I have mentioned my friend Cassandra (and her family) in an earlier blog entry. This weekend, Cassandra and I took off for the mean streets of Atlanta for a girl's weekend. It was a total blast! I am accustomed to traveling alone, due to all the business travel I have to endure, and also, my trips to Paris and other personal trips have been solo. But traveling with Cassandra was a breeze. We have very similar interests: we are both night owls, we like similar food, and just like to roll with whatever comes along. I am all about being spontaneous when I travel, I like to plan to an extent, but if something fun presents itself, I want to veer off the path.
Most importantly, we can make each other laugh until it hurts, and it happens more often than you can imagine.
Our trip started off a little, um, worrisome. I had booked us in a Holiday Inn Express in the Buckhead area (I had hotel points). I had checked with my friend Judith (who lives in Atlanta) to make sure I had the location right and that it was safe. She said it was fine. When we arrived, the location was great, but it wasn't like any Holiday Inn Express I had ever stayed in (and I have stayed in soooo many with my business travels). The doors were "outside", meaning they weren't covered in an interior hallway--this is something I usually won't do being a female traveling alone, and I was worried about doing it, even with two of us. But it was after midnight, oh well. I had already requested a room on the second floor, so I figured we would be OK.
We loaded up a baggage cart (yes, we overpacked), and began to try and steer the damn thing to our room. I knew the vicinity of our room, so we guided the cart around the pool area to look for the elevator. We didn't see one. Cassandra kept saying..."they DO have an elevator?" I remembered seeing one in the lobby and I guessed you just had to take the elevator from the lobby to all the floors. (seeing that the lobby was in a single level building should have given one of us a clue). So, we rolled the cart all the way around the other side of the pool area, into a VERY narrow doorway into the lobby building, struggling to get it over the threshold, losing some articles in the bumpiness along the way, finally reaching the lobby. My memory was poor. No elevator. You have probably all seen the ad/commercial campaign for Holiday Inn Express, where they show ordinary people accomplishing extraordinary feats after staying in a Holiday Inn Express, made wiser simply by an overnight stay. As we rolled our way back to the pool area, very frustrated and tired, Cassandra turned back to me and said, "I don't think we are going to get any smarter staying here."
This is why I love being friends with her.
We finally made it to our room and laughed, gave each other no end of grief, slept, and got up the next day and headed out to begin our weekend. We went to the High Museum of Art, then went to pick up a coffee table I bought of off Craig's List in my old stomping ground of Dunwoody (long story), then to La Madeleine's restaurant--a FAVE of mine--a little French cafe--what a shocker, then shopping at the Container Store, and IKEA. Ikea is so busy and chaotic, but the deals are fantastic. We both found some great deals.
On Sunday, we met my friend Judith for breakfast at The Flying Biscuit. It was so great to see her and to catch up, and to eat yummy food in one of my favorite restaurants. (best southern grits in the world!) Then, we ventured off to Judith's house where I got to visit with Lulu, Judith's dog, and just my most favorite dog, ever. When I lived in Atlanta, Judith's home was like my second home, and I was living nearby when they got Lulu. I feel like Lulu's special Aunt or something. She is the most loveable, sweet, adorable dog. Judith believes she recognizes me--even after all these years, and long spans of times between visits. I hope so. Judith and I were talking this morning and realized we have known each other for 14 years. It is amazing how time flies. When I met Judith, her son was in second grade, and now he is in college. Wow.
I treasure these friendships-- the ones that have stood the test of time. I am so fortunate to have several long time friends in my life that make it richer, more fun, and add beauty to the tapestry of my life!