daycare when they open.  But being her only parent, I get nervous traveling three hours away.  What if something happened?

I thought about taking my daughter out of school that day and bringing her.  I asked her if she wanted to go to Pennsylvania for a funeral and or stay here and go to school.  She chose to go to school.  I can’t blame her.  She’s a few months short of 4 and has already been to more than her fair share of wakes and funerals.

I asked again, this time changing the inflection and tone of my voice to be all excited and I asked her if she wanted to go to Pennsylvania for a funeral and then I changed my tone to boring and asked if she wanted to stay here and go to school.  She still chose to go to school.  I can’t fool that girl.  She is so smart.

As one last Hail Mary, I looked at the map to see how close Bethlehem, PA was to Sesame Place.  Surely she would want to go to a funeral if we could do a side trip to Sesame Place but it was too far out of the way.

I wanted to go to support her family.  They are good people.  Her father had been our high school principal and her mother was a nurse.  Her siblings are great too.  I know they are going to have some dark days ahead.  Though I know that my presence wouldn’t lessen their pain. Not at all.

I admit, after my grandmother died, I thought I was unable to feel grief because I survived Bryon’s death.  But Allison’s death has hit me harder than I thought it would.

I don’t know why.

Maybe it’s because I am close to two years out from Bryon’s death and some of that numbness is going away.  I am starting to feel again.

Maybe it’s because with Bryon’s death, I was so involved that I didn’t get the opportunity to sit back and reflect about my own mortality at a young age.  I was too busy surviving and existing.  But with Allison’s death, I am removed enough to reflect on the fact that she is my age and she’s gone and people aren’t supposed to die this young.

I have been lucky that I have been able to lean on Charlotte and another friend.  We have all been leaning on each other.

But it leads me to another question- why does it take someone’s death to bring people closer together?  Why can’t it just be normal human behavior to appreciate people as a baseline? Why do we need to wait until a death and trauma to realize we care about people?

Then I started to wonder why the people with the brightest lights seem to get extinguished early.  Like Allison.  And Bryon.

At least I know that Heaven (or the Fifth Dimension, or the other side or wherever spirits go when they leave this world) must be a beautiful place.  Because people like Allison and Bryon are there.

(I did ask Bryon to give her a hug. So when a tall, handsome, smart and hysterically funny man from Upstate New York gives her hug, I hope she is not alarmed.)

So why am I writing this in my Gratitude Friday post?

I am writing about this because my heart feels heavy and I just don’t feel like writing and posting pictures of the scrunchies I saw in Wal-Mart even if I am grateful and excited that 90’s fashion has made a comeback.

When someone dies too soon, it is easy to dwell on the loss, but I am choosing to be grateful.

I am writing this post because I am truly grateful that Allison was in my life.

For befriending the socially awkward girl with the Boston accent and making her feel cool.

For the memories.

For sharing all her adventures on Instagram and letting us follow her along.

For being a light.

For filling the world with love.

For being an inspiration.

For sharing the struggles she overcame with honesty and grace.

For being a good example on how to live.

I am also grateful for this reminder to appreciate those in my life.

I am going to end this with the Prayer of St. Francis.  It feels fitting because she lived the message.  And because she loved animals and St. Francis was the Patron Saint of Animals.

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Allison’s obituary

Good Vibrations Gratitude Friday #28

Today is Friday! You survived the week!

Do you know what this means?  It’s time for some Good Vibrations Gratitude!

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Here are 5 things that I am grateful for this week.

  1.  Friday means Chinese Food for lunch. 

    It’s my own weird tradition.  I must do it a lot because they know me at my local restaurant.  I used to be a strictly sweet and sour chicken combo person.  But I decided I needed to try new things so now I am strictly a pork lo mein and egg roll person.IMG_20180713_133921

  2. Movie Date
    My daughter went on a movie date with the boy she says she is going to marry.Since she is only 3 and her “fiance” is only 4, the date was chaperoned by the moms. Kind of like the Duggars except the kids are allowed to hold hands and they are allowed to hug to.  Not that weird, awkward side hugging that the Duggars do.

    Annnnnd…I think I just totally outed myself as someone who watches the Duggars.  Oh well.

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    Moving on-

    I am not going to lie.  Part of the reason I get the large popcorn is because the picture always makes me laugh.  We never finish it.  She usually spills it on the floor.  Along with the M&M’s.

