PART ONE - The Car Ferry Detour
PART TWO - Toll Panic and The Walk of Shame
PART THREE - The Mysterious Missing Hour
After racing through the halls of the Hilton, flying into my room and jamming my other earring into my ear, I managed not to trip over my flip flops before emerging once again from the front doors with only what I believe to be the slightest of odd looks from the front desk clerk. As memory serves, this was the same front desk clerk who was on duty when I had the unfortunate toilet incident so I'm fairly certain she had already decided I was crazy.
Somewhat frazzled, but at least now sporting two earrings, I plunked back down on the bench to await the arrival of my friend Sara.
This part of the story deserves a little background. Those of you who are not as.....ummmmm....saturated in the world of blogging and social media as I am will likely not understand why I would want to climb into a dark SUV with someone I have never technically met. But if you are one of "us," the folk who have bonded over Blogger, Instagram, and other social media, you know that these online friends can be just as real as the flesh and blood people we see day in and day out.
Sara is one of those women. She pulled up in her car and we hugged like we'd done this multiple times before. I climbed in and greeted her children by name and immediately Sara and I were chattering at full speed. We were talking so fast, I'm surprised we found time to breathe. The great thing about meeting an online friend IRL ("in real life") is that you don't have to monkey around with the get to know you small talk because you already know so much about them! You can jump right into the fun stuff like "I can't believe Micah was playing in the poop water again!" or "I love the shade of lip gloss Sydney chose for you today!"
You guys, I don't know that I've ever hit it off with someone as instantly as I did with Sara. Usually when I meet someone for the first time, I kind of play things close to the vest so I can gauge how much sarcasm I can get away with without seeming like a snot, but I was totally comfortable being the genuine ME from the moment we met.
Sara showed me around her beautiful home, introduced me to her husband and children (who are equally as cool as she is), and even let me poke around in her Project Life album.
Confession: I took this incredibly dorky photo while Sara was upstairs getting ready. She had no clue I did it until days later. Please pardon my chins. (Have mercy, there are at least four of them.)
Our plan was to go to this place in downtown Grand Rapids called The B.O.B. and have some dinner and then attend the show at the comedy club right in the building. We ordered dinner, but neither of us got to eat our meal before it got cold because we just wouldn't. stop. talking. Have you ever had this happen? Where you suddenly realize that hours have passed without you so much as noticing it because you've been so engrossed in conversation with someone? It was hilarious because we suddenly realized that we had totally missed the comedy show and we didn't even care.
That's when we forgot that we are not....how do I say it....YOUNG any more. By the time we got out of the restaurant, the dinner hour had long passed and the party hour had arrived. There were no less than three bachelorette parties or wedding parties or divorce parties taking place at this joint, so maneuvering around to check out what else The B.O.B. had to offer was getting more and more problematic. Plus, we were both suddenly very aware of our lack of miniskirts and abundance of stretch marks.
After having some terrible cocktails at the nightclub upstairs that made us laugh at the young whippersnappers wearing spikes on their shoes while they thumped to the over-powering bass beat and sprawled on a white leather chaise lounge that was likely teeming with germs, we decided to wander down the street to a piano bar.
That's when we saw this:
Even when I'm on vacation from Mommy Duty, it always seems to find me.
The piano bar was much more our style.
Now, show of hands please. How many of you say I look pretty gosh darn sober in this photo?
As it turns out, I was not. I'll spare you the details, but when I finally landed back in the glorious king size bed in my suite at the Hilton, it was not long before I was awake and participating in what can only be described as a humiliating show of regurgitation pyrotechnics.
How I felt the next morning was probably best summed up by my cousin later when he smiled smugly, shook his head and calmly explained to his fiancee, "The BOB got her."
It did indeed.
It even led me to create this journal card when I documented this particular experience in my Project Life album:
Until next time, kids.