The last week in America

It’s been a whirlwind of a trip since I wrote one week ago.  Atlanta was amazing. On Monday,   I woke up and went for a run with Allison (love how she pushes me….and find I am faster in the States than in Fiji).  We also went to check out our house.   On the way there, we passed by a McDonalds and Zoe said, “They have McDonald’s in America?!”  We all had a good laugh at that one and I thought again about how much she doesn’t remember from the States.   Our house looked awesome!  Besides the house manager getting bitten pretty badly by the renter’s dog, all went well.  Our neighborhood is looking better and better and a lot of development is happening in the area.  It’s exciting.  So far, our house and our dog are better off without us – but I think that’s a good thing.  

We went to a delicious lunch with Tom and Julia then had about 25 minutes to stop at Target to buy Zoe a pair of flip flops before picking the girls’ up.   Most people know I’ve been on a bit of an anti-consumerism kick lately…  disgusted by how much people buy.  I imagined I’d walk into Target and feel the same way, but that couldn’t be further than the truth! I walked in there and my heart started beating fast, in a good way! I was so excited.  There were SO many options!  I immediately headed over to the jewelry and started grabbing earrings like a crazy woman.  I was in a mad rush to consume as much as possible! I quickly grabbed a pair of cheap sunglasses and rushed to the shoe area.  I got the girls each 3 pairs of shoes and felt dizzy with the options – but again in a fun way!  I ran over to the girls’ clothes and could have spent forever in there had we had the time.  It’s now over a week later and I still haven’t been back but I keep thinking about it!  When can I go again??

After our Target run, I went to pick up Zoe and Willa to give them a little alone play time.  We got some ice cream and then went by the old GPCP Cabbagetown campus.  Again, I was surprised by how much Zoe didn’t remember, but she remembered the highlights of that magical preschool!  I maybe miss it more than she does!

Old friends and ice cream.  What could be better?

hugging the Mulberry tree from GPCP

That night I first went to a mom’s and daughter’s happy hour/playtime at Sam’s house.  It was once again so great for Andie to reconnect with all of her old buddies.  She had the best time and I loved touching base with the ladies.   I occasionally felt paranoid that their kids were beyond Andie in school, but then was reassured too.  Us coming back home is too far away for us to worry about…..I try to remember that anyway.  Ben and Ashley came over to watch Bachelorette with me while Warren went to play poker with the guys.  It was awesome to watch with my old crew.  It felt like normal Atlanta life to hang with those two with Lola in my lap and a glass of wine in my hand…while laughing at the terrible reality show that I simultaneously hate and love.  It was a really nice night.

Sauce, Lola's brother.  I fell in love with him too. 

Our sweet Lola B.   

The next morning we went to another doctor appointment, followed by lunch with Ben. I ate the best burger! Actually, we went back to the same place we went on my first day in Atlanta, and it already seemed less overwhelming.   I also found an awesome jewelry store and wanted to go crazy again…but I restrained myself.  That night, a big crew of us went out to an incredible dinner and then back to Matty’s house for a little longer to hang out.  I love this group of friends.  It was SO good to hang out with them all….to laugh, and reconnect, and just feel the love.   I miss these guys.  While we went out, Andie spent the night with Reid and had the opportunity to swim with her old swim team.  Apparently, she loved it.  Zoe spent the night with Willa and had a great time….even though she started to get so confused about our life.  She kept asking, “Do we live in Atlanta now?  Are these our dogs now?  Where do we go next?”  Poor thing.  I explained it to her so many times…but she was still confused, and jet lagged, and probably just overwhelmed. 

Holman & Finch burger. . YUM

lunch with Ben

swim meet, pickles, and old friends

Silly girls

1 of 6 sleepovers

hanging at Matty's

Julia and a swan

The crew.   A friend mentioned we look like a TV cast.  LOL.  