    What can I say?  I am a sucker.

    We saw Incredibles 2.  My daughter refused to nap beforehand.  She had trouble focusing on this movie.  I think she was more excited about the idea of the movie than the actual movie.  Oh well.

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  3. The staff at the movie theater who have to clean up after my kid. 

    Most of us probably take for granted clean movie theaters.  So thank you!!!images

  4. Taco Tuesday with friends 

    A time to catch up with dear friends. and eat yummy tacos.No pics.  I am sorry.  What can I say?  I suck this week.

  5. Personal Growth 

    I value any time I get to read and write.  I am working on self love and feeding my soul.I saw on Facebook that my friend Roda at Growing Self Blog had bought The Untethered Soul.  That book has been sitting on my nightstand for a really long time.  (My “to read” pile is ridiculous).  So I decided that now would be the right time to start it.

    I mean, if all the cool kids are doing it…

    I decided to start it because Roda bought it.  And should and of the subject matter come up in her blog, I wanted to be prepared.  I didn’t want to feel like the blog reader equivalent of Elle Woods on her first day of law school.

    The book reminds me of The Power of Now by Eckart Tolle where you only need to read a little at a time because the information is a lot of digest.  A lot of “Wow” moments.  The good news is that the chapters in The Untethered Soul are short so you can read a chapter a day if that is your speed.  (It’s mine!)

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What are you grateful for this week?

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Boston with a 3-year-old: Red Sox Game and a Duck Tour

Bryon and I had plans.  We wanted our daughter and any other children we had to see the world.  I told Bryon that I wanted to take a trip to Boston every summer and take our kids to a Red Sox game at Fenway.  Bryon agreed and he countered that he wanted to take our children to New York City at Christmastime.  I agreed.

But our trips never happened.

We did have a couple of hours in Boston as a family and we did ride the swan boats.

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Boston, 2015
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Boston, 2015

In case anyone is wondering, that is a “P” on Bryon’s hat.  He bought that when we saw the PawSox at McCoy Stadium in Pawtucket, Rhode Island.  He liked it because the hat confused people…except for true Red Sox fans. 

Ironically he is not wearing that hat in the picture from the PawSox game.  Go figure.  But I like the picture and will still share it.

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Pawtucket, R.I., 2015

I always planned to take my daughter to a Boston Red Sox game but I was waiting until she got older.  Then I won some Red Sox tickets and decided that there was no better time than the present.

One of my best friends enthusiastically agreed to attend the game with me.  Even though she grew up in Western New York, she is a hardcore Red Sox fan.  Since I asked her to go, she offered to pay for a hotel room near Fenway Park.  Of all the time I spent in Boston, it dawned on me that I have never spent the night in Boston.  Well, unless you count the first couple days of my life.  But I don’t remember that.  I usually stay out in the suburbs and take the subway, commuter rail, an uber or I drive.    I was excited to stay in the city.

Our drive to Boston was uneventful.  A straight shot on I-90.  We didn’t even need to stop for gas.

My friend booked a room at the Hilton Back Bay which was a 0.4 mile walk to Fenway.   I don’t know the cost of the room but I can tell you that our room was clean and parking was free.  We arrived before check in (meaning we couldn’t check in until after the game) and left the city after check out the next day and the hotel let us keep our car there the whole time.

There also was a pool that was clean and well-kept.

Since we arrived and couldn’t check in before the game, we kept our luggage locked in the car.  The walk went quickly.  Our tickets told us to enter at Gate E on Landsdowne Street but we entered at Gate D, which was Jersey Street (formerly Yawkey Way).

There were employees giving out stickers to small children and they advised us to go to fan relations to pick my daughter up a “first time at Fenway” pin since it was her first time.

Tip #1: The “first time at Fenway” pins are for adults and children alike.  So if you attend a game for the first time- get your pin!

We did some shopping on Jersey Street because I couldn’t resist.  I live in New York where Red Sox merchandise can be scarce.  My daughter wanted a pink Red Sox shirt and a pink Red Sox hat which I obliged.  And a toy Tessie.  I may have also bought her a pink Red Sox hoodie.

