Three Weeks of Travel (and a friend’s 40th birthday!)

FINALLY! I’m back! What a whirlwind it’s been these last few weeks . . .

After a flurry of activity on the island, Beau and I were ready for a relaxing getaway to the Florida Keys. However, the day before we were to leave, my mother reported that my grandmother had just been taken by ambulance to the hospital. Yikes! I put my packing into overdrive, snagged the last seat on the afternoon plane, grabbed Angel and left my island home for three weeks! Thankfully, Grandma lives near Mom in South Florida, which is where Beau and I were headed the next day anyway. Beau was out diving that day – opening day of lobster season! – so he didn’t even know of my last-minute departure until he returned home to my note!

I’m happy to report that my Grandmother is just fine. I spent that evening and the next morning with her in the hospital. Glad to know she was okay and would be returning home soon, I picked up Beau at the airport and we headed south.

The next few days brought lots of relaxing, Olympics-viewing and good times with local friends. The following week, Beau headed back to work on the island, and I stayed in South Florida to run a slew of island errands and visit with family.

Glad I was there, too, because my Grandmother’s husband was taken by ambulance to the hospital! He ended up right in the room next to where she’d been admitted just the week before. Sigh. Happily, he is fine now, too. But I was glad to be able to help transport Grandma back and forth and share hospital responsibilities with my mother. My grandparents are in great shape, but they are in their late 80’s and stuff just happens!

Eventually, it was time for the last leg of my trip – a return to the Midwest for a close friend’s 40th birthday weekend getaway! Angel remained comfortably with my mother (who dotes on her grandpuppy – thanks, Mom!), and I jetted off for a fabulous weekend. Beau had travel plans with other friends, so he wasn’t able to join me.

However, before Beau left but while I was away from the cay, a dear friend of mine from law school ended up on our tiny island and tracked down Beau, whom he’d met 15 years ago when Beau and I were first dating!

Beau and Brian, living it up without me!

It KILLED me not to be there with them! But I eased my suffering by heading off on my adventure with friends. Upon landing in the heartland, a girlfriend picked me up at the airport and we drove several hours to a quaint, countryside town for the birthday weekend.

The Girls! Let the fun begin . . .

Birthday Girl and her Hubby, who masterfully planned the wonderful weekend.

My Besties, at a wine-tasting before dinner.

About to embark on a canoe trip.

Love the group t-shirts! Her husband printed nicknames on all – mine was “Blogger!”

Lining up with our canoes.

My roomie and canoe partner BEFORE I kept steering her into the bush.

Captain Donna after we switched spots – apparently, I’m a better bowman.

Scenic and lovely.

Bloody Marys and comfort food after our hard work.

Dinner at the charming hotel.

I just loved the trains against the country backdrop.

The whole gang, sans Beau.

The Blondes.

The girls with the cake before dinner.

So much fun! A great time was had by all, and it was so wonderful to catch up with friends. I headed back to the Big City and enjoyed dinner that evening with other dear friends.

The next morning, after breakfast with yet another great girlfriend, I headed into my old office! I spent FIVE HOURS in the law firm, visiting three floors of attorneys and staff. Yes, it was a little surreal, but it was heart-warming to see old friends with whom I’d spent every work day for more than 10 years! Everyone commented that island life seems to agree with me, and this visit reaffirmed it that much more. I simply laughed and reminded them that they just are not used to seeing what “relaxed” people look like! :)

Then, it was back to Florida for one more day of final island errands, including vet certificates so Angel can re-enter the Bahamas and a giant grocery run. Added on to the many “island errands” from the week prior, it amounted to quite a haul! I told Beau it was a truck kind of day, rather than a golf cart kind of day, for my airport pickup back on the island!

Angel and I happily landed on the island and greeted with Beau with enthusiasm, then I began the long process of unpacking and organizing all the stuff. Like what? Think: new cordless phone since power surges fried the old one despite its protector, loads of cleaning supplies, dog food, plastic bins/organizers, new bedsheets, file folders, printer ink, bathroom supplies, superglue, cooler full of meat for the deep freezer, stacks of dry goods, etc.

It was a great trip – though three weeks is too long to be gone, I think – and wonderful to return. We went out last evening and it was such fun to see “the guys” and other island friends. Home sweet home.

And now, our home sweet home reluctantly welcomes Tropical Storm Isaac. So far, so good . . . Enjoy your weekend!

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