After a VERY late night, we woke up at the crack of dawn to go running, do a DMV errand, and then hit SIX flags for the day!  Six Flags is super fun and super exhausting! (The girls have since told me this has been their favorite day so far!)  About one hour in, Andie told me she wanted to go home to go to sleep!  What???   I then realized she was burning up….  After a long nap on a bench and some ibuprofen, she was ready to go again.   I felt guilty, but we had already paid to get into the park, she was set on staying, and we rode with friends…so we made the day of it.   She was perfectly happy until the medicine wore off – and by that point we were ready to go anyway.  My girls LOVED the roller coasters!   Me…not so much.  Gosh, I am getting old!  At what age do roller coasters and crazy heights start to bother people?!   Regardless, I love seeing my adventuresome girls rocking the coasters with their friends!  Andie slept the whole way home and crawled into bed as soon as we got home.  We got her old sitter, and Warren and I went out to dinner for our final night in Atlanta to one of our favorite places with some of our favorite people.   It was so nice. 

waiting for the coaster

DIPPIN DOTS!!!!  (and beer)  perfect amusement park food!

having so much fun on the log flume!

What an awesome dinner with the best friends we could ask for.  We missed you Tom! 

After a rough night (Andie vomited and late night) we woke up early to pack everything up and catch our Uber to Atlanta.  We had to say goodbye to Lola which was a heart-breaker.  We were all a mess (sick, tired, sad) but we got to the airport on time!  At this point, Warren was taking the girls to his mom’s house, and I was headed to girls’ weekend until we were to meet up again in Duck for our family vacay.  After hugs and kisses, we were on our separate ways.

After a quick power nap on the plane, my family and Kathleen greeted me in the RVA airport.  It was great to see them and eat a nice lunch together before I headed out to Virginia Beach for the annual girls’ weekend.   Bonnie was a bit delayed so me , my mom, and Kathleen even got to sneak in some frozen yogurt before we left! Not long afterward, Bonnie and I were on our way.

favorite treat with favorite peeps

on the road to girls' weekend!

Girls’ weekend was extremely FUN as always!  It was fun, and exhausting, and worry-free, and crazy, and full of good times with awesome friends.  I figured out if I drink coffee around dinner time I can really hang in until late.   We went to fun bars, ate yummy breakfasts, rode our beach cruiser bikes to board walk restaurants, ate delicious dinners, spent the day on the beach laughing and talking about life, went out dancing, and lived in the  moment.  Kathleen came on Saturday and she was a very welcome addition. 

Jennifer's 93 year old grandfather dropped us off to dinner! 
Chics Bar. Fun!

Brunch drinks the next morning at Doc Taylors. 

Rode the beach cruiser bikes to Watermans for appetizers and orange crushes.  Love a beach bike ride!

Ready for dinner out at Esoteric

Cloudy or not, we hit the beach! We travel lightly right?

cocktail walk on the beach

annual pyramid pic.  This may be our best yet. 

ready for our last night out

so glad Kathleen made it out

Because we were so far away when Glen passed and the girls were so far away at the time, they had an artist (Jennifer Paxton) sketch a picture of Glen for Warren and I.  I think this gift may be one of the nicest things anyone has ever done for us.   When I opened it I was speechless and felt overwhelmed with love for my friends and the sense of loss for losing Glen too soon.   I was also struck by how much Warren looks like his Dad.   I still don’t have the words for what this gift means to us. It will be very much valued in our home. 

This picture does not do the sketch justice.  I took this picture through the plastic bag.  It's so amazing what Jennifer Paxton did with a pencil.   It's so life-like. 

After another beautiful day on the beach with Kathleen, I drove to Duck to meet the rest of the family. I was greeted with hugs and I realized how much I missed my girls and hubby.  It was SO good to see Anne and Kate and Fred and the kids.  I am so happy we are all together.  It’s lovely.   The kids are having a blast with each other and at the beach.  I know we all miss Glen. His presence is deeply missed and noted.   Yet, I also know it is good for the whole family to be together.   I LOVE seeing the cousins get along so beautifully.  It reaffirms my belief that we need to do everything we can to try to get them together once a year.   They are family and they need to know one another. 

Our girls LOVE the waves! They are not used to them and it has provided hours of entertainment!  I am sure there will be many more pictures to post this week!  

first trip down to beach.