Tip #2: When travelling with a fast growing kid, I buy souvenir clothing a size or two bigger so it lasts longer.  Souvenir clothing can be pricey and this method helps me justify spending the money because, hey, she can wear it for a year or two.

The morning of the game, I was tearing apart my house looking for MY Red Sox hat.  I found Bryon’s Red Sox and Paw Sox hats.  I found my daughters infant Red Sox hat.  But no clue where mine is.  I wanted to wear a hat so I was going to buy another and I was pissed about it.  But at the store, I saw so many styles.  I decided not to get another traditional cap and instead I got the seersucker Red Sox cap.

Tip #3: Diversify your Red Sox Wardrobe.

Tip #4: Seersucker is a classic summer style and it is lightweight.  A seersucker baseball cap is an excellent choice for sun protection without the sweat.

My friend did not own a Red Sox cap.  She was hesistant to buy one but ultimately did because…

Tip #5: Everyone looks good in a Red Sox cap.  It is impossible to look bad while wearing a Red Sox hat.  

Our seats were in left field.  We began to walk our way over.  I decided it was a good time to feed my child.  So we stopped for Fenway Franks.

I know it’s not fashionable to like hot dogs but I will always love hot dogs.  To quote doug Heffernan from King of Queens, “If eating hot dogs is wrong, then I don’t want to be right.”

My daughter likes Ketchup on everything (yuck!).  I like mine the way God intended, with mustard and relish.  Now, a perfect hot dog would also have onion but the offerings were ketchup, mustard and relish and I was perfectly happy with mustard and relish.

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Fenway Park, 2018

My daughter’s first Fenway Frank.  I think she liked it.

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Fenway Park, 2018

I have no clue what number Fenway Frank this was for me.

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Fenway Park, 2018

My daughter was apparently going low-carb on this meal because she didn’t eat the bun.

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Fenway Park, 2018

Tip #6: Feel free to enjoy food before the game.  The concession lines get long and you don’t want to miss any of the actual game, right?

Now you may have noticed my daughter was in a stroller.

I went back and forth on this.  My daughter is at that awkward age where we hardly ever use the stroller.  I can count on one hand the amount of times we used it this past year (Chicago x 2, Cedar Point and Fenway).  She is a strong walker but I knew after walking a half a mile each way to and from the game and walking around Fenway that my daughter would get tired.  And then she would be begging me to carry her.  And she isn’t exactly a tiny little baby anymore.

My friend also brought up an important safety issue.  The streets around Fenway get crowded and it gave us peace of mind to have her buckled into her stroller.

Tip #7: DO NOT FEAR BRINGING THE STROLLER TO FENWAY.

First, I recommend bringing an umbrella stroller, not a large stroller.

There is no official stroller check in but I will tell you my experience.

I took the stroller as far as I could into the stands.  I broke the stroller down and went to put it under our seats which is park policy.  BUT…it didn’t fit under our seats.  The usher kindly told me to drop it off at fan relations and told me where the closest one was located.  I brought it to the fan relations stand.  The man working was very nice and just told me to put it in the pile of folded up umbrella strollers and that I could pick it up after the game.  Which was exactly what I did.  Easy peasy.

Our seats were in left field.  While I personally feel that there is no bad seat at Fenway (except maybe behind the foul poles) the seats along the third base line and left field are not in the sun.

Tip #8: Avoid the sun by sitting along the third base line and left field.  Just be careful of the foul balls.

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Fenway Park, 2018
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Fenway Park, 2018

Mother-daughter selfie at Fenway!

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Fenway Park, 2018

Bestie Selfie at Fenway!

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Fenway Park, 2018

With “Tessie”.

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Fenway Park, 2018

If you are a beer drinker, the only beer worth drinking is Sam Adams, because…Boston…d’uh. Usually I only drink stouts, porters and pumpkin beer, when in season.  But I do love a good old Sam Lager.  I did try the seasonal ’76 beer.  I was hesitant because it smelled hoppy and I don’t like hoppy beer.  But I couldn’t taste the hops despite the smell.

Tip #9: When in Fenway, drink Sam Adams.  It’s the Boston thing to do.  Try the ’76 seasonal beer.  And as always, drink responsibly.  No one wants to sit next to a rowdy asshole.  Even if that rowdy asshole is you.

Speaking of being in Boston, I have another tip.  I am sad I even have to bring this up but my friend is guilty of teaching my daughter to say this.  I will forgive her.  This once.

Tip #10: Don’t ask/tell people in Boston to say “Pahk the cah in Hahvahd Yahd.”  We have heard this before.  No one says it.  You might as well call Boston “Bean Town” while you are at it.

If it were up to me, I would have sat and watched the whole game.  But my daughter is three (and a half- that half is important) and I knew nine innings is too long for her to sit still.  But there is a kids clubhouse with games, crafts and face painting.  So we left during the bottom of the third inning.

The concourse was packed!  Glad we ate before the game because I wasn’t waiting in any of those lines.  (Fun fact about me- I hate, hate, hate, hate waiting in lines).

The clubhouse is all the way over by right field.  We had a long walk but we bumped into the real Tessie.

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Fenway Park, 2018

We had a little trouble locating the club house but we asked Tessie’s attendants and they gave us directions.  I had been finishing an adult beverage (okay, Sam ’76) and I assumed they wouldn’t be allowed in the kids clubhouse.  So I, um, finished it rather quickly.  But the joke was on me because there is a bar in the kids clubhouse.  Don’t worry, you had to be 21 to order from it.  The best part was, the lines were much, much shorter.

Tip #11: Beer lines in the kids clubhouse are much, much shorter than the beer stands in the concourse.  Again, drink responsibly.  Especially if you have a child to take care of.

Our walk took at least an inning.  My daughter was playing with some plastic fruits and vegetables.  At least the game was on TV’s so we got to see any important plays.

We made our way back during the sixth inning.  We took a few photos and my friend procured nachos.

Tip #12: While the nachos were adequate, stick to the Fenway Franks.

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Fenway Park, 2018
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Fenway Park, 2018

We caught the last three innings in the seats.  I didn’t get any pictures.  I did send my friends on SnapChat a video of the crowd singing “Sweet Caroline”.  I have it saved but I am not going to subject you to my singing. I had had a few Sam Adams.

Who am I kidding?  I can’t sing even without the Sam Adams.  I think my Dad once compared my singing to the sounds of a tortured cat.

So I won’t subject you.  Only my SnapChat friends get that pleasure.

The game ended with the Sox winning 4-2.

We held back and waited for the crowds to thin out before rushing out.  I am not a fan of crowds and thought it would be easier to manage after waiting for the other impatient fans to leave.  I didn’t see the point to hurry out of there to wait impatiently to leave.  So we stayed in our seats for a bit and people watched.  Then I got our stroller and we left.

Walking back to our hotel…let’s just say that Google Maps took us on a scenic walk.  Way out of the way.  And I had to pee.  Not fun.  Spoiler alert: I made it to the hotel.

We checked into our room and then we went swimming in the pool.  I suggested getting Boston Chinese. It was 10:30 pm and most places were closing but there was one open until 2 am and it was only 0.1 miles.  My friend went to pick it up so we wouldn’t have to bother with delivery.  The food was delicious but it was not the Boston Chinese that I grew up with.  I was disappointed.  The rice wasn’t even brown. Maybe Boston Chinese is a suburban thing.  I promised my friend next time we would have proper Boston Chinese food.

If anyone is interested- Dumpling Palace.  Good, just not traditional Boston Chinese.

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Good, but NOT Boston Chinese, 2018

We had booked Duck Tour tickets online for the 11:30 am tour for the next morning.

Tip #13 Book your Duck Tour tickets online and early for optimal choice in seating.  They book up fast. 

The next morning we checked out (the hotel let us keep our car parked in the garage for no extra charge) and we grabbed breakfast at the Au Bon Pain in the Prudential Tower.  The Duck Tours were on the other side.

We got there a half an hour early so we walked around a nearby Star Market.  My grandmother shopped at Star Market and it was nowhere near as fancy as this Star Market.  This one was fancy.  I am going to say something that might be sacrilege to my friends in Western New York but this surpassed, or at the very least, rivaled, Wegmans.

The Duck Tour was awesome.  I had never been on a Duck Tour.  I am native to the Boston area and I was a history major and I learned so much on the tour.  Our guide was Skip the Skydiver and he was hysterical too.  I highly recommend the Duck Tour as a good way to see Boston.

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Duck Tour, Boston, 2018
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Duck Tour, Boston, 2018

 

Where everyone knows your name…

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Duck Tour, Boston, 2018

My friend and I decided that this is something we should do every summer.

Have you been to Fenway Park?

What is your favorite thing to do in Boston?

My best friends birthday

Today is my best friends birthday. I won’t share how many years she has but it is more than me.

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With the exception for three months where I lived in Indiana, we have always lived a plane ride away.  So we don’t get to see each other nearly as often as we like.

But as a birthday challenge of sorts, I wanted to see if I could reconstruct all the times we have seen each other.

2006

We first met in April of 2006 at the Young Republican Leadership Conference in Washington, D.C.  More specifically, she was sitting in front of me on the shuttle to the hotel from the Romanian Embassy.

 

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Washington, D.C., 2006

 

We saw each other again at the Young Republican National Federation (YRNF) Cleveland Board Meeting but we weren’t really friends yet.

It would be at the YRNF Fall 2006 Board Meeting in Louisville, Kentucky.  This was when we would become friends.  I had just lost my race for State Rep back in Maine.  This was also the board meeting where I met Bryon.

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Louisville, Kentucky, 2006

 

2007

March- We had a YRNF Board Meeting in New Orleans.

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New Orleans, 2007

Then there was the Young Republican National Convention in Hollywood, Florida in July.

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Hollywood, FL, 2007

That fall I lived in Indiana.  I know there was an evening I was staying the night near Chicago and my work partner and I took the train in to have dinner with her and another good Chicago friend. Sadly, I don’t have a pic.  It was 2007.  I still used a flip phone.  Don’t judge.

She also took a flight to Louisville to work on a campaign.  We knocked on doors somewhere in Kentucky.  I don’t have any pics of that weekend either.

A friend and I drove up to Chicago one weekend and we went to Navy Pier.

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Chicago, 2007

Sometime in the Fall of 2007 was also the YRNF Board Meeting in Houston, Texas.

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Houston, 2007

By the holidays, I was back in Maine.  Her family didn’t celebrate Christmas so she came to Maine to celebrate with my family.   She flew into Manchester, NH and my Michigan Best friend (who still lived in Maine at the time)  came with me to pick her up.  During a blizzard.

We celebrated the holidays in Maine.

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Maine, 2007

It’s not a Sullivan holiday without a trip to the range.

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Maine, 2007

We then took a trip to Boston.  There were Irish pubs…

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Boston, 2007

…and Scorpion Bowls…

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…and some wicked bad karaoke.

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Boston, 2007

We also walked the Freedom Trail in the freezing rain.

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Boston, 2007

And we went to Cheers and these guys were our dates for five minutes.

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Boston, 2007

2008

I was still living in Maine and I was traveling out to Albany for the New York State Young Republican Leadership Conference and she decided to fly in.  (This weekend was also when Bryon and my love story began)

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Albany, 2008

 

I had missed the Young Republican Leadership Conference that year because it was the same year as the Maine Republican Convention.  I guess when scheduling it, Maine didn’t matter or something.  But we had a Maine Young Republican Conference in Portland and she flew in for that.

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Maine, 2008

She flew in that Fall to help with some campaigning.  There was a hurricane in the Gulf of Maine that weekend.  Luckily, it was far enough out in the ocean that we really just had rain.  But we ending up painting signs in a barn.

Oh and there was some more bad karaoke.

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Maine, 2008

 

And then there was the YRNF Fall Board Meeting in Nashville.

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Nashville, 2008

2009

First there was the Spring YRNF Board Meeting in Orlando.

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Orlando, 2009

Then there was the Young Republican National Convention in Indianapolis.  And I have no pics from us.  I feel like she may have worked and drove in late.  Or maybe I was a jerk friend who spent too much time hanging out with my boyfriend.  I was also running for Northeast Regional Vice Chair and I know I was consumed with that.

Since I have given you a lot of pics of bad karaoke, here’s one of Bryon singing good karaoke.

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Indianapolis, 2009

The Fall 2008 YRNF Board Meeting was in Kansas City, MO.  I had tonsillitis, went against doctors orders and I barely left my room.  I emerged for meetings because I was the Northeast Regional Vice-Chair and had to be there.  So no pics.  But we were both there.

2010

We both happened to be in Indianapolis for two separate events.   I was in town to watch Bryon’s alma mater’s basketball team play Butler in the Bracket Busters.  You were in town with your boyfriend for a race.  We met up for dinner at St. Elmo’s Steakehouse.  This was the winter of illness so I was out of it because I had bronchitis.

That spring she came out to visit me in Albany but I had picked up a really bad case of Gatroenteritis while working in the ER.  But she still came anyway, but I was not any fun.

2011

We did not see each other this year.  This is a sad year.

2012

And the beginning of 2012, she came out to Albany for my engagement party

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Albany, 2012

Then there was my wedding

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Albany 2012 Photo: Heidi Benjamin Photography

And her wedding in Mexico

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Mayan Ruins, 2012
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Bachelorette Party, Mexico, 2012

 

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Mexico, 2012

2013

We didn’t see each other in 2013.  We were too busy being newlyweds.

2014

I flew out to Chicago in February for your baby shower.  We went to the Sears Tower and we were both pregnant and stopped to rest on every bench we saw and used the bathroom every time we saw one.  A far cry from our old days.  No pictures because we both feeling tired and pregnant.

2015

Your family came to visit mine in Albany.  It gives me goosebumps to think that this would be the last time you would see Bryon.

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Dinosaur BBQ, Troy, NY, 2015
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Albany 2015
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Albany, 2015
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Albany, NY

2016

Bryon had been in the ICU for 4 months and been transferred to NYC.  You made plans to come to NYC on Bryon and my birthday weekend and you arranged with my father to meet halfway between Albany and NYC so you could bring my daughter to see him.

But that weekend never happened.

Well it did.  Just not the way you planned.  But it ended up being a funeral weekend in Albany.  I was grateful to have you there for me.

2017

Life goes on.  And you made sure to make time for me this year.

First was Vegas in Feb.

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Las Vegas, 2017

Ann Arbor in March.

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Ann Arbor, 2017

And my daughter and I came to visit you in Chicago in July.

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Chicago, 2017
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Chicago, 2017

We were supposed to go to Disney in September, but Hurricane Irma had other plans.

2018

I realized that I needed to use my Southwest credit from our canceled Florida trip.  So I came out to see you in March.  We took the girls to Wisconsin Dells and the Museum of Science and Industry.

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Chicago and Wisconsin, 2018
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Chicago, 2018

And this is where our story currently is.  It is so cool to see our girls growing in these pics and that they will grow up together.  Who would have thought that a friendship forged during drunken YRNF weekends would turn into a friendship that spans two generations?

And we get to continue our story this coming weekend. I am so excited!

Good Vibrations Gratitude Friday #22

It’s Friday.  You know what that means!

Time for some Good Vibrations Gratitude!

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Here are some of the things I am grateful for this week.

  1. Girls Night

    I got a chance to catch up with Kimmy Gibbler and The Architect.  And it was a lot of fun.

  2. Inner circle

    Not THAT Inner Circle.

    (We are also going to ignore the fact that this song was popular during my freshman year in high school.   Because I don’t feel like feeling old today.)

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    We are talking about this inner circle.  And the non-pictured husbands and boyfriends.

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    I can’t imagine life without them.  Not just because they got my through the worse of my grief and they don’t make me feel bad when I talk about Bryon.  But just because they are awesome people.  This might sound cheesy but for the first time in my life, I feel like I belong.

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  3. Wedding Week

    On Saturday these two adorable kids are getting married and I am grateful that I get to be a part of their day.

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  4. 8 Years of Friendship with Robin Brillantes

    Facebook reminded me that Robin Brillantes and I became Facebook friends eight years ago yesterday.  She remains one of my most favorite people of all time.  I couldn’t figure out how to play the cheesy video that Facebook compiled so you get this picture of us from last Saturday.

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    Of course one of our friends says that Facebook is the lowest form of friendship.  But I am not going to worry about that with Robin Brillantes.  Because we know our friendship is amazing because it is built on love, laughter and tacos.

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  5. That I am still remembered on Mother’s Day.

    My daughter made the picture and cards  at school and my parents sent the flowers and the teddy bear.  Though my daughter has already claimed the teddy bear as hers.  I had a feeling that they had that in mind when they ordered it…

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    What are you grateful for this week?

    Happy Mother’s Day to all the Mother’s out there!

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